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78 Comments

Do you have a blog associated with your business?

I wonder if you have a blog associated with your business and what marketing strategies related to the blog do you use?

Also, there are many discussions about Medium vs self. hosted blog under its own domain.

What are your thoughts on this?

  1. 7

    We do and it's one of our main growth channels. We self-host it on our own domain name for maximal SEO benefits. We've also published details on how we create content and grow the blog . See "How one blog post changed the traction for my startup".

    1. 2

      Very nice. Would you mind sharing what framework you use for your blog?

      1. 2

        It's on NetlifyCMS now and there are so many options out there so pick what you like the best or what you have experience with. Framework is not the most important thing, it's the content you publish and promotional activities you do.

    2. 2

      Thanks. I'm going to read it.

      1. 2

        Ahh, @markosaric. I already did. Talking to @ukutaht a lot about how is Plausible doing.

        1. 1

          Ahh nice! It's doing great. We just reported our highest traffic, trials and MRR numbers! Again on the blog :)

          1. 2

            I've definitely read it. It's always great content. 👍

  2. 3

    Yes, I do. It is https://toddmoses.com/insights.

    I use Linkedin, Twitter, IH, and HN to promote content. For Twitter, I make posts from the content and pin the story tweet to my profile. For Linkedin, I post it on my profile and company page. For IH I do stuff like this and make direct content posts. For HN, I post the article or a Show HN.

    At first, my blog was on Medium. However, it failed to do much as far as new members. So I moved it to the website and then import stories after they have been a website blog a day or two. The issue is that on Medium, posts get more reads but few other actions.

    1. 2

      Just for clarification - why do you wait with importing your medium stories?

      1. 1

        Not sure if it matters but the marketing head of my old company said to wait a few days before sharing an article as it improves your domain rating.

    2. 2

      It was a good decision I think. 👍

  3. 3

    Our audience at Spike.sh is mainly developers and development managers. We have a self hosted blog but we mainly write on https://dev.to/spike. All the good people are there.

    We didn't go with Medium, it's not dev-friendly and there seems to be too much love-hate relationship there.

    1. 2

      Didn't know its possible to host your own blog on dev.to under your own folder. Thank you for the tip.

      1. 1

        You can create an account but can't host it on your domain yet.

        Or am I missing something?

        1. 1

          Yeah. Seems you're right.

  4. 3

    Sure do! A lot of folks have already left great comments, I'll just add that blogging is probably the single best thing you can do for your SEO.

    Blogging adds more indexable content to your site for Google to analyze and show in search results, and it builds you up as an authority in your industry so Google will rank you better. About half our traffic probably comes from organic search and we've just been taking our blog more seriously in the past 6 months.

    My advice:

    Definitely self-host, the trend to have your blog on Medium is super harmful as it does nothing for your SEO. Republishing on medium is ok (they have an import post feature) but it absolutely needs to be posted on your domain first for it to help you.

    To get started with blogging: start with 3 core topics you want to cover for your business and start researching the questions that people are asking for those topics. Find out who is already answering those questions and ranking for them, and see if you can answer it better. If you can, you've got yourself a blog post to write.

    Once you've got several blog posts you can repurpose them into a pillar page (basically a super longform page that links out to your posts) or even make an ebook (I'm using Canva for this right now).

    Also - be consistent with how much you post, SEO is a long game but it is well worth it.

    We cover SEO a lot on our own blog so feel free to check it out! Centori

    1. 1

      I prefer self-host it too and just redistribute to other channels. @tscionti do you redistribute and if so where?

      1. 3

        Good question!

        Generally I republish our best posts to Medium with their import feature because it sets the canonical URL back to our site (basically tells Google that the content is ours so any traffic should be tied back to us).

        I'll also share a condensed version of a post here or similar sites like Quora with a link back to the original post to provide immediate value but then link back to my own domain.

        Of course there's the standard share to Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn but the results from that are usually pretty minimal

        1. 1

          Thank you. I've experienced the same with FB/TW/LI.

  5. 2

    Definitely! I originally started blogging under my own name (which I still do), and found the compound interest when it comes to organic visitors really adds up over time. Given I'm all in for the long game it was only a natural move to push all aviation tech related blogs to the Skyhop blog.

