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When does it make sense to start a blog for your startup?

I'm working with my two founders, we have a MVP up at lifeguides.me.

We are trying to attract more users, and wondering if starting a blog makes sense to try and push out our most interesting content we create, tell the story of why we started our company, and talk about what's going on in the continuing learning space.

Our fear is that 2-3 hours/week of work will yield 5-10 more visits per day.

Does anyone have any experience starting a blog for a consumer focused startup? When is the right time to start one? Any advice on how often to post?

19 Replies

Brahm Kiran Singh
3
0
Brahm Kiran Singh Entrepreneur • Advisor
Eng Head - Deep Search at Quixey
In my humble opinion, don't do anything half heartedly. If you are starting a blog, know that it is going to take some time every week to post. Post at least once a week (or if not, at least stick to a schedule).
If you are busy building a lot of features, now is probably not the best time to start a blog. Just my two cents. Would love to hear what others have to say
Mike Moyer
0
0
Mike Moyer Entrepreneur • Advisor
Managing Director at Lake Shark Ventures, LLC
start right now, this minute, right away. Post as often as you can. The more you post the better it will work. -Mike
Diego Basch
2
0
Diego Basch Entrepreneur
Holder of Self-Referential Title
Blogging can be very effective if you do it right. It worked great for my startup, and for others that I invested in / advised. If nothing else, it shows that your company is alive. You can't just blog willy nilly though. You need a plan, and an audience that you're writing for. You must post your content to the right channels. Some posts may be right for Hacker News, others for specific subreddits. In a nutshell: 1) Find topics that your target audience would be interested in. 2) Figure out the right tone for your posts. You can be controversial, funny, serious, anything but boring. 3) Find the right distribution channels for your posts. Measure everything. Iterate. All it takes is one Hacker News front page to get 20k-40k visitors. That happened to me at least 20 times both for my old company and for my personal blog. Diego
Ryan Nurmela
0
0
Ryan Nurmela Advisor
Managing Director at bigCampus, Inc.
If your blog is integrated into a strong social media campaign (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) then it makes a lot of sense to go ahead and develop that blog. At the very least you'll generate 5-10 extra visits a day, improve your search rankings, and create a community regardless of whether it is small or not. Ryan Nurmela CEO & Co-Founder, QuantumCamp Chairman, Leaf Education [removed to protect privacy]
Janice Mandel
0
0
Janice Mandel Entrepreneur • Advisor
Writer, Communications Strategist, Advisor
I agree with Ryan. The campaign is important and it is good to measure what works best and leverage that direction. Sent from my iPhone
Steve Brett
0
0
Steve Brett Entrepreneur • Advisor
Start now but don't post everything, every day.

Branding and marketing are two of the keys to any successful business. Without a brand (vision, mission and promise), you'll never carve out a niche in the marketplace and you won't be able to communicate "why" when the consumer says "what's in it for me?"

Once you've got that branding piece locked in you can create your campaigns: social media, crowdfunding, consumer marketing, vc and capital...whatever.

So blog now with a purpose. Work on your vision and mission. Then blog it. Talk about what you're doing (and align you comments to the brand promise) whenever you hit an important milestone, or when you can tag into a trending topic or other discussions.

And don't overdo it bc you know, nobody likes spam ;-)
Kirsten Lambertsen
0
0
Kirsten Lambertsen Entrepreneur
Founder, CEO at Kuratur, Inc.
There are volumes of great information out there on the benefits of blogging and strategies for using it successfully.

Copyblogger and Jay Baer are just a couple of good resources. Buffer also shares a lot of great stuff about what's worked (and not worked) for them.

http://leostartsup.com/2011/06/how-i-used-guest-blogging-for-my-startup/

But I agree with others here that it is never too early to start. Many experts recommend blogging before you even build your product, as a customer discovery technique.
Anthony Zeoli
0
0
Anthony Zeoli Entrepreneur • Advisor
Digital Strategy and WordPress Consultant and Trainer
I'm a little late to this conversation. Everyone before me has posted a great reason for your business to start a blog.

From my experience, I started a blog for one company I was hired to turn around. In that blog, I talked about the challenges people were facing and gave them the answers they were seeking, so they would have confidence that we were listening to user concerns and that we were making progress. I would also post new development updates with tutorials on the blog, to give our users information about those new releases and how to implement them.

A blog is the voice of the company. Tying that blog to social - post notifications to all social media accounts when a new blog post is available, is a critical marketing tool.

I have found that there are two kinds of companies:

1. companies that want to say something
2. companies that fear saying something

The companies that want to say something are eliciting trust and generating the authoritative voice that customers today want to see. Be silent and learn that silence is deadly. Today, transparency wins you good will. Be vocal and learn that your exuberant enthusiasm will generate excitement for your brand and new fans, partners and friends.

That's my advice, for what it's worth. I never again want to work with a company that wants to hide information out fear that seeing some negative replies is a bad thing. Remember, you can always control/moderate comments anyway. If you don't give your target audience any information that can be found in a Google search, then you're pretty much acting like the second example I provided.
Jeff Axup
1
0
Jeff Axup Entrepreneur
Sr. Manager, Palo Alto UX Design Research Group at Bosch
I'm not sure you should start a brand new blog as a way to bring new customers to your brand-new startup. There are better and faster ways to do customer development.

A new blog is like a startup. It won't take off for a while. I don't think it's a particularly good method of bringing in large numbers of people.
It is different if you have already been running a blog for 2 years, have a huge following, and then use that blog to bring in new customers for your new startup. That might work.

On the other hand, a good reason for a startup to start a new blog is to start building a reputation as an authority in your area and to build trust with potential investors and customersyou already have a relationship with.

We started a corporate blog a few months ago:http://artemisfashion.tumblr.com
At first I didn't even bother to make it public. It was more a place for me to start collecting some news stories and start writing things pertinent to the startup.

Eventually it couldbecome popular, and we do auto-post the blog articles to our corporate twitter account, but our corporate site and our Facebook site are attracting way more new customers than our blog. That could change in the future if it gains a following, but I primarily want the blog to refer journalists and investors to, so that they can get familiar with the space we're in.

Also: if you're doing anything other than simply reposting links, blogging is extremely time consuming.
James Dong
0
0
James Dong Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur

One other perspective to add... I think we live in a time and place that is so unique because instead of using trying to figure out how to monetize what we're good at, if we just proactively push out content and push out what we're doing, serendipity often hits!

I'm starting a blog now, before even really launching to users. Note, to echo what others have said, I've seen metrics that if you fall below your posting "schedule" it will take months of posting regularly to recuperate loss of readership. Therefore set an easy schedule that you know you can follow. I'm shooting for one post a week, which should be doable!

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