Why Your Startup’s Blog Will Fail and How You Can Fix It
Posted on October 29, 2014
Google’s Penguin search algorithm update changed the game of SEO in 2012. Content creation became exponentially more important for search rankings, which in turn, made corporate blogs a strong tool. Soon, many businesses realized that quality blogs can lead to much more than good search rankings – increased sales, investment, and industry credibility. Unfortunately, most corporate blog managers have no rhyme, reason or strategy. This not only is a waste of time and effort on the company’s dime but also can actually bring harm to your precious brand. Here’s how to avoid those mistakes and set your blog on a profitable path.
What’s your goal?
Like every project within business, you first need to establish the goal for your blog and metrics to measure its success. Fortunately, the overarching goal is always the same: make money.
If you’re in a non-profit or charitable organization, the goal is still to gain resources to benefit those in need; for that, you need money or an equivalent of it. The question then shifts to, what form of money are you seeking?
- Other aid.
Once you determine your baseline goal, it’s time to narrow down your target audience
Who’s your audience?
If you’re seeking revenue, your target audience is your customers. It’s my strong opinion that regardless of your overarching goal, you should always have a conversation with customers on your blog (this means actual comments, replies, and shares!). As a startup, if you open up positive lines of communication with customers, you’ll understand them, build great products, and gain traction. Then, your conversation with investors and the industry is that much easier.
If you’re trying to raise capital, your blog will want to be geared towards investors. They care that you’re talking with customers, but are most likely not as concerned with the nitty gritty. Traction, other investor interest, financials, and milestone achievement is the focus.
Industry credibility can be extremely important especially if you’re new or young to an industry. People must first trust you, and your blog can help build that trust and display your expertise.
Give before you receive
The goal of your blog is to build a relationship with your target audience. As is with normal human relationships, you build this rapport through good will. Give before you receive and they will have incentive to talk with you (actually TALK – ie comment, like, share). To be able to give something of value, you need to understand what the audience desires.
Business customers want to make more money, so tell them how they can specifically do that. End consumer wants vary widely. Figure out what’s important to potential clients and tell them how to achieve this. IMPORTANT: DON’T be “salesy.” Blog about subjects that matter to your customer that aren’t all your product. You have to build trust before you shove your solution down their throat… then again, that should never be your intent.
Investors want to know about companies that will bring their investors a large return. Therefore, tell them how your company is on the path to do so. Blog about your milestones, traction, and how you’re achieving your overall vision. It may even be a good idea to talk about other interesting companies/services that are in-line with yours.
The industry wants expertise and fresh insights. Connect with industry peers and tell them what’s to come, trends, and research that can benefit stakeholders as a whole.
A corporate blog takes a lot of time and investment. If you’re committed to attracting money, then you must invest in building relationships with those who can give it to you. A corporate blog is a great avenue to do this. Identify your goals, target audience, and their desires, then watch the fruits of these relationships unfold.
What blogging strategies have worked best for you?