What Is Your Blogging MVP?

If you’ve been hanging out in the Internet and tech startup community for some time, you may have come across the acronym “MVP.” While this typically stands for Most Valuable Player in the context of sports, it stands for something else entirely in the business world: Minimum Viable Product.

Minimum Viable Product

The basic idea behind the MVP goes a little something like this. When you decide to invent a new product — whether it’s a physical product like a smartwatch or a digital product like a mobile app — you understand that to create the final product and to bring it to market, you’ll need to invest substantial resources of time and money.

If you have a great idea for a new social network, you ultimately want it to be easily available across all platforms. You want to have friend lists and messaging and news feeds and groups and this feature and that feature and then this other feature.

But if you wait until you have all these pieces in place, it means that you will have already invested a lot of time and money. You would have hired designers and developers and quality assurance testers and marketing people and social media managers and on and on the list goes. What if, after investing millions of dollars and years of development, the new social network is an utter and complete failure? You’ve wasted everything and received nothing.

The MVP prevents some of that, because your goal is simply to produce the minimum viable product. If you boil it all down, what is the most absolutely essential element to your idea that distinguishes it from all the rest? That’s the sort of approach that Instagram first took.

In the beginning, the app only had square photos, it only worked on iOS devices, and the feed was strictly reverse chronological. And it was a huge hit! Only after they determined that the MVP was popular did Instagram start to explore the many other features we enjoy today.

What About Blogging?

Now, on some level, you could apply the philosophy of the MVP to blogging in that you can get started with the default WordPress theme on some cheap hosting with no customization whatsoever. But that’s not really what I mean by looking for your blogging MVP, at least in this context.

Instead, I’m talking more about your approach to blogging and how you’re going to work to make your blog into “viable product” today and well into the future. To that end, it’s so much more about consistency and putting in the hours. The thing with giving yourself a Plan B is that it will always come true. If I don’t write a blog post today, I can always do it tomorrow. Or the next day. Or next week. Before you know it, you’ve gone several weeks without any new content on the site.

No wonder your blog is suffering.

As ambitious, passionate or enthusiastic as you might be in the beginning, that energy is inevitably going to wax and wane. And so, to that end, you really need to think about what is the minimum amount of blogging you can commit to doing each and every day, each and every week. These deadlines are self-imposed and largely artificial, to be sure, but they give you that added motivation to stick with them if you truly believe they are consistently achievable at bare minimum.

If you can only commit to one blog post of about 500 words every week, that’s fine. But make sure you really do have a 500+ word blog post every week. No excuses. No breaks. The consistency and tenacity are what will push you through the hard times, but you need to start by establishing your blogging MVP.

Stick With It

How long have you been blogging? Do you use a content or editorial calendar? Do you keep up with a consistent publishing schedule?