The benefits of a great blog are well-known: branding, user acquisition, press, conversions, hype. But only a sliver of the startup community actually maintains an awesome blog.
Author and business guru Seth Godin says, “Content marketing is the only marketing left.” At its core, content marketing is authoring interesting, useful, or entertaining information that causes people to share and talk about your brand, eventually driving conversions and sales.
Posting consistently and coming up with good content (that isn’t just about the latest company retreat) is hard work. Here are the top 10 startup blogs that take Godin’s proverb to heart, driving engagement to their products with killer blog content.
Click here to see the top startup blogs >
*Disclosure: Author has written for Mint.com.
The Signal Vs Noise blog by 37Signals is an interesting blend of creative tips (design and CSS), product news, and insights for small businesses. It's been around since 1999, and the content has become source material for two books, Getting Real and Rework, a New York Times Bestseller.
With an outspoken tone and a strong stance on just about everything, the blog (and the company) has amassed a passionate audience, garnering 30-100 comments or more on every post.
Bug tracking, version control, and tech support. Boy do those things sound NOT fun to read about. FogCreek.com, purveyor of such software products, hosts a very popular blog about computer science. Posts are typically enormous, and vary in content from supertechnical tips posts to industry trends stories to tutorials of FogCreek products.
Perhaps much of FogCreek's blog success is due to the popularity of founder Joel Spolsky, but as Spolsky has moved on to projects like StackOverflow, the FogCreek blog hasn't let programmers down in a long time.
Nobody knows blogging like marketers, I suppose. KissMetrics makes the list with its super sticky blog. The site is well-designed, with a high output of informational posts.
The clincher for KissMetrics, however, is its sheer ability to make every headline impossible to not click on. Each post title seems crafted for perfect sharing on Twitter so your followers think you're smart.
The Etsy blog packs a mean punch, with four, six, eight or more blog posts released every day. Sources indicate the blog employs six full time staffers and gets as many as 4 million page views a month.
The blog draws from its vast base of artisan users to create interviews, guest posts, and trend stories, all edited with the rigour of a New York Times article. It's common to see a hundred comments on a post about wood stains.
Subscription-based beauty sample startup, BirchBox, recently moved into its fourth office in one year due to its massive growth. The company uses content as an integral part of its marketing and sales strategy, writing about beauty products with speed and passion that traditional beauty magazines might have a tough time keeping up with.
BirchBox has a couple of blogs, its regular blog and a style how-to blog called The Haute Box. It supplements written articles with video tutorials and aims to be a beauty resource that women can trust. And it's working.
Thought it can hardly be called a startup anymore after its $170 million acquisition by Intuit last year, Mint.com's MintLife Blog has been lauded for the last few years as the quintessential example of a startup whose success boiled down to a killer content strategy.
Mint shies away from plugging its own product, and continues to blog about saving money, personal finance tips, and entertaining financial trends. rumour has it Mint's blog gets over 4 million visits a month. Not bad for a startup.
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