With an estimated 150,000 new websites and 7 million new pages added to the Internet every day, the biggest challenge for every entrepreneur is to get discovered and get some credibility for a new startup. I can attest from experience that publishing a regular blog to showcase your offerings even before they are ready for the market is a cost-effective approach.
Why Blogging Must be a Priority
The biggest roadblock is that startup founders already have too much to do building a product, mapping strategy, courting investors, etc. Carving out time to blog is a challenge; furthermore, few people are adept at writing. Nevertheless, here are seven reasons why you need to make it a priority.
Validate the need and your solution before spending money
Too many entrepreneurs spend big money on development only to discover that their product isn’t quite right for the market. Feedback from your blog will tell you quickly whether anyone agrees with your assessment and whether you have a welcoming customer base.
Find potential partners
Most 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.
Populate your team
Smart potential employees read blogs to stay up-to-date in their field and find new leaders. Employees choose to work for individual leaders they respect rather than for 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.
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 consult for interested customers to provide needed revenue while the product is still under development.
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.
Hone your communication skills
Writing a blog is all about communication, and that’s your number one job as the founder of a new startup. Trying to write something down for someone else to understand quickly will tell you if you understand it yourself. Even if you use a ghostwriter for your blog, the briefing process will enhance your skills.
Improve your Google rankings
Whereas Google and other search engines often take two or three weeks to include new websites in search results, new blog sites and posts are indexed daily. Well-written posts will attract inbound links, leading to better search performance.
Since a startup, by definition, is not yet a recognized brand, YOU are the brand based on your social media activity. People assume your startup is real if they see real people, and they will attribute credibility to your startup based on your credentials and the quality of information you offer through your blog.
The best part is that all this is not a revenue drain. The leading blogging platforms, including WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad, are free and can be linked directly to an existing domain name to consolidate your overall SEO efforts. Many people are now using WordPress to power both their corporate website and their blog. This reduces or eliminates site hosting costs. But if you still want your own hosting company, check out web host comparison sites like Hosting Foundry.
Business blogging is all about helping others and helping yourself at the same time. I wonder if the 70% of startups that fail in the first five years are the same 70% that don’t have a blog. What’s holding you back?