We’re starting this blog a little backward. We’re not selling anything. There’s barely a website. No logo. No service or product. Also, the idea of a blog might seem somewhat outdated.
Why am I doing this again?
This was the first question I was going to ask him on our next call.
“Why are we creating blog content before we do anything else?”
There’s no logo. The website is barely touched. No social media accounts.
What’s the point of starting this blog?
He credits this wild idea to a podcast called Mixergy. Mixergy is the podcast that taught him golden tidbits about being an entrepreneur. It also opened him up to hiring from Upwork.
There was an episode on Mixery about creating content first.
It would be best if you wrote for a year, then build your audience, then start the business.
This way, when you are ready to sell, you have an audience to sell it to.
With one of his previous businesses, he felt he was too impatient. He wanted to “growth hack” or take shortcuts. If he didn’t see instant results, he would jump through different business models to try to find something else.
However, the strategy of creating content first made sense to him.
After all, if you’re going to sell something, you need people to sell it to. There are different ways you can go about that, including buying ads, but the results may not be as consistent as audience building.
Also, creating content is free.
Trust and credibility are essential when starting a website. It would help if you had a relationship with someone before you try selling to them. The purpose of having a blog first is to build that relationship.
Let’s consider the alternative. Instead of trying to start with content, you go a more traditional route.
You pay for a logo, business cards, website, the works. However, all of those things cost money upfront. You’ll eventually run out of money to funnel into a business that’s not making money yet.
With content, the efforts will eventually pay off because of the relationship building.
Let’s say this blog reaches a subscriber goal of 1,000 e-mail subscribers. 10 of those subscribers turn into customers. That’s ten leads that you have to work with and validation that your business idea is working.
You can then launch your business starting with those ten people, as a means of validating your business idea.
You have customers for your business from day 1, using this method.
However, in this day and age, I’m also curious about another way to get subscribers. Social media is everywhere. Major businesses all have social media accounts. Even humble Upwork freelancers like me are turning to social media as a way to reach out to potential clients.
So why didn’t we start with social media first? Surely social media is way more comfortable than beginning with a blog.
“I don’t like feeling like all eyes are on me,” he explains.
He goes on to tell me that he hates not having something to say on social media. When he starts a social media account, he wants it backed by the content of this blog. He didn’t want to post random things for the sake of posting.
I did have to wonder if this type of marketing is dead. How many times have I seen, from gurus, that “blogging is dead.”
He didn’t seem to think so.
When he is looking up information, he always turns to Google to scan the information, rather than trying to browse YouTube or podcasts. Also, search engines can’t examine the content of videos or audio files. It’s easier to work with the written material. Search engines and asking questions aren’t going to be outdated anytime soon.
Plus, blog content can always be repurposed. These blog posts may eventually be turned into YouTube videos or podcasts. Without any background knowledge, blogging is the easiest to start with. You don’t have to worry about a production team, like with YouTube or podcasts.
To finish the meeting, I ask him what type of reaction he hopes for, regarding his audience. Content should have a purpose, and my writing should match his goal.
“I hope that the audience finds this content to be useful,” he says.
He wants entrepreneurs who are where he used to be, to find value in these blog posts. That way, more business owners can find balance in their time management, which will help them get to the next level of business. The readers should walk away with more business strategies and feel like they learned something useful.
Also published on Medium.