Twitter is a great way to figure out what to write about.
Every minute, potently compact ideas get shot out into the world.
Taking a tip from Justin Jackson, I've been using Twitter as a way to throw out my own ideas to see what sticks. Turns out, it's a great way to figure out what others find interesting.
Twitter is a helpful way as an entrepreneur to ensure we're creating value in everything we communicate. It moves quickly, so any given quip isn't given too much weight — unless it is because it's particularly entertaining or valuable. Then it'll get liked and retweeted into the wider Twitterverse. So, with writing, Twitter helps ensure that a topic we'll spend time contemplating is worth spending time on.
Why spend time putting anything out no one is interested in?
So in true engineering fashion (AKA I'm lazy), I got to thinking, "Hey! What if I could just create my newsletter right from my top tweets each week?"
And so, Owl Post was born.
("Why 'Owl Post'," you ask? Because magical owls deliver the mail, of course.)
So for one hour last week (and one day over last weekend), I spent some time repurposing an old Twitter API key (Shhhh! — Don't tell Twitter) to rank my top tweets from the past seven days.
Live Code — Something new. It's a hoot! https://t.co/FI5efW70U4— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) July 31, 2019
therapist: and what do we do when we feel this way?— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 14, 2019
me: buy an emoji domain.
therapist: no. pic.twitter.com/U1HVFPi4Rs
I was thinking the shortened emoji URL would be an intriguing new way to onboard subscribers via the Twitter bio URL.
And then, in an attempt to course-correct the "getting carried away"-ness, I recorded a GIF of the basic app, threw together a quick carrd.co landing page with it, slapped a $14.99/month price tag on it (to gauge monetization potential), a MailChimp signup form (should people actually want it), and put it out into the world to see what would happen.
I was a bit surprised at the interest. It received seven signups from the curious. I received a few DMs about it — which helped me learn a bit more.
This is so fun 😍https://t.co/mJwFgKyuV6— Corey Haines 💡 (@coreyhainesco) August 15, 2019
Replace the slug with your own twitter handle
That’s such a great idea!— Tim Mather (@timm3h) August 11, 2019
At that point, I got a bit excited. Maybe I was on to something? I was still a bit hesitant about it. The idea wasn't exactly solving a problem I knew others really needed solved. And I don't need to be spending any time on side projects as I need to keep focused on my current business, Blurt.
A bunch of ideas came to mind.
- Be able to add commentary in between tweets for the newsletter.
- Be able to subscribe to people to get your own weekly newsletter of their top weekly tweets.
- How would it onboard people to subscribe to the newsletter using Twitter?
- Maybe a cool Twitter card for pinned tweets?
- Maybe use DMs?
Alas, these were all just fun ideas and not really solving a known customer problem other than scratching my own itch.
So, after discussing it a bit with Chris, it seemed the next smallest step I could make was to:
- Make the basic top tweets app public to see how others engaged with it — which I did. You can create your own with 🦉✨.fm/twitter_username (e.g. 🦉✨.fm/corey_gwin). If you want to use it on your profile, use the punny code URL on Twitter, https://xn--0ci4130n.fm, and Twitter will convert it with emojis. Plan is to see who is using it and use it as an opportunity to strike up conversations about their actual Twitter or newsletter problems.
- Try including my top tweets from the past week in my newsletter to see how you might enjoy it.
So without further ado, here are my top 10 tweets from the past week. :)
What kind of business are you trying to build?— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 9, 2019
😅 $5/mo x 400 subs = $2k/mo
🙂 $15/mo x 133 subs = $2k/mo
😄 $60/mo x 33 subs = $2k/mo
🤑 $120/mo x 17 subs = $2k/mo
If others won't willingly pay $15+/mo for your product, time to figure out how they will.
To be fair, @nireyal and @rrhoover are amazing humans.— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 14, 2019
There's an entire section in Hooked entitled "The Morality of Manipulation" to help makers facilitate healthy habits and avoid manipulation.
"With great power comes great responsibility." pic.twitter.com/fs4x7oOqro
Bootstrappers out here competing against the ☕️ $5/day latte.— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 12, 2019
Meanwhile, Uber blows $5,400,000,000/quarter. 😅
To celebrate hitting 2,400 followers this month, I'm going to give $2.40 to a random person who retweets this tweet!— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 17, 2019
(you have to be following me so I can DM you if you win) https://t.co/PIjXGmiGo5
Just sent emails to all @BlurtDotApp customers who canceled as of late. 😬👍— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 17, 2019
Aim is to understand what they expected and didn't find so I can better set and exceed expectations. 🤯
Meanwhile, lined up and started chats with Blurt's most engaged customers. 💡 pic.twitter.com/eQk1A4Vs1x
Do you ever think about how strange it is we sit around staring at this lil glass box w random glyphs on it that help us touch it to send words to strangers somewhere & then wait around to see how many of them touched a tiny fake heart to indicate they liked it?— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 14, 2019
Ya, me neither.
The Mom Test goes on the founder req'd reading shelf.— Corey Gwin (@corey_gwin) August 17, 2019
Short. Pragmatic. Arguably teaches the most important skill in business — how to *actually* talk w customers to gain the right insight.
Oft overlooked skill, @robfitz set me straight.
Get it. https://t.co/zuHZhwtEsV
Hope sharing that process is helpful in sorting out your own projects. :)
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— Corey Gwin, @corey_gwin