How to Use Your Business Blog to Test New Ideas
When you first come up with an idea for a new product or service, you may be very excited to just get it out to the masses.
But if you're going to all the effort to create a new offering, you should spend some time finding out if people are even interested in it.
Of course, using focus groups and market research may be necessary depending on your product or service, but there are many reasons why you may not want to or need to use these options (time, budget or necessity).
That's why I believe you should start out by testing your idea on your blog.
You see, when you write blog posts surrounding the topic of your new idea, you'll get feedback fairly quickly. And that can help you make a decision as to whether or not your idea is a good one or not.
Here's how I suggest you go about using your blog to test out an idea for a new offering.
1. Look at current blog posts
Are there any current articles on your blog related to your idea that people have responded to? Do those articles get a lot of traffic and/or comments?
If you answered yes, then you're already on the path having a good market for your product. If you answered no, you'll need to start writing articles that are more clearly about your potential product/service.
Moving on to step 2.
2. Write more of those posts
Now you need to write more articles on your topic and start to zero in on exactly what kind of problems your potential customer is having.
The reason you want to write articles about the problems is that you want to see if people are looking for a solution to those problems. And of course your new product/service will be the solution you want to offer them.
3. Analyze the data
How are people responding to your blog posts? Is there a lot of traffic? Comments?
What are your social media outlets? Ask questions and look for feedback when posting your blog articles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. See what kind of response you get.
Depending on the results you see, you will want to give people more of what they like and cut back on the content that isn't getting the response you want.
4. Create a free offer
Now that you have people reading up on your blog articles and you've clearly found a niche, you need to get those readers onto an email list. Not just any old list - this one should be a separate segment of people just interested in this topic. To get them onto an email list, you'll need to create a free offer related to your product idea.
Trust me, if you do this now, you'll thank yourself later.
This super-targeted email list is going to be very valuable down the line when you are able to offer them the solution to their problem.
Note: if you aren't getting any bites on your offer, it may need to be revised. If after a few attempts, you don't see a good response, this may be an indication of how your product/service will fare. Just remember to use every step of this process as a way to judge the likelihood of the success of your offering.
Here are some additional tips on creating a free offer.
The Importance of Having a Business Blog
Research on new ideas is just another reason why having a blog for your business is so valuable - it helps to keep you connected to your target market and their wants and needs.