I’m curious about what people think about blogging on your startup’s website about the ups and downs and lessons learned. Does it look bad to perspective customers? I think there’s a potential upside in generating content, as long as it’s somewhat specific to the target audience.
I blog and tweet about the “back stage” parts of my SaaS like revenue, number of customers, etc., and in the past I’ve been pretty open on Facebook about it.
As far as I can tell nothing but good things have come of it. My product is scheduling for hair salons and I’ve had friends and acquaintances say stuff like, “Hey, my stylist just asked about salon software. Maybe you should talk to her.” I also have people ask things like, “Hey, I’m trying to get more customers for me e-commerce business and I’ve read about your success. Can you help me?” These things almost certainly wouldn’t have come my way if I hadn’t been publicly talking about the gory details of my business.
I think part of the reason it has worked well for me is because my prospects aren’t necessarily big internet people, especially not big readers of personal tech/biz blogs. That’s obviously not true of every business’s target market. I’ve mostly put the brakes on my Facebook posting because I’m now FB friends with some of my customers and I don’t necessarily want their perception of my priorities to be a function of my sales victory declarations and stuff like that.
What I think would probably apply to any business is that it would be a good idea to blog about “back stage” affairs on a personal blog and “front stage” stuff on the business’s blog (if it exists). I did have a blog on my SaaS’s site for a long time but then I realized a) I couldn’t come up with content my prospects cared about and b) it was not automatable and put me on an unsustainable treadmill of content generation. What I’ve started to do instead is to add permanent useful content to my site.
My mindset these days is that because I have such limited time to bootstrap my SaaS, I must automate my marketing system as much as possible. Unless I can delegate blogging as a marketing tactic to someone else (which I can’t), it’s not automatable, so I don’t do it. I only blog personally for accountability.
I like the idea of two streams, that way the content on the business side stays more applicable to customers and prospects.
Time for blogging is always the challenge but I’m looking at it as a marketing investment.
I think it depends on the nature of your startup. If the ups and downs you are sharing are of interest to your customers (perhaps because you are your own customer) it seems reasonable to have it there. If, however, your ups and downs would be off-putting, it’s probably best to be open with your peers elsewhere.
GrooveHQ have been REALLY transparent and it seems to be working for them. But as @NicheDiver said it depends on the interest of your customer. GrooveHQ’s customers are SaaS companies that love this kind of content.