Should Your Startup Have a Blog?
Every startup founder knows that they’ve got to get the word out about the amazing things they’re doing if they expect to scale. That’s pretty obvious. What they may not know, however, is what strategies will be the best to get them the exposure they need.
Most people will turn to digital marketing, and they’re not wrong. (It’s a great place to start!) But just because Hubspot tells you that inbound marketing is the way to go and by creating valuable content you’ll start driving people to your site doesn’t mean you should start a blog.
Hard truth: SEO is harder than ever to manage successfully. Everyone and their mother has a blog, and guess what? They’re blogging about the same exact things that you are.
So what do you do? Let’s explore some situations in which to start a blog and some in which you shouldn’t.
When NOT to start a blog for your new business
You have a small team.
This is by far the most important reason NOT to start a blog for your new business. If you want blogging to bring you new leads, you’ll need time, consistency, and a hell of a lot of content. Simply put: if you have a small team, you do not have the bandwidth to accomplish this.
It’s likely that each team member brings a very specific skill set to the table—development, coding, design, sales, etc.—and if you want to scale at a reasonable rate, it simply doesn’t make sense to move any of these people off of their revenue-generating work to start blogging. It’s long-term strategy that—when done effectively—will take months and months to start yielding any results at all.
You sell a product.
You can certainly have an amazing blog based off of amazing products, but that doesn’t mean you need one. Again, think about the time and energy it takes to manage an effective blog…. If you sell products, you’re energy is better spent elsewhere.
For example, you’ll likely be hitting certain keywords in your blog posts to try and generate search traffic. (Which, again, is really tough because there will be tons of competition for those keywords for similar products, most of which Amazon and Target and similar brands already dominate.) Assume it takes you an hour to write an article…. You could spend that hour on Instagram engaging with people who are using those same keywords via hashtags and generate a lot more interest in your products much more efficiently.
When you SHOULD start a blog for your new business
You have a service and need to educate people.
Having good content is particularly important when you run a service-based business model, because it can be incredibly difficult to stand out from all the other service businesses doing the same thing as your startup. In this case, a well-curated blog can showcase your expertise and ability to problem solve in a way that can convince your potential customers to convert.
A smart blog will educate, and educating potential customers is the best way to empower them to make a smart decision.
You have at least one team member you can dedicate to writing.
First on my list of reasons NOT to start a blog is having a small team. However, if you’ve got at least one team member with the subject knowledge and the skill to write powerful pieces, then blogging might be a good use of their energy.
Too many leaders are convinced that they need a blog—but they can’t do it themselves—so they hire a writer who recreates generic copy they researched elsewhere on the web.
It’s already been done before, and it’s just adding to the noise.
Only start a blog if your team can dedicate the time to doing it well and distributing that content effectively.
You don’t know what to do with social media
So here’s the thing: we all have a wealth of knowledge (whether we realize it or not) but when we’ve got to make a plan for posting on social media, we go blank. It’s easy to get overpromotional on social platforms, but writing blogs will help you avoid that.
Well, when you write blogs, you’re sharing your knowledge—not what you’re trying to sell. Once you’ve taken the time to lay out all the points in a blog post, you can recycle all those points on other platforms. One blog can lead to a plethora of amazing social posts! Simply pull out some important points or great quotes and you’re good to go.
You absolutely should not start a blog if you and your team don’t have the time and energy to do it right. It’s not a set it and forget it kind of thing. A blog should play an active role in your customer acquisition strategy, and if your audience isn’t spending time on blogs or you won’t be able to drive much traffic in a crowded sea of SEO, look for a more efficient strategy for your brand.
Meet the Author: Shauna Armitage
Shauna is a Marketing Director or Fractional CMO helping early-stage startups scale with effective strategies, creative solutions, and unparalleled integrity by making the most of small budgets for maximum impact.
As a vocal advocate for women in business, Shauna is on a mission to redefine what it looks like to be a working woman and to support other women doing the same. She spends her free time traveling with her husband and four kids while drinking Coca-Colas. Connect with her on Instagram at @shauna.armitage.