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27 Comments

Launching your SaaS blog? Here's your first 20 articles (A framework)

Starting a new blog for your SaaS?

Here's how I'd get my first 10 blog MQLs:

Talk to 30 ideal customers.

  • Take detailed notes
  • Focus on what surfaces, unprompted (the unprompted part is SO important).
  • Create 4-part content solution framework.
  • For each part of the framework, I create 5 types of articles.

What are the 5 types of articles?

  • How to solve your customer's problem (explain this part of the framework)
  • How to solve roadblocks of their problem (what's their first roadblock to accomplishing what the article above teaches? Solve that)
  • Useful templates to solve problems (What template or tool will help them do the above two articles?)
  • Case studies (how X did Y - could be from existing customers and if you have no customers, write about other people that have done it)
  • High level (interesting) roundup x (Big roundups of multiple people/companies that have done the thing you teach in this part of your framework)

4-part framework x 5 articles ea. = 20 articles

Personally, I make this into a G-sheet matrix with the framework on the left and types of articles on the top.

So...

Month 1 - talk to ideal customers
Months 2-6 - Write 1 article / wk

If this post was helpful, you might love my weekly newsletter.

Also, I'd love to chat more about this in the comments below so let me know if you have ANY questions! I literally can't shut up about this stuff.

In fact, for whoever comments first, I'll create a matrix for your SaaS!

  1. 4

    Hi Brendan, interesting stuff! My question is: what do you do when you run out of content ideas?

    1. 3

      So I think this is a GREAT question! When I run out of content ideas, I consider a few things:

      • I talk to customers
      • I talk to the team I work with
      • I read and learn from other industries (secret time: Most of my best content ideas come from studying the music and fitness industries)

      Hot take: too many SaaS companies focus on making content about the first S, but forget the second. If you were a service agency doing the work of your software, what kind of content would you create?

    2. 2

      An SEO-focused strategy gives you basically unlimited ideas for the cost of a subscription to ahrefs. You just have to learn keyword research (or hire someone).

      1. 1

        I've spent so many years in SEO and I kind of go the opposite way now and do the keyword research as an afterthought. Most of those tools can't accurately find the longtail or buyer-intent searches and the data is a few months old. What do you think? Ever found that to be true @karlhughes?

        1. 1

          Yeah, depends where you're at.

          A lot of keyword research will help find top of funnel, broad terms that might be rankable.

          But you're right, it's not going to help you figure out what helps prospects over the finish line. Bottom of funnel content is almost always closer to support or sales enablement content (at least in B2B).

    3. 2

      Hire someone who is good at content creation. It is their job not to run out of ideas. Also ruthelessly steal ideas from similar businesses' (not only competitors, but any saas if you are a saas) blogs.

      1. 2

        Love this take. If you can't afford to hire somebody, but are also running out of ideas, then the question may be two-fold:

        1. Make new content
        2. Find new ways to remix and re-distribute what you already made.

        Actually, here's a Google sheet that I normally only share in my membership community. I made a copy just for IndieHackers (check this out @Calista110:)

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ihc08CRYN7BUVrIAQPa733_Bsybk1n2AmB6au_RwScY/copy?usp=sharing

        1. 1

          Awesome, this generator is great! Thank you for sharing 😁

        2. 1

          Super cool thanks for the share. One thing I would consider as well, is focusing on evergreen content. The accumulated traffic over a long time is way more reliable than chasing a big burst of traffic at once (the "viral" approach). I've started discriminating your posts ideas btw evergreen and timely, and I think tuning the ratio is a strong long term play.

          1. 1

            Love that. It's definitely both.

            1. 1

              Sure. Would you mind chatting a bit more? Setting up a zoom/meet/whatever in the upcoming weeks maybe?

  2. 3

    Sometimes I really wish IndieHackers had a 'save post' feature. :') As a content and copywriter, I can definitely agree that this is 100% true. Keep it useful, comprehensive, and focus on your customers. Esp templates - templates are always awesome! I also love that you can connect all of this into a good internal linking strategy.

    1. 2

      WOWWWW, that's such a great compliment! I'm glad this is helpful for you @LanaRafaela!

    2. 1

      I agree. It would be great to save posts on IH. I save the pages/links with notion.

      1. 1

        Ooh, good idea! :) I'll try that. I normally just bookmark them and keep a huge folder, lol.

        1. 2

          The bookmarks can get too many. The articles or the sites may not work later, but usually, this is not a problem. I want to be able to see the articles right way and not wait for them to load. Also, I can search for keywords easily. I used EverNote to save articles before. But EN is just too slow. Notion is my main tool to keep to-dos, notes, and information.

          1. 1

            That sounds really useful. So you port the articles (copy/paste) them to Notion every time?

            1. 2

              There is a chrome extension for desktop.
              https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/notion-web-clipper/knheggckgoiihginacbkhaalnibhilkk?hl=en

              For mobile, you can just share the web page to the Notion app.

              I don't have a good way to capture an "article" presented in a threaded Twit yet.

              1. 1

                Neat! :D Thank you so, so much!

  3. 1

    Interesting post. Would you say this framework also works for launching a newsletter? Planning on doing it for my business (https://corepo.org)

    1. 1

      That's so interesting! I think this would make PERFECT content for a newsletter. I think every one of these ideas should be a:

      • newsletter
      • social media clip
      • youtube video
      • Instagram live
      • blog article
      • Quora post
      • etc.
  4. 1

    Nice post.

    I'm a little unclear on what you are describing as a 4-part solution framework. Do you have any examples?

    1. 2

      Absolutely. SO if you were a service company, with no software to solve the problem your software solves, what would be the main parts of your solution?

      I'd be happy to think about one just for you, though! What's your SaaS, who is it for, and what problem does it solve for them?

      1. 1

        Hey Brendan, thanks for your reply.

        I am building software that helps free trial/freemium SaaS companies improve their new user onboarding and free to paid conversion rate.

        I'm just a little unclear on what makes up the 4 parts of the "solution framework."

        Are they 4 steps that one should take to solve (e.g. Step 1, Step 2)? Or more like 4 key principles or ideas? Can you link to any examples of such a framework?

          1. 1

            @brendanhufford You're a star. Thank you for this, you've given me some good ideas.

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