Does anyone have any noteworthy examples of successful entrepreneurs using blogs throughout their startup in a productive way? I mean even at the stage BEFORE they launch a product, or even have an idea.
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Personally I have been doing that.
Yes it's very important, it's another marketing strategy. I call them client magnets. You are able to share your developments, expertise. Read other blogs in your space you can see how it works. I.e. Storage mojo, he has over 200,000 readers, uses his blog to get consulting & speaker gigs
Having a blog is great for giving an update on where you are with your product development. This helps you build your community and get people interested in your startup. You get to share your blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram to drive more people to your blog. Also, your blog posts will get indexed by Google and people who are searching for your products will be driven to your blog.
Blogging can show other people that you are an expert in your domain. Then, when you launch your product, customers will know that your product is good, because you are an expert, you know well what you say. And investors will see the effort, and they will also be partially reassured about your capacity to succeed, precisely because you are an expert.
Then, in other words, blogging is NOT a waste of time.
It is up to your startup. If you think content will attract more people you should do that. I have a startup for entrepreneurs, and i know first-time entrepreneurs need guidance more than anyone else. So blogging will be a win-win for both side. In some cases it is really useless. For example, if you sell pen, the blogging will be time wasting. Potential customers do not expect content from you and you cannot generate relevant content in this topic.
I have one example even if it is 7 years' old. We were creating an e-Learning platform and we started with a blog to create a community of teachers. It allowed us to show our first prototype to 500 of them, collected a huge amount of interesting feedback and it allowed us to fine-une our product before the official launch. As we didn't had much money for promotion, it was also that community that started buzzing around (twitter/facebook...) and we had a nice product launch as they were also our first clients. So a blog can help.. but it can also be a pure waste of time if it doesn't create value for your company.
The more potential partners/investors you write to the easier it might be when you ask for help or money or both...Blogging shows effort...michael
Pre-idea/pre-product blogs can be used to help build an audience around a topic of interest; and perhaps to identify other people that are interested in the topic. They also can help to establish an online presence and your credentials as an expert. However, I believe in terms of getting a new business off the ground at the earliest stages, your time would be better spent seeking direct personal contact with individuals that would provide you with information to help guide your ideation. If you have an idea to build a better mousetrap, find a mousetrap buyer and have a conversation. That will get your business farther along than blogging about mousetrap design.
Depends on value proposition, target audience and thus marketing strategy. Startup or corporate, doesn't matter in my experience.
Not a waste of time at all. Stack Overflow is a classic example. Groove also has impressive blog giving in-depth details about their business, including precisely how their blog ads value to their business.