I have been using this blog as a testing board for my ideas- both good and bad- since I started it back in early 2010. My ideas and writing style have evolved since. I have come to realize that ideas are cheap and action is the only thing that matters.
Anywhoo, I had an idea swimming around in my head for a digital product for quite some time. I started to talk more publicly about this idea with a few trusty friends, who started to encourage me to build it. (And, one particular person who encouraged me to write about it. Looking at Jess Lawlor in particular). And now, it’s time for me to eat my own dog food, and share this crazy idea that I had with all of you
I realized the majority of the experience of building a product is in the journey. I want to document this journey – being as open and transparent as I can- with all of my loyal, awesome blog readers. Without further ado, here’s the first post in my new #productbuild series. Every 7-10 days, I’ll walk through what I’ve been working on to launch my very first product.
What’s my product idea?
So, what is this product that I’ve been alluding to. It’s a digital course aimed specifically at time-crunched and resource-strapped new bloggers to help them grow their brand by harnessing the power of community. Two things, I like to think I know a thing or two about. 🙂
Identify your target audience and perceived pain points
In my case, I’ve been blogging for more than 5 years (and 4+ on this blog). One of the things that frustrated me for the longest time was always being stuck in the dreaded comparison trap. I was stuck comparing my beginning to someone else’s middle. Only, I was always losing because I had almost no traffic, a tiny email list and almost no traction. I had that lightbulb moment a couple of years ago looking back at all my posts. I realized I was doing blogging all wrong by constantly trying to compare myself to other bloggers, who I thought were more successful in this space.
- My posts were not as authentic they could be because I was trying to mimic other bloggers’ tone and styles.
- Some posts were straight-up boring, because I got too obsessed with all the blogging “best practices” and endless lists of ten things that you have to do to reach XYZ.
- And, others were just straight up uninspired.
I realized the only way to grow a blog is to harness and nurture the community around it. While at first, it may be quite small. If you constantly feed content that interests your community, the community will continue to grow and swell up around you. As Natalie Lussier says, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
After talking with many other bloggers – mainly newer ones- I realized this isn’t as obvious or well-practiced as it should be. While you aren’t going to see 5,000 new readers overnight, you can invest as little as 15-30 minutes each day to plant the seeds for building a loyal community around your blog. And, the steps for how to do this when you are strapped for time and resources is the main content for my very first digital course.
As you could probably tell, I’ve been thinking about this goal for many months. I have some ideas for the outcomes I want to see with it. Some are more realistic than others. While I would love to get 100+ people to enroll and complete this 30 day paid email-based course, I know it will ultimately be worth it if this course just helps a handful of newer bloggers build something incredible.
Create a course outline.
Before, I started writing one course email, I created a course framework in a trusty Google spreadsheet. It’s an outline broken down first by each week’s core theme and then the day to day objectives that I want everyone to accomplish. This is my roadmap to keep me on track and ensure that I don’t ramble on and on going terribly off-topic.
Reverse engineer your goal into bite-sized, more manageable chunks.
It’s one thing to put all of my grandiose visions and outcomes on paper. It’s another to actually make all of this a reality. That’s where I am currently struggling a bit, if I am being totally honest and upfront.
I’m starting by reverse engineering my goal into more bite-sized, manageable chunks. Writing enough content for a month long course is daunting- no ifs, ands or buts about it. However, if I break it down into writing 5 course emails per week for 4 weeks, it’s a bit more manageable. I’m going to continue to do this every step of the way with creating and launching this course.
So, that’s where I’m at right now. I have my outline done, goals aligned and now I’m starting on the ever so daunting, but important task of writing all the content. I’ll have an update on how it’s all coming together within the next 7-10 days. Follow my journey as I continue to build my first digital product here.
Have questions? Feel free to email me here anytime. I read and respond to every email. 🙂