When consulting with early stage startups I’m often asked “what is the one thing I can do right now to improve my business?” All too often I find myself resorting back to the same answer: start blogging immediately or blog more frequently. Here at Sparkplug Digital we’re huge advocates when it comes to blogging and average at least 30 posts per month on this blog alone. There’s no hiding the fact that blogging takes work, creative energy, consistency, and a high level of commitment, but it can be said with the utmost certainty that the benefits outweigh the costs.
Early stage startups are in a unique position in that they’re often under the pressure of trying to raise capital, grow their user or customer base, and are in a constant state of flux while trying to push out a new product or service offering. It’s a stressful time and for these reasons it’s easy to put blogging off to the side and leave it low on the priority list, but I argue that startups should start blogging from day one. Blog in beta, blog before you launch, star blogging as soon as conceivably possible.
It’s not easy, it’s not quick, and it may not even seem logical when you first get started, but it’s an absolute must.
Here’s just a few of the businesses related benefits of blogging:
- Search engine/keyword optimization
- Helps build brand equity
- Attracts new customers and traffic
- Demonstrates transparency and a willingness to connect
- Gives visitors a reason to come back
- Establishes expertise in your industry
- Provides an opportunity for visitors to leave comments and ask questions
- Can help with PR efforts
If blogging is so beneficial, why do many startups avoid it all together? Let’s take a look at the excuses for not blogging. They tend to always be the same:
I don’t have time for it.
Make the time for it. It’s that important. Utilize members of the team who have any level of writing talent and adopt a mindset of accountability. Setting up an editorial calendar may help.
I’m not very good at it.
Blogging gets easier with time and at some point you’ve got to just jump in and start doing it. There’s also nothing wrong with hiring an outside writer or agency to help with creating content.
I don’t know how to get started.
Here’s a step by step:
1. Set up your blog. I always recommend going the hosted WordPress.org route , but here are some other options.
2. Pay attention to design. Design is important, as is on site social media optimization. Consider hiring a professional if you can’t do it yourself.
3. Think about and plan your content. Compare your business goals with your blogging goals.
4. Write a post. Write another one. Repeat indefinitely.
Starting a blog is easy. Sticking with it over time is the real challenge.
Fully understanding the benefits is all just a part of the process.