    1. 1

      yeah, this would be another question here. Blog under your own or your company's name. I would probably prefer my name too.

  6. 1

    Have you tried ButterCMS? It's a headless CMS with a preconfigured blog engine and full CMS capabilities. It has support for dozens of new technologies so you can plug in a blog, page etc and be up and running in minutes.

  7. 1

    I have blog.amezmo.com which is hosted on Amezmo itself. I use this as a place to write posts about PHP hosting.

    I also post on dev.to

    1. 1

      This seems to be a standard Wordpress install.

      1. 1

        It's a customized theme too. Hosting the blog on Amezmo itself lets me "dogfood" the product, so I can continually improve it.

  8. 1

    Absolutely. My whole business started from a blog.

    Here's the story on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PBhD3qgLag

  9. 1

    Blog has been a primary source of growth and signups for zipBoard.co
    We initially had a blog on medium , https://blog.zipboard.co/ which was great to begin with, but now we have moved our blog to https://zipboard.co/blog
    This gives us more control for both SEO and conversion. We are revamping our website, so we will be redesigning our blog page also.
    Medium blog is although beautiful and neat and clean.
    Blog helps in the entire content marketing and inbound marketing funnel for the product and builds a domain authority as well. We have a domain authority of 43 after consistent blogging and guest posting.

    1. 2

      I think its a good decision to push the SEO juice to the main domain instead of subdomain. It will definitely help in the long term.

  10. 1

    I do! I write it every week and it serves as a great way to write down what we've done and what we will do during the next week. However as a growth mechanism it's terrible, none of our potential users care at all.

    1. 1

      How old the blog is? Sometimes it takes like 6m - 12monts for google to push traffic

  11. 1

    We have one on our website, started posting two days ago actually.
    I like the lemlist blog, they create these killer blog pieces that really go deep, I'm sure they get a lot of inbound leads from there.
    Being based in Rwanda, I'd be curious to see if the website ranks in our target markets over time.

      1. 1

        no-code outsourcing.

  12. 1

    My company focuses on news analytics for executives. We have a blog that and newsletter that regularly publishes news content around investing (e.g., https://chimerais.com/covid19-may19-portfolio) or COVID-19 given how many people are worried about it now (see: https://chimerais.com/covid19).

    We try to capture e-mail addresses, and use surveys + user tracking to understand what's important for our subscribers and potential product purchaser. This data is valuable and why we also avoid Medium, which doesn't provide this level of data.

    1. 1

      Does it bring a new customers?

      1. 2

        Yes: people reach out and ask for personalized versions of the newsletter. I also have inbound leads who I nurture via the newsletters.

        1. 1

          Good to hear this.

  13. 1

    what services do people use to self-host their blogs?

    1. 1

      You can use static site generators and host blogs on Netlify, Vercel, or Firebase hosting. Advantages: super fast site, free hosting, great SEO.

  14. 1

    I'm using a simple setup using @nuxt/content. It uses markdown and is very straightforward. When I do a push, the markdown gets rendered into content.

    Here's one: https://getsnapfont.com/posts/avoiding-lengthy-review-times-for-chrome-webstore-submissions

    1. 1

      I'm a big fan of Nuxt and Gridsome myself as I do a lot of Vue stuff recently.

      1. 1

        Sweet, check out nuxt/content if you want a blogging system. Its pretty good but the docs are bad.

        1. 1

          yeah, I've checked a few days ago. It's cool it handles things on its own.

  15. 1

    Here are my thoughts. A blog hosted on your own domain absolutely makes sense. But as a developer, your biggest hurdle to starting a blog is the writing part, not the building part. I didn't want anything to be a barrier to me starting to write, so I decided to just jump on Medium and get going right away. I will port those articles over to our blog eventually but making writing a habit right now is the priority.

    1. 2

      Hmm. This quite the opposite others suggest as you're bringing SEO juice to Medium instead of your blog. Any plan to change this in the future?

      1. 2

        Yup, I totally agree. It's not a good long term approach.

