Everyone seems to struggle to get a their five minutes of glory to give exposure to their startup. That is, nowadays, being featured on Product Hunt, Reddit or other major publishing site that will drive thousands of visitors to your site.
However, very few people do something about it, and most of them overlook a very powerful tool that's been there for ages, it's quick and easy to set up and will most likely not die for at least a few more years: a blog.
This post was inspired by Mark Suster's blog entry Why Startups Need to Blog (and What to Talk About...). It is a really inspirational piece about something that oftentimes goes underrated by most new startups.
"Blog will come later", "now we need to focus on sales", "we're not good at that" and other excuses are the most common among entrepreneurs not willing to explore blogging as a sales channel.
Blogging isn't just for Writers - it's for Entrepreneurs
Very few people are born blessed with the skill of agile wits or sharp writing. But nowadays, you do not need to be Shakespeare to write on the internet.
To start with, Google - and most search engines - favor original and new content. If you think it through, that means one thing: Google will favor your site if you create new content frequently.
How frequently you do it and what you should write about will come later. The main point here is that you will rank better if you blog on your site.
Full disclosure: Blogging is Not Easy
Blogging takes time, and time is gold. More than that: in startups, time not spent in sales is time you lose. A blog, however, can help you leverage your sales process.
Blogging will get in the way, because it will not be a priority. Whatever thing you don't schedule accordingly, will be put off again and again, and pushed back into the backlog.
Blogging is a skill that you will learn by doing. In hindsight, when I read the blog entries I published three years ago, I still hang my head in shame. Sometimes I want to gouge my eyes out at entries like the first post I ever wrote for my company, like Takeoffs & Landings.
Why Should You Be Blogging Right Now?
Having explained the main problems and difficulties you will encounter as a novice blogger, it is time to cover the benefits:
You will give Google reasons to make your rank better: Start posting once every two weeks, and as you become more agile, try increasing the blogging frequency. It will start making a difference once you post more than a piece per week. Every time you post new content to your site, you're forcing a reindexing on the search engines, which will reflect on your ranking on the search results.
You will grow a readers base: This might not be immediate, but you will start slowly gaining followers and email subscribers. Some will read you because they like your product, your company, or just because they are your friends. They will, in turn, share it on major social networks, thus increasing your reach.
You will create a new sales channel: by choosing the right keywords and topics, you will increase the chances of someone landing on your site that needs exactly what you offer. If you want to learn how to create a blogging strategy, you can read my own post on the subject: How to Create a Blogging Strategy for your Company.
You will learn how to blog: Blogging is something you learn by doing. Stop reading about how to blog and start doing it. But if you want to have some guidelines on how to produce a blog entry, you can read my post How to Create a Damn Good Blog Post or Buffer's How to Write a Blog Post.
You will learn how to allocate time for non-essential tasks: If you do not include blogging on your weekly schedule, you will not do it. Same for the goals: if you don't set some blogging goals, you will never accomplish them. Start small, and sooner rather than later you will see that you're blogging faster and better than ever, thus allowing you to allocate time for the next non-essential task.
You will invest in your own long-term vision: Results will not come overnight. They start kicking after you consistently blog for a while, promote your blog writing, and once the SEO effects settle on the major search engines. In hindsight, I am most thankful for having started blogging in 2013, because now my work ranks really well in the major search engines and I receive a significant amount of leads through my websites.
You know what is the best time to start blogging? Hint: it's not today.
The best time to start blogging is yesterday. Therefore, you are better off starting right now and catching up, as this is a long-term investment whose fruits you will want to reap as soon as possible. Start sowing now.
As an entrepreneur, you start as an underdog, and need to grow a reputation and credibility. A blog is a cheap way to do it, but takes time and effort over time. If you achieve the sufficient consistency, you will start going up Google's ranking in a matter of weeks.
Be the first investor in your project.