With hundreds of thousands of new websites and millions of new pages added to the Internet every day, the biggest challenge for every new business is getting found and getting credibility. With success stories from the likes of HubSpot, KISSmetrics, Quicksprout, Buffer, Groove and Shopify, there is no denying the fact that blogging can significantly improve your marketing efforts.
These companies have consistency provided some of the best information about their industries and they continue to educate their customers with great content. Publishing regular educative content properly, even before your product launched, is one of the most cost effective approaches in time and money.
The biggest roadblock is that startup founders already have too much to do building a product, mapping strategy, courting investors, etc. So finding time is hard, and good writing is simply not what most people do. But here are some key reasons why you need to give blogging some priority:
1. You can validate the need and your solution before spending money. Too many entrepreneurs spend big money on development, only to find out that the solution isn’t quite right. Feedback from your blog will tell you quickly whether anyone agrees with your assessment, and whether you have a customer base waiting.
Most products are in constant iteration. There is nothing wrong with sharing your progress with your customers via a blog. And seeking feedback from the people that use your product on daily basis.
2. Find potential partners. Most of the people you would want as co-founders are now cruising the relevant blogs for ideas and partners. It’s a great way to find like-minded people, and get a dialog going. From a networking standpoint, it’s a lot more efficient than going to seminars and other industry events.
If you do it right, you can attract some of the best thought leaders, and influencers in your industry, some of whom could even begin to share their ideas with your audience. You will indirectly gain exposure for your startup.
3. Attract smart potential employees. Smart potential employees are also reading blogs to stay up-to-date in their field, and find the new leaders. More and more, employees work for people they respect, rather than companies. Take the initiative to put yourself out there.
Of course, ultimately you want employees who can blog for you and your company as well. A great blog can attract great minds who could potentially work for you in the future. You could save time and resources when it comes to hiring the right people for your startup when the time is right.
4. Cultivate early customers. It’s never too early to start a dialog with customers, as long as you don’t mislead them about where you are in the cycle. Build your brand and get leads today. There’s also the opportunity to do some consulting with interested customers to provide needed revenue while the product is still under development.
Trust goes a long in business. If you can win their trust right from the beginning and respond to their comments and feedback, they could attract a lot more customers for you.
5. Build your credibility with investors. A blog is an excellent vehicle to meet investors, before you are ready to ask them for money. You will also learn about competitors, who can’t resist responding to a well-written blog.
Once you gain real traction as an expert in your space through the blog, investors will put you at the top of their funding list. Show investors that your team has industry knowledge to pull it off successfully.
6. Improve your communication skills. Writing a blog is all about communication, and that’s your number one job as founder of a new startup. Trying to write something down for someone else to understand quickly, will tell you if you really understand it yourself. Even if you use a ghost writer for your blog, the briefing process will enhance your team’s writing skills.
7. Your Google ranking will go up dramatically. Whereas Google and other search engines may take two or three weeks to list your new website in search results, new blog sites and new blog entries are indexed every day. From comments, you will accumulate external links both into and out of your site, and get additional ranking from Google.
Business blogging, or value-blogging, is all about helping others and helping yourself at the same time. Make that investment today and reap the long-term benefit. What’s holding you back?