5 Things Startups Should Blog About
When you think about building a business around a product or service, the farthest thing from your mind may be starting a blog on your company’s website. That’s completely understandable, though the benefits of having a company blog can be well worth the effort.
A company blog enables you to keep your customers (and investors) informed as to the status of various projects and establish your business as a leader in your industry. You may even grab some customers that might never have heard about your brand had it not been for a helpful blog post that answered a question or problem they were experiencing.
Think about it – people don’t randomly seek out your business unless they have a problem that requires addressing. Either they’re looking for a better app for their phone or even a place to go to relax. Your blog is a value-add for anyone willing to visit your site and see what you have to offer.
So, what should your startup blog about? You wouldn’t get very far talking about breakfast or some unrelated topic that doesn’t pertain to your business. There are, however, several things you can write about that will vastly improve your chances of turning readers into customers.
Blog About Your Company
One of the most important things to blog about is your company. Be sure not to make these posts aren’t overly promotional. Instead, give an update about the latest product or service your startup is developing – and be transparent about the good and the bad that is happening. This is especially important if you are taking pre-orders or crowdsourced funding.
You don’t have to give all of the details, but people love knowing about what’s going on behind the scense. Being active on your blog means staying fresh in the minds of your customers, especially when you have a product coming soon.
Your customers are also a great source of material for you to blog about. Do you have a customer with a story to tell? Consider sharing that story with your community. Perhaps someone was able to take something your company created and turn it into something entirely different? These stories help build your company’s reputation and directs the attention back to the customer.
Blog About Related Interests
If your startup is a related to photography, you might consider blogging about photography tips and the importance of good lighting. You may also want to discuss trends in the industry – and how your product offers a unique solution. You could also hare information about what might be coming in the next few years in the world of photography and cameras.
Blog About Local Tips
Startups that depend greatly on local business should involve themselves directly with the community. You may want to write about issues concerning the local community and recommend some local events such as festivals and concerts happening soon. The more value you add as a member of that community, the higher your chances of the community reciprocating interest in your project, and thereby increasing your chances of success.
If you’re a food truck, for example, you should definitely blog about local produce sources they would recommend, or share some recipes (not necessarily the secret ones). Every startup should strive to personalize their brand more than anything. As far as as food truck, if your head chef has a few tips for home cooks, share them on the blog and make sure his/her name is on the post.
Blog About Members of Your Team
Startups should also feature members of their team and put a human face behind your startup. There are a million different startups out there that promise to revolutionize the way people think about this and that. The ones that last are generally the ones that people connect the most with.
Putting a face behind various aspects of your company makes it easier to decide to stick around. People love knowing who is behind product development or hearing the story of how the founders came up with the idea of starting the company.
Blog About Your Products
When blogging about your products, consider the things you can’t or haven’t said in your promotional materials. Offer a value to the customer such as alternative uses or perhaps some helpful tips and tricks that can improve their experience with your product.
It’s important not to make every single post a promotional piece. Instead, feature aspects of the product that isn’t obvious or answer common questions in a longer form than a simple Q&A can facilitate.
These are just some of the many things your startup can start blogging about from day one. Keep in mind that there is no golden path to success that works for every business. The evolution of business over the past five years have proven that success comes to those that take the initiative and drive the most value before, during, and after the sale.
What would you blog about to bring value to your customers?
Thanks Kelly — good ideas. I tend to blog about either really random stuff or about entrepreneur leadership topics. I don’t really have a personal blog so I just mix it all up on the company blog. Do you think this is a good idea?
I think these are great ideas! Especially for someone that’s never considered starting blog, or a business just starting out.
I like the 5 points theme. I would add one more point … Blog about your Customers. Of course, this is done with traditional Customer Evidence efforts, but stories about customers have a deeper impact. Even if details cannot be shared there is almost always a way to tell “the customer story” in a fun and memorable way in a blog format.
From personal experience I can tell you it’s hard to write about your own company without coming across in a over the top way, but it is possible. As mentioned above I try to put it in the perspective of the customer. I also try to put them in the perspective of something that cannot learned anywhere else. Some tidbit that may not have made it to the mainstream stories and the traditional CustEv efforts. Usually the very personal stories of the actual users work best.
Jeff, I agree. Talking about customers and sharing their wins is way more exciting than blow your own bullhorn. The key thing is to find the great story and it’s there in each of us and each company. Sometimes it just take a little coaxing to get it out of a person!
I love the idea of blogging about your team members. Aside from giving a human face to your company, you also acknowledge and appreciate the value of the individual working behind the scenes to bring the startup to life. Especially in the small tech startup community in Seattle, I’d venture to say a person’s name can bring attention to a company just as much as a company itself.
The social media door is wide open here! I’d only encourage more of that!