You have just launched a business.
You have to deal with getting your products right, passing the legal paperwork and stuff like that, then someone tells you that you also have to blog to attract customers.
People tell you that you have to create content to help your digital marketing efforts, you have seen reports about companies seeing more traffic, and in return business, when they blog regularly.
But how do you add blogging to the list of everything that you have to do to grow your startup without employing anyone immediately?
Yes, you can definitely run a successful blog as a startup founder with no staff. With all the tools and processes that make some part of content creation a breeze these days, you only need a few minutes each day to grow your blog.
Creating content for your blog
The major dilemma that you probably face when deciding to have a business blog is generating content for the blog. What do you write about when you are not a writer?
There are easy ways to solve that.
Outsource content creation
I know I said that you do not have to have staff before being able to run your blog. That’s why you have freelance writers and bloggers. They are not your staff; you pay them to write content for your blog.
Give a good freelance writer a guide to what your business is about, and what the blog will be focusing on. They will come up with content that connects with your audience.
This arrangement is easiest for you as a business owner because it then takes away the worry of writing the posts yourself.
Things you want to watch out for in a freelancer will be:
• They have an online presence that gives you an insight into who they are and what they do.
• They communicate promptly and professionally.
• They show an understanding/knowledge of your industry and your blog needs.
Finding freelance writers
Where do you get good freelancers that will not make you wish you’d written the damn blog posts yourself? There are several sites for finding freelancers, but from personal experience, the best are LinkedIn, Upwork and search engines.
LinkedIn lets you find freelancers easily. Bonus, your chances of picking one that fits is also higher because a presence on LinkedIn (almost) means that they are committed to their business.
Run a search for key phrases like ‘freelance writer’ or ‘freelance blogger’ and select people whose profile matches the phrases. Go through as many profiles as possible to increase the chances of finding a good fit.
Upwork (formerly oDesk) teamed up with Elance to form what is arguably the biggest freelance marketplace on the internet.
With over a billion dollars’ worth of work done annually, you can find anything from a writer to a virtual assistant.
Upwork gets a lot of bad rep from freelancers and contractors, and for good reason. As much as the website gives you access to a lot of professional workers, you may also find yourself dealing with writers who know next to nothing about what good content is.
Don’t make that mistake of hiring the first person who sweet talks you on how they have been writing since birth. Sift, sift and sift. Go through every application you receive for a job posting, and the responses will tell you who you can work with.
Finding good freelance writers through Google or Microsoft’s Bing is also a good option.
If they can rank high in search results, you know they probably already understand half of what you need them to do.
Writing the posts yourself
If you are one of those who do not believe in ghostwriting and you’d rather write yourself, that is also another option.
Two things that are important here is finding what to write about, and creating the time to write it.
Creating blog post topics and ideas
So…what do you talk about? I think entrepreneurs have more topic ideas sitting inside of them than they know.
The birth of your idea and how your product works are just two of the numerous places to get started.
Of course, it will be icky to blog only about your company, so you need content that covers your industry, as well as anything else that your customers may find useful.
Want to know the questions that your potential customers are asking about products or services similar to yours? Go to Quora or Reddit.
Check your competitor’s FAQs or run a quick Twitter poll.
Or ask yourself: what information relating to what your business does, will do a world of good to potential customers?
Answer their questions as authoritatively and simply as you can, in the form of blog posts. The most important thing about blogging is the usefulness it provides to your customers.
Creating time to write the posts
Making out time to craft your ideas into post makes the difference between having a blog and running a successful blog that brings customers your way.
If you knew that your blog could increase traffic to your website and increase sales more than traditional media could in a couple of months, you will make out the time to write.
To make things easier, it’s best to break the writing process into bits that are less time-consuming:
• Write and refine the blog post title
• Make an outline that includes all the points
• Write in bits. One piece of the post at a time.
This process can take anywhere from forty-five minutes to several days. This is determined by how much time you are able to create, versus how fast you are when writing.
Publishing your blog posts
If you have managed to get your ideas into blog topics and actually written them out, now the task of putting it in front of the right audience begins.
Your website is not the only means of publishing your blog posts.
These days, businesses are turning to publishing platforms like LinkedIn, Medium, Google+ and Facebook, to help their content reach a wider audience.
The only disadvantage with publishing on other platforms apart from your website is that you lose some of the traffic that should have come to your site, and you can also lose your published posts if anything happened to the platform.
Writing the blog posts may just be the easiest part of running a successful blog.
You need to spend more time promoting your posts than you did creating them.
It’s the only way to get more eyes on your content and attract customers.
Sharing your content takes more time and effort, but it is also the part that can be automated. There are tools that automate the sharing process so that you can free up time to do other tasks.
Buffer is a good option that also lets you automate your posts.
You can track the engagement of your posts and determine which post types performed better.
Reaching out to other bloggers
So after creating content and publishing on your blog, you still need to warm up to strangers so that they can help share your posts.
Sounds like the kind of marketing that no business owner signed up for.
But it is a kind of marketing tactic that elevates your business blog from a lone voice on the internet to an authoritative and popular voice in your niche.
Naturally, when looking for bloggers that will share your content, you want to pick one with an established audience who will be interested in your blog posts, and ultimately your products.
Imagine that your business produces fresh, natural fruit drinks without artificial flavors.
You want to reach out to blogs in the niche of healthy eating, weight loss, and diet, yoga, etc. Audiences here are expectedly people who are interested in being healthier, so a product that promotes healthy eating will resonate with them.
Businesses that produce or sell organic food also have a ready audience you can tap into.
A simple email telling the blogger or business owner about your company and focus of the blog post you want them to help you share is enough.
Most bloggers will be happy to share your content as long as it is good for their audience.
In return, you should share their own content too, or give their products a sincere shout out. Because one good turn deserves another.
As a startup founder, you cannot afford to ignore the benefits that your business will gain from blogging. It goes beyond publishing content to keep your website updated.
In this age, content creation as an inbound marketing strategy is arguably still one of the most important types of marketing.
It is worth investing your time and resources into building a business blog that attracts customers.
Understandably, you may not have the funds or space to employ staff for duties like blogging at the initial stage of your startup’s life, but you can still fit it into your to-do list.
Why don’t you save yourself all these stress and hire me?