It’s this: Use your intuition. When it comes to publishing anything, intuition counts.
You already know what flies in your business. You deal with customers and prospects every single day. You understand the work like nobody else. And that means that you have a pretty good spidey sense about what is going to work.
Trust that feeling. Once you know what the feeling is telling you, then you can test it. If you don’t have that feeling, you will just choose something at random. Studies show that without intuition, decision quality drops. Recall the blog I wrote about kicking off the process with a mega brainstorm? This is where you need your gut.
Now I’m not saying data isn’t valuable. What I’m saying is, use your intuition first, then go to the data. If your data proves you to be wrong, but you still want to do it, go test it on live bodies.
The best testing protocol for a publication is shadow testing. Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA, wrote about that here.
Intuition is supremely important in developing publications like case studies. We use it for all of our case study interviews, for example.
And sometimes, your gut just tells you what’s right. You can chase all the reviews you want, but if your business is even remotely hidden or complex, a case study will do much more for you.