Some authors want to start their blogs (originally known as “weblogs”) with wonderful, lengthy, detailed stories. They’ll spend hours perfecting their 2000-word epic, obsessing over every syllable, ensuring that millions will flock to read their heartfelt story immediately after their blog is launched to the public.
I think that the first entry doesn’t matter.
Why would anyone want to check out a new blog? Millions of well-written blogs already exist, and many of them are authored by experts in a particular field. There’s little reason for me, a reader, to seek out a new weblog when I have so much to read in the first place.
However, I am writing this blog despite the odds because I think that everyone can contribute something to the Internet, whether or not they know it yet. The hard part is figuring out what I can personally bring to the table.
So why do I think the first entry doesn’t matter? I should keep my first entries imperfect and brief precisely because I do not yet know what works. I could spend hours poring over these sentences and trying to guess what will sound interesting, but I have no idea what will resonate with my readers. In a sense, the first entry of a blog is a test to see if a) I can write, and b) if anyone is interested in reading what I have to say about a topic. Perhaps it can be considered a minimum viable product.
So instead of writing a huge amount of text in a single, narrowly-focused, two-thousand word article, I am beginning this blog with several short entries about several fascinating things (and I’ll elaborate on the topics my readers find appealing). Hopefully, this strategy will be more interesting and fun for everyone. Do you think authors should should try a narrow focus in their first blog entries, or is it better to use their time writing a higher quantity of good-but-not-perfect posts?
If you’re interesting in starting (or improving) your blog, I recommend this freely available, concise PDF by Jamey Stegmaier. And although I’m far from being an expert, this is not my first weblog. I’d be happy to give some feedback about your blog–feel free to tweet @sheldonsandbekk or comment below.
I agree with your comparison of blog posts to MVPs, as well as the need for people to contribute content to the Internet in positive ways. It’s smart to record any ideas as they come to exist, then polish them later.
Thanks, Henry! Creativity is all about trying new things and seeing what works.