The Six Minute Strategist Blog has been up and running now for over six months and I have been watching with interest the reception and interest in the content I am creating.
I have learned a lot from your comments and reactions to my posts and have reorganised my website accordingly. I thought I would share these lessons with you.
Lesson 1. Knowledge without Purpose…
While I have had a lot of fun researching and posting some of my blogs - The 2008 Financial Crisis: History in the Making? – A Six Minute Strategist Guide Part 1 – is a good example, these posts don’t have a specific purpose other than generally informing the reader. While this series received a reasonable amount of traction, interest tailed off.
Lesson 2; Multipart vs Single Posts
I have posted a number of multi-part posts and have found that these do not sustain interest. A two part post, particularly with a Quiz teaser to start is more interesting because it is fun and entertains. On reflection, I think if I have another long piece, it will be better to post a single post with introduction and some conclusions and then make the whole thing available as a free ebook download for those who are interested.
Lesson 3. Where is the Pain?
Blogs and posts need to address a pain. This is can be expressed in another way. Posts get read when they help the reader understand or address an issue. It is always better to focus on a single issue and keep the post down to around 600 – 1,000 words. By helping with useful information which informs with the purpose of addressing problems, the post and the Blog become a useful resource to the reader.
Lesson 4 – Blog Structure
I have taken these thoughts on board and reorganised my whole blog and site structure. As well as my regular posts, the site has Six segments: Start-Up, Capital Raising, Growth, Social Media, M&A and Exits. I will now develop my blog strategy to fill out these segments with structured information to help Entrepreneurs manage their corporate lifecycle. Each section will have a Six Minute Strategist structure (a current work in progress) and I will use my methodology throughout when posting or addressing issues. This will mean that everything will be linkable and hopefully easier to understand.
Lesson 5 – Tag Lines tell you something…
I have also changed my tag line. Before I saw my site as a junction where business development, corporate strategy and social media met each other. But this does not communicate anything. It does not tell the reader why he should be coming to the site. When I turn the thinking round, I come up with “Helping Entrepreneurs Manage Their Business Lifecycle” This tells the reader a great deal more (I think).
The purpose of the site is to help, the audience being targetted are Enterpreneurs, the area of the sites expertise covers the whole of a business lifecycle. Simple
Lesson 6 – How deep do you go?
The last lesson I have learned has to do with time and attention. How deep should I go in these topics. The lesson I have drawn is to try to have three levels. The first can be gleaned from simply reading the main pages of the website which can impart a considerable amount of information about structure and content. The second level is to write 500 to 1,000 word pieces on detailed issues across all six elements of the Corporate Life Cycle - Start-Up, Capital Raising, Growth,Social Media, M&A and Exits.
The final and deepest level I will reserve for long pieces in the form of information ebooks – some free and some paid which I hope will enable entrepreneurs to address issues in real depth. The aim here is to leverage my 20+ years of experience and make the information available on-line rather than only through one to one paid consultancy which is my current business model.
A final postscript…
I still believe that it is worth making the information on the site open and free and for that reason I publish under a creative commons licence. The free ebooks will also be published under creative commons and while it would be nice to build a list in due course, I am more interested for people to share the information widely. Paid ebooks (when they are launched) will be copyrighted in the normal way – kind of defeats the object otherwise, doesn’t it!
I would be really interested to know if you agree or disagree with my conclusions and what I have done with the Blog and my website. If you like this please share links or retweet. I can be reached at jbdcolley[at]aol[dot]com. Thank you.