Entrepreneurs have powerful stories to tell. While building companies, they venture where few professionals go. They reach crazy heights and see crippling setbacks. Plus, they're responsible for building products, developing marketing initiatives, and hiring employees.
Face it – As an entrepreneur, you do it all. You're learning a lot, so it's worth sharing your experiences.
How to do it? Start blogging on behalf of yourself, not your company. That means focusing on your personal brand in addition to your company's. You can attract business partners, educate your friends and family, and reflect on your amazing journey.
Here’s how to get started.
1. Establish Your Goals
Approach blogging as you would any other business decision: Establish a goal. What do you hope to achieve from your time invested? You might want to document a record of your journey, share your story, connect with others, or build your personal brand.
For inspiration, check out Elizabeth Yin’s blog. She's the co-founder of LaunchBit and shares deeply personal stories about being a new business leader – from the struggles of raising VC funding to roundups of awesome sales tools.
Elizabeth's blog helps fellow founders understand they're not alone. Business has an emotional side that complements the money-talk, and Elizabeth isn't afraid to share. Not only that, Elizabeth syndicates her content with Women 2.0 to help build her personal brand.
2. Build Trust and Authority
Even if your blog doesn’t live on your startup’s website, you can still use it to build your business. By sharing your expertise, you'll build authority and trust. You'll show that you know what you're doing, which will make readers want to use your product or services.
Neil Patel, KISSmetrics and CrazyEgg co-founder, blogs via QuickSprout, where he reflects on his experiences as an entrepreneur and discusses his consulting venture.
Patel's blog helps show his expertise as a marketer, entrepreneur, and expert in his field. That's his personal brand – something that lives beyond his businesses. He's a leader and it shows.
QuickSprout is about Neil, not just his companies.
3. Don’t Be a Perfectionist – Just Start
As a business leader, you’re inspired by perfection. Everything you do, you pursue with the highest levels of quality and integrity. Your gut instinct may be to build your blog around the same standards – the perfect layout, a well-executed editorial calendar, and perfect headlines. Do yourself a favor and don’t worry about it.
As entrepreneur Jesse Bouman puts it, getting a blog post started can be tough. Thing is, you just need to get up and running, even if that means posting in GIFs.
Trust us, we know it can be hard, but once you get into the habit of sharing your thoughts, the words will come streaming out. Get your thoughts in to cyberspace – they sound better than you think.
4. Give Credit to Others
Blogging is about building community. When you write about fellow entrepreneurs, prospective clients, and business leaders, they’ll see – and love the shout-outs. They might even reach out and thank you. Think about your credit as ‘giving props’ and showing respect – when you compliment others, the same good fortune will ultimately come back to you.
If you link to those you admire, you're even better off. The entrepreneurs you link to will love the traffic! Links also make your blog a more valuable resource. There’s no way you can know everything and be an all-encompassing resource to your audience. When you link to the expertise of others, you show you're invested in providing the best information possible.
5. Be Personal
Blogging is a great way to showcase who you are. No need to hide behind a fancy brand persona. Be yourself, and be proud. Don't be afraid to talk about your new puppy, a big move, or a personal challenge. Document your journey. One day, you'll look back at these posts and see how much you've grown.
Zirtual CEO Maren Kate Donovan’s blog, Escaping the 9 to 5, documents her quest to become a self-made leader. Maren tells stories that come from the heart, writing about confidence and success.
Make sure to check out the following entrepreneur blogs to get started:
Dan Martell (Clarity)- on making bets with yourself and building your own success
Renee Warren (Onboardly)- on building a business and motherhood
Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot)- on the journey from professional geek to game-changing leader
Mike Michalowicz (Provendus Group) - on putting life back into business
Kate Kendall (The Fetch) - on the media
What are some of your favorite entrepreneur blogs? What do you love to blog about?