4 Reasons Why Every Startup Needs to Create Its Own Blog
By Gerard Smith, Business Development Intern, MSU Hatch & Spartan Innovations
As an agency-experienced PR student at Michigan State University, I’ve grown to understand and appreciate the many benefits that well-groomed blog content can offer organizations both big and small. In fact, I came up with the idea for this blog channel you are reading now and act as its editor.
It’s rather easy to start a blog — create a new tab on your company’s website or make an account on Medium. However, you’ll need to give people a reason to spend time with your brand, and there’s only one way to actualize this phenomenon: by creating appealing content.
For a startup, blogging comes in many shapes and sizes. But the process begins with determining who your audience includes and thinking critically about the topics they’ll find most intriguing. For example, our blog’s primary audience consists of young entrepreneurs and early-stage startup owners, as well as anyone who’s involved with entrepreneurship at Michigan State. The goal of our blog is to not only provide useful insight and ideas about starting a business, but to tell stories from The Hatch and MSU Entrepreneurship that readers will find interesting. In the end, we want to increase student and alumni involvement in campus entrepreneurship, as well as position our organization as a fresh source of startup-related guidance.
Thought leadership, employee profiles, how-tos, features, company news and updates, opinion pieces, and more are all popular forms of writing that your startup’s blog could embody. Among these, thought leadership is one of the most widely adopted themes. It involves exploring trends throughout the larger industry landscape that your business competes in and providing original insight regarding these attitudes or behaviors. (This blog is considered a thought leadership piece.)
One effective way to shape your content focus is to do some research and explore your competitors’ blogs to discover what they’re writing about.
~ Scroll down to discover an outstanding list of blog post options. ~
Now that you have some sense of where to start when producing compelling blog content, you may be wondering, “Why should I make such an effort in the first place?” Here are four reasons to consider.
1. To Increase Site Traffic and Generate Leads
First and foremost, blogging will increase traffic to your site or other owned page and generate leads and sales opportunities. As a consumer, do you frequently visit a brand’s site unless you’re interested in learning more about the company and what product/service it offers? For most, the answer is no.
A well-written blog can change that.
Although there are plenty of marketing tactics focused on generating leads, very few are more organic than a blog. This kind of content marketing will allow you to capture attention through a distinct avenue and engage individuals using something more unique than boring product information. If readers are intrigued by your writing, they’ll be enticed to browse your site and discover what else is available. To ensure you reach the right people, however, it’s critical to craft blogs with the interests of your audience in mind.
2. To Shape the Image and Voice of Your Brand
As a startup, differentiating your brand is of the utmost importance.
Entrepreneurs need to do everything in their power to positively position their brand in the mind of a consumer, whether it’s the first or fiftieth impression. This is especially true for a young business attempting to enter a highly competitive industry. By blogging in a consistent and genuine manner, you can shape the image and voice of your company to reflect its ideas and values.
Look at the attitudes that summarize your company’s culture and implement some of these aspects into your blog content. If you’re a more serious, down-to-earth team, your writing should reflect these beliefs. If your team is unconventional and somewhat goofy, don’t be afraid to give readers a sense of the way you collectively think and act.
Lastly, try to focus on subjects that will strengthen and reflect various elements of your mission. Understand the mutual convictions you share with your audience. In addition, make an effort to write in an understandable and friendly manner, and avoid using a lot of generic industry buzzwords as these won’t truly distinguish your ideas.
3. To Demonstrate Industry-Relevant Knowledge and Insight
As I mentioned earlier, thought leadership is one of the most popular blog themes for businesses of all kinds — and for good reason. Demonstrating an attitude of forward-thinking shows that your business is actively exploring the premier trends and next big innovations within your industry. Not only does it reflect in-depth knowledge, it positions your brand as a leader and your blog as a progressive source of information.
Plus, as a young startup owner, developing thought leadership pieces will help you learn more about trends and top-of-mind topics that are shaping your industry. By refining your own perspective on best practices and important shifts, you’ll be prepared to answer tough questions about how your startup is prepared for the future when it comes time to pitch your idea to potential investors or participate in an interview.
To gain a better comprehension of thought leadership content and what it looks like, check out these 10 awesome examples.
4. To Encourage Creativity Among Employees
Although there are plenty of business benefits to blogging, it should always act as a fun, creative outlet where founders and employees alike can express originality and hone their writing skills. Being an entrepreneur or working for a startup can involve many hectic and tedious activities, but taking the time to create a unique piece of writing is a perfect way to remain productive while refocusing energy. Not only will this help your startup achieve its content goals, employees will feel an enhanced level of satisfaction and creativity. They may even feel inspired to share their work on their own social media.
Furthermore, writing is a powerful skill in business communications. Consistent blogging will significantly advance your writing ability and, therefore, further the success of your startup and your career. Read more about why writing in business is so important.
It takes time to realize the full potential of your startup’s blog, but remember to enjoy the journey and celebrate symbolic milestones.
Now, get to writing!
~ Over 70 different blog content options to spur your motivation. ~
Gerard Smith is a senior at Michigan State University studying advertising & PR, and will be graduating in spring 2018. He has been working with The MSU Hatch for nearly three years. To read more from Voices of The MSU Hatch, click here.