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Does my startup blog add value?
5 points by druk 55 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments
These are my first 4 posts. Should I continue or stop?





Almost no blog "adds value" just 4 posts in.

Maybe 100 posts in a well written blog provides credibility, organic search traffic, possibly starts to build an audience amongst your potential customers, and if you're lucky a viral post or two that'll help you ratchet those things up by an order of magnitude each time.

My question after skimming the first para of your 4 posts is "Who are you, what's your area of expertise, and what are your credentials there?"

The internet is awash with hot takes on what it takes to become a startup billionaire, why should I read yours instead of just waiting for pg's next post?

My next question is "Who are you hoping to 'add value' to here?"

Followed by "Why are you writing this? Who do you hope reads it? What do you hope they'll do if they read it?"

It's pretty easy to answer those questions (with a range of overlapping and simultaneous answers) for pg's blog. Or patio11's blog. Or Jacques Mattheij's blog. Or Cloudflare's blog. Or the Uber Engineering blog. Or most of the other blogs in my rss reader.

What are your answers?

Awesome questions! Honestly I started this just for fun and as a way to clarify my thinking about startup related topics.

I think that after 10-20 posts I'll be in a good position to define this.

I agree with your point tho, until I answer these questions myself I can't expect to be adding value by sheer luck.

It really depends on what you want from them. If you enjoy writing, then write. If you want traffic, then you can measure if they are or aren't generating it for you.

I have a few thoughts on the writing itself, if you're open for feedback. If not, look away now.

These posts feel like they could do with a lot more personality. As an example, in the anxiety post you talk about what anxiety feels like ("Your heart is pounding and your brain won’t shut up.") This is a _great_ opening. Tell me more.

But it very quickly turns into a list of generic (sorry) advice. Which is fine, but there are millions of '7 ways to help with anxiety' posts. But there's only one of you.

I feel like that post could have really focused on the specifics of your situation, rather than "eating healthy, exercising, getting 8 hours of sleep, being outside first thing in the morning, and meditation."

For example, it's _very_ interesting that you'd previously never had anxiety and that the interpersonal drama in your startup contributed to you developing anxiety. How did you know that you were anxious? How did you sense that it was different to short-term stress? Did the people around you notice? Did you withdraw from social event? I want to read that post!

Or to take a hackernews approach, what is it specifically about being in a startup that's anxiety provoking? Did you borrow money from friends that you can't afford to lose? Did you leave a comfortable job and are now watching your friend's careers progress while yours seemingly flounders? Are you struggling with technical challenges that you don't know how to overcome? Is the jump to management taking you by surprise? I want to read that post!

Hope that wasn't too harsh. You're doing great just getting things out there, which I have never done. So be proud.

Not too harsh at all. I've heard it from others but they were all my friends or family so I thought that they were biased.

I think that I do want to make it more personal. Will try to experiment with that a little bit.

Big thanks!

Blogs can add value in two ways that I know of, content marketing and audience. Content marketing is a strategy of providing quality content to improve SEO for your startup and bring in attention. Another way your blog can help out your startup is if you have an audience and you can inform that audience of your startup when you are launching it.

A few people have written about their experience optimizing blog posts for HN. I've mostly ignored that advice, focusing on writing the way I want to, for my own edification.

One thing that would help is an extra obvious link to your startup. I just saw the name mentioned in your bio.

The other thing is that you may want to think about your blog posts as marketing content. Since your blogging goal is to help your startup, ask yourself "How does this blog post convince my customers that I or my product are right for their business?"

Does it help you?

Founder blogs probably don't add direct value to most startups (there are exceptions). They can help in recruiting and other secondary activities every company needs.

Just in the sense that it's fun and clarifies my thinking. Not doing it to directly help my startup.

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