November 5, 2014

4 startup product blogs that can teach you a thing or two


Post by Diana Doherty
Chamber of

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Are you just getting your business blog up and running? Maybe your company already has a blog, but it just seems to get lost in the background noise of the Internet. Rather than looking for how-to guides on blogging for business, take a look these other startup blogs to see what they’re doing right.

Buffer blog

This social media sharing app Buffer struggled to gain exposure until they launched the Buffer blog. The content on their blog now gets thousands of shares. How did Buffer create such a far-reaching blog?

Create content that inspires sharing. Leo Widrich, one of Buffer’s founders, explained this approach in an interview with Mixergy. They create content that people want to share, not just niche tutorials and feature lists. When people are inspired, intrigued, and excited by your content, they share it. Every reader becomes a potential customer when they’re introduced to your brand through great content. Some of the most popular shared content includes how-to tutorials, graphics, interesting infographics, and videos. Telling your story using different media creates a rich tapestry of interwoven points of interest for visitors to enjoy and share.

Learn from your past. Buffer recently published some results of their own content audit, complete with their plan of action. Buffer suggested they might add a shareable image to a past successful post and schedule posts for the most trafficked days. Use data analysis to inform your future choices and improve on past content.

DataHero blog

DataHero, one of the most connected analytics services, boasts a blog that does two important things really well: They demonstrate what their product is capable of in understandable posts — and they have fun.

Show what you can do. This is particularly important if your business is complex or very specialized. You want your blog readers to know what they could be doing with your product or service. It’s important not be advertorial, but to simply demonstrate the possibilities and emphasize the benefits to your customers.

Have a good time. Nobody wants to read boring tutorials all the time and they probably won’t share them, either. If you want to keep your clients reading and sharing your blog content, make it enjoyable. DataHero’s blog boasts a Fun with Data feature that uses data in fun, share-worthy ways, such as coffee habits in countries around the world.

Moz blog

Recently, the famed Moz blog turned 10 years old. The content and community are respected pillars in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). What is Moz doing better than you?

Write your manifesto. OK, maybe it could just be an internal memo like the Moz TAGFEE Tenets. The acronym stands for Transparent and Authentic, Generous, Fun, Empathetic, and Exceptional. Moz outlines each, gives examples, and exceptions. The document creates a persona that is Moz and serves as a guide to preserve and develop that brand. Who do you want your blog to be?

Build community. A Moz-level community may be beyond the scope of your site. It may even be unnecessary in your industry. However, cultivating communication, constructive comments, and a community vibe will serve to keep readers on your blog and sharing. Initiating even small changes, such as threaded comments so users can reply to each other, helps keep conversation rolling.

HubSpot blog

The inbound marketing software company HubSpot has a powerhouse blog that can teach you a couple of important lessons.

Optimize for mobile. If your blog theme isn’t optimized for mobile yet, get on the ball. This doesn’t just mean procuring a high quality mobile OS icon. You must ensure your site reads perfectly on mobile devices small and large. Scaling and touch interaction are two very important considerations. Whether it’s built into a theme or part of a corporate site design, test to make sure it looks and works flawlessly across devices.

Don’t get too niche-y. HubSpot posts about a wide variety of topics within their industry. The posts are all relevant and interesting to their readers, but they don’t box in their blog with tight limitations on subject matter. Take a hard look at the boundaries you’ve set for your blog content. You may be limiting readership by limiting subject diversity.

One of the most important takeaways is that your blog is not a place for daily exercises in marketing ploys. It’s the voice of your brand. It is virtual personhood for your business. Your blog content must read like a person speaking to other people, not an advertisement screaming in the Internet abyss.

Diana Doherty is a freelance writer specializing in SEO content, and is a contributor to She loves all things tech, photography, craft, military family life, and business. She earned her BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego.
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