Startup blogs and startup blogging: lean company, lean visibility
Along with lean business methodology come budget-friendly marketing procedures.
Presumably, if you are setting forth with an MVP, you are also looking for all kinds of hacks and devious payment-avoiding methods with regard to your online visibility. After hearing massive success from Leo Widrich’s guest blogging campaign with Buffer – leading him to generate hundreds of thousands of users – maintaining a startup blog and guest posting for backlinks has become massively popular. When done right, it can be the goose that lays the golden egg for your startup. But consistently good blogging is not something that can be crammed into the last ten minutes of the day..
Blogging is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey!
All it takes is a half an hour on the computer, send it out to the top 50 blogs of your industry and sit back and wait for the customers to come flooding in. Right?
This blog post was inspired by my dilemma of either:
1) mass contacting the top generalized blogs, ezines, online newspapers and so on, or:
2) carefully targeting a niche of those who would most likely be interested in what we had to say and out of curiosity would Google us and see what we do – thus generating traffic.
Lots of people from everywhere, or a few good men?
Quality, quantity… how do you get to the quality quantities? The ones that will truly find your message, your knowledge and your advice constructive? Or are massive quantities of random clicks just as valuable?
As a startup, at the core, you want people to really really care about what you are making and give detailed feedback so you can build on their advice. It’s part of the spirit of startups. There is more weight given to creative accomplishments than fiscal rewards (although the money is very useful!). They want to be useful and appreciated. So the startup blog posting should be of the same spirit – it will form part of the company culture after all.
But, on the other hand, reaching a wide audience is important in order to find those conversions within the masses. Everyone will want this awesome product, after all
What we chose, and why
In the end, we have decided on a strategy of beginning with the specific and working our way up to fame and fortune. At this early stage of our development, it is far more important to receive constructive criticism from tech-savvy and productivity-savvy people. These will mostly be found in the smaller nooks where the experts and the avid geeks of our service will be hanging out. Hopefully, they will love our service, give us some ideas, and virally spread it through their networks.
When we have a much more streamlined and user-friendly version ready, we’ll roll it out to the masses and hit them hard with some experienced blogging based on the practical experiences gained from starting a business. Because that’s the other benefit – as we build towards bigger audiences, our targeting and writing will get better through feedback, comments – and hopefully we will have built social media virality.
Other needs require other remedies – choose the shoe that fits
It can be argued that both approaches can be applied, but this would mean writing many, many articles per week. If you are lucky enough to have enough staff to do so, that is wonderful. But as a startup, you might have just one or two interns plus whatever free time the CEO can make for blogging. Always write new, original content. It is very bad practice to repeatedly post the same article on other websites, and will end up giving you negative press and eventually blocked as a guest poster. Re-blogging is also not recommended as people will see it for what it is: lazy.
There are places where you can simply advertise your content for free without being accused of duplication. For our particular area, virtual technology, we use the following:
Google+ (targeted communities)
LinkedIn (targeted groups)
twitter (targeted users)
Places like Pinterest and Facebook are not where we expect to find productivity hackers, and it is important for your morale (AND productivity!) not to spend precious time posting in places where barely a handful of people will value what you put there. But they do work for certain categories of business, and so should not be ruled out.
Blog research is slow, if it’s done well. But you cannot give it less effort than any other part of your business. Building a trusted brand requires consistency and energy, and listening to the crowd.
The internet is very profitable on budget if used wisely.