The term minimum viable product has been thrown around in the startup world for quite some time. As marketers and content creators, we can apply the same logic to posting, whether it be on a blog or on social media.
Embracing this concept in the form of the minimum viable post, can help content creators publish more without getting bogged down. If you’re like me you’ve started countless blog posts, but reached a point mid-writing where you lost steam. And now the post is just sitting in your drafts and you haven’t gone back to finalize and publish it.
So you might say, but why would I want to lower the quality of my content? My answer to that would be that you may actually be able to increase the value that your readers get from your content–because you’re publishing more, and you aren’t adding a bunch of extra fluff to your posts.
What is a “Minimum Viable Post”?
A minimum viable post, is a piece of content with enough features and value to attract visitors to your site, or to your social content, but that may not be 100% polished or complete in your eyes.
If you’re publishing on a blog, obviously you need to still answer the question that your visitors are asking–but maybe you would normally add in a bunch of images, infographics, and an in-depth conclusion. In the case of a minimum viable post, you would probably have a quick introduction (maybe a sentence or two), and a few headings with a paragraph or two underneath each one.
The idea of minimum viable posts is that they allow you to inform your readers of your main point, and still provide value without dedicating a ton of resources to something that may or may not resonate. The MVP can help you receive user feedback as quickly as possible to then iterate and improve on your content over time.
Read More: Essential Guide for the Internet in 2022
Why Use Minimum Viable Posts?
- You’ll Publish More Often: Allowing yourself to publish something in a minimum viable format will give you the ability to publish more often. Every time you publish is an opportunity for you to reach new readers or to open up a new conversation with your target audience.
- A Lot of Posts Are Too Long Anyway: One of my favorite quotes about this is from Naval Ravikant. He says, “to maximize distribution, minimize the message.” He says that books become blog posts, podcasts become snippets, blog posts become tweet storms. Readers have options, so we as content creators need to respect their time. If you can distill the important messages from a long blog post into something shorter, you’re saving your audience a lot of time.
- When Your Post is Longer Than a Tweet, But Isn’t Fully Developed: There are times that you may need 500-1000 words to explain a concept in a more complete way, but that wouldn’t normally fit your editorial standards for your blog. Well, take the idea that you need to write long form content to provide the most value to your audience and get rid of it. Add your thoughts to a shorter blog post and publish it!
- The Post Still Needs to be Viable: This is an important caveat to this entire post. Just because you’re allowing yourself to publish earlier, doesn’t mean you can get rid of your editorial standards completely. To truly embrace this concept, you need your content to be viable. Your post should still provide a complete answer to your audience’s question, or a complete explanation of the topic. Otherwise you’re just spreading worthless words/content.
How To Create a Minimum Viable Post
- Do some quick research
- Identify unanswered questions
- Package up your insight
- Gather feedback
- Improve your post (or don’t)
Do some quick research
Just because your post is “minimum viable”, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be backed by research. I actually think that research is more important for understanding what people are curious about and the language they use to talk about a topic – over just getting information and statistics to share.
Identify unanswered questions
If you are reading through online discussions about your topic, take a look at the questions people are asking. If you find people asking the same question over and over without getting an answer, that’s a good sign that people are looking for the answer and there isn’t a good place for them to find it.
Lean into those opportunities and share your answers with those communities to get the right audience looking at your content.
Package up your insight
Whatever it is you’re sharing in your post, put it together in the best format possible for sharing. The quicker that people can absorb your message, the better. By making your content simpler and easier to understand, you’re saving people time and allowing a broader audience to consume your content.
After publishing your post or sharing your content on social, it’s important to collect feedback. As you see what people are saying about your post, and what further questions they are asking you can use that information to see what you need to add to your post.
Improve your post (or don’t)
After gathering feedback, use that information to add to and improve your posts. As you continue to have conversations about your content, you can continue to add to it to add new answers to questions as they come up.