Task: Create a blog (Content Marketing)


Create a blog with topics about the solving the problems of your target customers. Point this blog under your domain, like www.startitup.co/blog.

It's so important to start building your blog content early. The reason is because this blogging effort will take some time (2-6 months) before it actually starts to work for you. Google also doesn't just start ranking your articles immediately. They usually observe for a bit to see if you are here to stay before they place your articles high in its results.

The point of this blog is to create thought leadership, mind share, and trust for your brand. Your blog is not trying to promote your own products, but to let customers know that you know what you are talking about. This is what we call Content Marketing (Awesome Content Marketing Example Here).

Content marketing promotes a company's know-how and greatly increases the trust of customers through displaying a high level of expertise in the subject. If you were to buy a product from an expert (a company with a lot of knowledge sharing in its blog) or from a company who only claims to be an expert but has nothing to prove it - who would you buy it from?

The blog can also be used to promote your new features, but not to sell them. That's not to say you should never try to sell your product. Actually, you should definitely try to subtlely integrate your solution into an entry, but make the flow natural.

Case Study: Cisco's success is largement based on their documentations and the whitepapers they publish on IT knowledge. They have these whitepapers that teach you how to build a full data center (which is super complicated). And in the process of telling you exactly how to build it, they suggest you the Cisco equipment you can use as the buliding blocks. So, for people who are building million dollar data centers, many rely on Cisco's documentation. So, naturally, not only do Cisco's customers trust and rely on them, it's also a lot easier to just use Cisco's solution, since their solutions are the perfect building blocks for the structure they suggest in their whitepapers.

So you can see that you don't want to sell your solutions directly, but sell them in the right context.

Content Marketing Tips

Also it's important for you to have the blog under your domain, like http://startitup.co/blog. The reason is because a blog should be under your domain for it to help you with SEO.

Learn about SEO here: SEO explained in 2 minutes

Case Study: Mint, a personal finance organizer was sold for $170M, and had a successful content marketing strategy as one of the biggest reasons they got so big, so fast. After their acquisition, their methods got out and people found out that for every personal finance topic or problem, they had an entry or a landing page dedicated to it. They also used keyword research to find the topics that people cared about but nobody was writing about. Content marketing is also amazing for SEO as they embedded the keywords into their headlines and article URLs. For more information on Mint's amazing content marketing strategy, please read here: http://okdork.com/2008/06/03/startup-tips-how-i-grew-a-waiting-list-of-20000-at-mintcom-part-i/

Ways to find good topics to write about:

1. Use Google's Keyword Tool to find out which keywords are searched a lot, but has very little content dedicated to it (next step). There is a column that tells you the competition on a certain keyword. Obviously, keywords with high search traffic and with low competition will be easier to rank for.

2. Imagine yourself as a customer and google stuff like "How do I...". From the results, look for 2 things:

a. See if Google gives you a lot of results (meaning the topic is popular).

b. Look at the Alexa rankings for the top 5 results. If the top 5 results have low Alexa rankings (above 1,000,000 ranking - lower is better) and low PR (Page Rank), then that means that it'd be possible for you to write a topic on that keyword, and possibly beating them on it. Alexa rank under 1,000,000 will also tell you that the traffic you will get for ranking on the keyword will be worthwhile. Also check to see if their URL also has said keyword in it, because Google values URLs that have keywords in them. If it is too hard to beat them on it, then look for another similar keyword to write about.

If you use Chrome, I'd suggest you to install "SEO for Chrome" so you can easily check a competitor's Alexa Ranking. If you are using Firefox, try SEOQuake.

3. Find out about Keyword Competition to see which keywords are easier to rank for.

Another great way:

Test out the title of your blog post on Twitter first, before you write anything - an Andrew Chen method.

1. Tweet the title of your blog post.

2. Look at the amount of retweets on the post.

3. If there are a lot of retweets, write the blog post.

Andrew Chen GH Tweet

This is the tweet that Andrew Chen used that helped him find the topic for the legendary blog post.

Also read: A scientific guide to writing great headlines on Twitter, Facebook and your Blog

Blogging tools and platforms:

  1. WordPress (Online or host yourself)- The #1 blogging platform in the world. Also great for creating any kind of website you want. You can download their script and load it onto your server to host your own blog and install your own plugins to make it look customized.
  2. Tumblr (Online) – another extremely popular blogging platform.
  3. Posterous (Online) – yet another blogging platform.

Where is your blog? Please input the URL here.


Write an entry on a topic that addresses a problem of your target customers. The keywords that your customers search for would be great titles.

Example: "How to get 1000 users in 1 month"


Write an entry (possibly targeting different customer types) every 2 days.


For entrepreneurs: "How to get 1000 users in 1 month"

For investors: "StartitUp startup <name> just got into Techstars!"