Honest Frustrations and Lessons Learned: Activating content for startup blogs

Blogging can be an extremely frustrating endeavor.

I know I’m frustrated. Are you?

A lot of time goes into the creation of quality content. But creating quality content and successfully activating that content are two different games. They’re also two or three different positions if you work at a big company that can employ writers AND marketers. (You’d probably have a social media manager and a couple interns in there as well.)

Here’s the thing with startups: You don’t have that manpower. Your writer is probably also your content marketer and your social media manager. But to stand out in the changing landscape of marketing, content creation is becoming a necessity, even for bootstrapped startup teams.

Did you know that 61% of consumers say they feel better about companies with custom content, and that they’re more likely to buy from them?

Yeah, so there’s that.

Limited manpower doesn’t stop startups from launching innovative technology and changing niches of life from the back of coffee shops and cramped office spaces.

Limited manpower doesn’t have to stop you from activating kickass content either. You have something to say, and a really big stage (the internet) to say it on. But if you can’t find other people to join your rallying cry and say it with you – that big stage will swallow you up in all the noise and your blog will just sit there, waiting for someone to listen.

You can write amazing content every day but if you can’t get people reading and engaging, it won’t do any good.

As we’ve begun to bolster our content creation strategy at Skaled, we’ve been learning a thing or two about activating this content along the way. Here are some tricks we’ve picked up on so far…

Interview people that matter

Your blog might not matter just yet — so find people that do. Locate the voices that lead the conversation in your industry. A quick search of “Top (fill in your industry) Blogs” will tell you who has the microphone right now. Contact these people and request interviews around topics they’re authorities on. Everyone enjoys the flattery of being turned to for specific topics, and requesting an interview is a mutually beneficial way to present their knowledge to your audience. You get to feed off of their extended reach, and they get an additional platform to extend it even further.

(If you’re interested in being interviewed for Skaled in the City, email me at [email protected] and let’s chat!)

Use the news

With the heavy proliferation of content these days, people are overwhelmed by the options for consumption. A quick scroll through a Facebook newsfeed can ambush you with stories ranging from international news to your great aunt’s new casserole.

Target the audience that cares about the same topics you care about by providing quick wrap-ups of what’s hot in the news. This can be a daily, weekly, or monthly offering, and can be delivered in the form of a blog post or a newsletter.

People will appreciate the easy access to curated content, and it can also improve your search results by including timely keywords that people are likely to be searching for.

(Startup news wrap-ups are on our ever growing to-do list at the moment, so keep an eye out for those.)

Connect with fellow content creators

One thing I’ve discovered in my various blogging endeavors is that bloggers love to help bloggers.

Reach out to similar startups who are creating content, and collaborate on ways to help each other. There are plenty of potential readers out there to go around, so don’t look to other blogs as competition. View them, instead, as an extension of your community.

Consider offering guest posts for bigger blogs, or offering the opportunity for bloggers to guest post on yours.

Even if they don’t have time to work something out (because let’s be honest, none of us has extra time at startups) your email will at least serve as a blip on their radar and they’ll be more likely to check out your blog themselves, the next time a post is published.

We’ve recently started a Facebook group for startup blogs to share and spread their posts. If you’re in charge of your startup’s blog, join the club!

Alert your network

You don’t need to set up a Mailchimp newsletter to alert your network that you’re blogging.

Don’t go overboard and hound them with updates, but do send an email to people in  your network, asking them to follow your blog. Invite them to join the conversation by including links to your social sites and email subscription.

This is especially useful when you write something that could be of particular interest to certain people, in which case you’ll want to customize the communication to explain why you value their feedback on this topic. Did you just write a killer piece on ways for agencies to better identify useful startups? Does your cousin’s wife work at an advertising agency? Send a friendly note with a link to your piece.

If it’s good, she may even share it within her own social networks and that can be extremely beneficial to your numbers.

 

In appreciation of you making it to the very end of this post (I know, you’ve got emails to write!) it’s now time for that dose of honesty I promised.

We don’t know the secret to building a blog with 100,000 monthly readers and 75 comments on every post.

We’ve yet to harness every tactic of utilizing content to market our business.

But we’re learning as we go and we hope that you’ll join us on this journey.

Skaled in the City has been changing a lot lately, in hopes of cultivating a useful source of information for both startups, agencies, and publishers to discuss sales and emerging technology trends. Our job is to connect startups to the movers and shakers of their industry, and to foster the innovation behind their ideas.

This blog is a place to not only share that knowledge, but to learn from you as well.

We’d love any feedback on how to continue to improve our content, while we help you to do the same.

 Does your startup have a blog? Do you have advice to add on activating blog content? Please share in the comments section below.

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