This week we are talking about whether you, as an entrepreneur, should you be blogging. Why blog? Who are some interesting blogger/entrepreneurs? Does it affect your start up? All this and more coming up in the show.
An entrepreneur should blog
Chris and I believe that entrepreneurs should blog because:
- It can act as record of your thoughts: If you blog and you make an attempt to read back your old posts, you might be laughing off right now, thinking what were you thinking at the time of writing. A blog can be like a history book, learning from your mistake.
- An opportunity to build conversations and relationships with the readers: Blogging is a great channel to build feedback, but I would like highlight that it is a fine line between writing a good piece vs always promoting your content. Readers are looking for stuff that can help them, not stuff that is always trying to get them to buy something.
- A time to think deeply about a topic: Writing is also a good way to stand outside of a problem. For example, you might be too in love with your product that you forget what are the users looking for. Try writing down what is the next feature you are looking to implement, you will soon realised that you will be writing for a user point of view rather than yourself.
- Share experiences with others: I like to share a lot of my startup experiences on my blog, not because I want to drive traffic but because I want new entrepreneurs to learn the lessons so that they can avoid the road less travel.
An entrepreneur should NOT blog
However, blogging could sometimes take up too much time and brings much attention to the writer himself, which in certain case add stress to the entrepreneur’s startup life.
- Time commitment: Writing a good article takes time and time is the most valuable to an entrepreneur. In that 2 hours of quiet time, you can choose to come up with a valuable strategy for the company or just simple writing a good post. You make the decision.
- The blog itself becoming a distraction: Fab CEO Jason Goldberg has meticulously chronicled the journey of building Fab on his personal blog, Betashop. But the blog has been closed down. There were a great discussion on twitter why he should not shutdown his blog because fellow entrepreneurs can learn from his journey but to the writer himself he is finding it too much of a distraction.
- The blog itself becoming a promotion tool: Another reason that Jason removed his blog is because I allowed it to veer from its original mandate around startup transparency and lessons learned to more of a promotion tool for Fab… This is the kind of problem I’m worry too sometimes people might think that I writing just for the sake of promoting myself or rather your own product. So as a writer you have to be very careful as you promote your own stuff on your blog.
Here is a great example we can learn from
Ryan Hoover, the co-founder for Product Hunt1 used to be regular blogger. I’m one of his subscribers and personally I enjoy his writing. He even wrote a post about Blogging vs Building. In his post he shared his love for writing and how blogging helped him.
Blogging is a joy. I use it as a vehicle to explore product design, deconstructing the psychology and growth tactics used in many of today’s most successful consumer products. via Link
In fact, blogging helped him a lot. As his build up his audience with his blog, he shared his ideas and concept. Making it the best place to test out different concepts and ideas. Read how Product Hunt was started. It also gave him a sort of fame or status that he has deep knowledge in this area. Blogging also gave him the opportunity to write for bigger sites.
However he also knows when to stop. He knows that he needs to spent more time on building the product so he started writing less. I’m also receiving less newsletter from him expect the ones from Product Hunt.
Fortunately, I’m in a position to invest in my blog without sacrificing focus in building a startup. …For now. Link
Nevertheless, Ryan Hoover is one entrepreneur we can learn lots of stuff from. The learning he shared can be applied in all aspect of startup life be in SV or even Asia. You can follow him on Ryan Hoover
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- What is Product Hunt? It is like Hacker News for startup products. Every day people link to their new favourite applications, games, software, or services, and others can up-vote the selection. ↩