        But, for me the biggest hurdle is actually starting to write. I wanted to make it really easy for me to create blog content. So the fastest way to get started is on Medium.

        At some point in the future I will bring everything under my domain.

  16. 1

    I call mine a knowledge base but it's pretty much the same. It's about copywriting and UX and you can find it here: targetaudience.app/knowledge-base

  17. 1

    I'm planning to implement a blog into Mailspree in about 1-2 months (while still in pre-launch/test phase) to report about the products features, gain some feedback and of course play around with content marketing to see if it's a good strategy :)
    I'll probably also play around with Medium and self-hosted to see what works best for me.

    1. 3

      Cool product idea! Just wanted to add I'd recommend blogging on your own site, writing on Medium does nothing for your SEO and won't be as helpful in increasing traffic. Especially as newsletter/email software is pretty crowded, you'll want to build up as much authority as you can to compete.

      1. 1

        Hey, thanks for your advice! That's good to know and will save me some time for sure. 🙌🏽

        1. 2

          No problem!

          Medium has an 'import post' feature which I'd recommend using if you still want to build reach on them, it sets the canonical URL back to the original post url you import from (basically tells Google who to give SEO credit to).

          1. 1

            That's great! With this in mind, it's worth considering to post both on my own blog and on Medium (With the import post feature) to increase reach. Great advice 🔥

    2. 2

      Definitely go under your own domain. I would go with static site generator and place it on Netlify.

    3. 1

      Most of the new startups I see implement blog almost 1 year before they actually launch the product. This is an interesting technique.

      1. 2

        Yes it is! I think it's a good technique to make make potential customers curious about the product and increases pre-launch signups.

  18. 1

    Absolutely @ckissi. We are using content marketing to improve marketing efforts and provide value for others. Creating articles and blogs play a large role in this. You can check out some of our blogs at Startup Sanctuary.

    I still think content and value creation in the form of blogs and articles is an excellent way to grow an audience for your early stage project.

    1. 2

      @gordon Did you start blogging before your actual launch?

      1. 2

        I would not say I have even officially 'launched' yet so I guess the answer is Yes haha

  19. 1

    You can also check out @postiatic - as a simple solution to build an audience with your Twitter activity but outside of Twitter.

  20. 1

    Definitely self-hosted

    Medium does nothing for your SEO and Domain Authority.

    In my case, I run a Twitter growth tool company, so it's only natural that I have a Twitter growth hacking blog to complement it.

    It has driven and still drives a lot of traffic to my main landing page, even though it has only been a couple of months.

    1. 2

      I see you don't use WP but Django instead. The first load was pretty slow. I'm in central Europe.

      1. 2

        Thanks for your feedback.

        I'll do a diagnosis of why it's slow and fix it.

  21. 1

    I started one for my company Top Pocket Media a while ago but recently got back into posting more on there. At the moment I'm just promoting through my social media channels which drives a nice amount of traffic. The majority, however, is through organic searches.
    https://blog.toppocketmedia.com/
    There's the link in case you would like to check it out. For more technical specs it is hosted through GoDaddy and is built on Wordpress just because it's not really a thing I'm putting too much effort into and Wordpress is easy and quick to set up and use.

    1. 1

      Good for you your audience on social media is responsive. I use WP also but probably will move to a static blog generated by Gridsome.

      1. 1

        I would change from WordPress if I was going more into the blog at the moment it's more of a hobby and for social content.

  22. 1

    Just started our self-hosted blog at tractific.com/blog/. The design unfortunately looks like crap, but we wanted the extra branding and customization that comes with self-hosting. We post the article on Medium, Reddit, IH, basically everywhere we can after publishing on our blog, with a link back to it. We cut snippets and turn them into threads to share on twitter.com/tractific. It drove a good amount of traffic this week as a start, and I'm sure it will be more effective as we continue. Although I'm looking for new marketing ideas too...

    1. 1

      Interesting. I wonder where on Reddit do you post it as Reddit is very sensitive to any kind of self-promotion.

      1. 1

        The startup and entrepreneur-related subreddits approve of it as long as they actually contribute to the community. You have to include the blog body in the post, you can not just post a link.

        1. 1

          ok, thanks for the clarification.

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