Write, Edit, Beta Test, Publish

What you need to know about beta testing before you hit that publish button.

It’s almost time to launch the first article of your newsletter. You have it written out and edited, but you can’t help thinking about how your readers will react.

Will they like it? Did I include everything I could? Is there anything I should’ve done better?

If you tend to send a sample piece out to your friends and family to review before pressing that publish button and sharing on socials, then your heading in the right direction.

This last step in the process is called beta testing. It’s about getting feedback to improve on your work before publishing, and there are ways to improve this method for more effective results. Here are some questions to think about when beta testing.

Who is the ideal reader for this newsletter?

Send it to people who you think would be most interested or involved with your topic. They usually have knowledge on the topic and can tell you more about what they want to know. This gives you a better idea of what to include moving forward, or what’s currently missing.

What exactly do I need to be tested?

At first, all I thought I needed to test was the headline and body of work. However, it’s smart to think beyond just content when beta testing. Ask what days and times are best for posting, or if anything should be accompanied by certain visuals such as graphics. Provide alternatives if you have the time to create them, and ask which option is best.

How can I continue beta testing after pieces are published?

By tracking clicks, opens and revenue data, you can see what pieces or information is most intriguing to your readers. Crowdsourcing on social media is another way to see what your readers are thinking. Check comments to see what they want to hear more about. Track what posts get the most likes or bring the most people to the page. Engagement is key in analyzing what your audience wants.

Keep in mind, beta testing is a way to improve on what you have already created. Take criticism constructively, because the more you change, the better your piece will become and the more effective it will be for your target readers.

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I am enrolled in a media entrepreneurship course, for which I will use this series to reflect on what I learn each week. Follow my journey on navigating the information revolution and learning how to profit from valuable content creation.

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Ariana Dimitrakis

Ariana Dimitrakis

Ariana Dimitrakis is the author of Female-Empowered Fashion and a co-founder of The Fit Magazine. Follow her work here and on Instagram @arianadimitrakis.

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