Note: We wanted to create a detailed and useful post on startup blogs, which is why our article came out quite voluminous. So we have divided it into two parts. This is the second half of our two-part article about the differences between startup and large company blogs.
In Part I, we discussed how startups differ from enterprises and how these differences influence content production. We also explained why startups should not blog like large companies.
In Part II, we will share some useful tips on how startups can improve the effectiveness of their blogs.
As we’ve already shown, startups should not attempt to imitate big companies when blogging because such an approach can lead to a number of problems, such as missing the right target audience, or copying the writing style of the other blogs.
Startups should consider the specifics of their businesses when dealing with content.
If you are a startup owner wondering what exactly to do, this article is for you.
How Can Startup Companies Get a Hot Blog?
- Determine your exact target audience and develop buyer personas
The concept of the buyer persona allows you to define whom you want to target.
According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
This representation of your ideal customer includes such data as behavior patterns, goals, duties, challenges, and so forth.
A sample buyer persona.
A buyer persona will allow you to find out what problems your potential customers encounter, and consequently, what they want to read about.
Defining your buyer persona may greatly increase the popularity of your content as well as the number of leads.
According to Act On, companies that develop buyer personas may see a 900% increase in the length of their website visit, and a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue.
Target audience is also crucial for any business.
Jayson DeMers, Founder & CEO at AudienceBloom, says,
“Clearly defining your audience makes all the difference when you’re creating content. If you’re writing a piece about social media management tools, how do you frame it correctly? The answer, of course, all depends on who you’re writing for.”
Defining your buyer persona and target audience is a sure way to find the right people for your product.
As Laura Lake, digital strategist at YRC Freight, says,
“Reaching those interested in your product or service will ultimately put more money in your pocket.”
- Research competing startups’ blogs
Find out what competing blogs are writing about. This will help you find topics for your blog if none come immediately to mind.
You can use services such as Ahrefs and Buzzsumo to see which articles of your competitors are especially popular, and how many shares they gather.
To avoid repetition, you need to submit topics using some interesting and unusual angle. Another option is to make your article better than a competitor’s – bigger, more detailed, or more amusing.
Using this method you will be able to provide unique content that will bring you leads.
- Choose topics related to the specifics of the product
The topics of your blog should be related to your product for two reasons.
First, it would be strange if a startup that created a new augmented reality device, for example, wrote about the profitability of working for Uber or about famine in North Korea.
The startup should write about augmented reality or something connected to that technology. Otherwise, they will miss the right target audience, and, as a result, not get quality leads.
Second, you should know the topic you are writing about very well.
Even if you study a lot of articles covering a topic such as Customer Relationship Management, you won’t write about it as well as someone like an executive at Salesforce.
These specialists are pros and experts in the CRM sphere and they have more experience.
Mark Suster, General Partner at Upfront Ventures, concludes:
“So you developed a product for the mommy community? Blog on that topic. Do you have an application that helps mobile developers build HTML5 apps? You know your blog topic. Do you have sales productivity software? Obvious.”
- Be authentic and avoid trying to sound too smart or too funny
Read more: How The Size of Your Business Determines Your Content Marketing Approach and What Is Crucial for You to Know About This
Write frankly. Honesty leads to connection with people and your content will arouse sincere interest.
Mark Suster states,
“If you try to sound too intelligent you’ll likely be boring as shit. Most blogs are. I hate reading blow hards who try to sound like they’re smarter than the rest of us.”
The truth is that some business owners have succeeded because of the articles where they described their failures and showed themselves to be real people with real problems.
Take, for example, the blog of Groove’s founder, Alex Turnbull.
His blogging method was simple enough. In his articles, he gradually described the path of his company from the very beginning until it became a success.
The most remarkable thing is that all the articles are written in a sincere and understandable language. Turnbull did not hide his mistakes and showed that he is an ordinary business owner with ordinary problems.
Moreover, this approach made the blog extremely useful. After all, what can help other people avoid mistakes and solve their problems better than a living example of another person?
Such an honest approach allowed the blog to become very popular and win a large audience.
Look at how many shares his articles get. (Source: groovehq.com)
Be honest with people and it will bear fruit.
- Renew or convert existing content
Renewing existing content is the cheapest way to create great content consistently.
In other words, you should “repurpose” your content.
Neil Patel explains:
“If you’re not familiar with the term, repurposing means turning your existing content into a different form of content. For example, you might turn a blog post into a video, slideshow, or podcast. The main benefit is that all the research is already done.”
Thus, you already have all the necessary information for a new post. You just need to convert it into a different format.
Plus you can update your old posts and release them as brand new, simply labeling them as “updated.”
- Experiment with different types of content, design, and writing styles
In fact, this is what startups do: they bring something new into the world.
Emily Heyward, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist at Red Antler, states,
“Startups value disruption. By nature, they must. When your entire purpose as a company is to create something that never existed before, it trickles through the entire culture.”
You need to be creative and always try to find your own way to success.
Try new means of interacting with the target audience, such as podcasts or webinars. Try to insert jokes or wordplay into your articles. Experiment with the design.
For example, the founders of the famous blog Wait But Why didn’t have any drawing skills. They began to paint poorly, like young children in fact, and this style became their distinctive feature.
Just look at how many shares these articles have. (Source: waitbutwhy.com)
There is no doubt that such creativity, in addition to high quality text, allowed the blog to achieve huge popularity.
Startup owners shouldn’t follow the example of big companies when blogging because it can lead to various problems. They should instead differentiate themselves and deal with content taking into account the specifics of startups.
Here is what startup owners can do to improve efficiency of their blogging efforts:
- Determine exactly their target audience and develop buyer personas to provide only relevant content.
- Research competing startups’ blogs to get ideas for blog posts and produce unique content.
- Choose topics related to the product, because all topics should somehow lead a potential buyer to the product.
- Be authentic to arouse sincere interest in the articles.
- Renew or convert existing articles to save time and money and create great content consistently.
- Experiment with different types of content and writing styles to stand out from the sea of generic companies.
Follow our tips and you will be the winner. Goodbye! (source: youtube.com)
How are specialists in your startup engaged in content marketing? What advice would you give to startups that are just starting to produce content? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.