Some founders build and exit a successful startup without ever developing their own voice, without ever establishing a relationship with an audience outside their own team. It’s certainly possible to do. But it’s hard.

Want to speak at a conference? Sure, but show me some of your best blog posts so I can see what you’re an expert in. Oh dear, you haven’t done that?

Want to be interviewed by a journalist? Sure, have you established your reputation as a subject matter expert on your blog? Oh dear, you haven’t done that?

Want to show investors you’re worth the valuation? Sure, let me do my own due diligence by reading about the journey you and the company have taken so far. Oh dear…

Want to hire that great person you just met? Sure, they just want to read your blog posts to get a sense for what the culture is like… Oh no…

No, hiring a content agency to write for you doesn’t count (well, it counts a bit but not as much as you might think). An agency can blog about what’s happening in your industry, in your market, and do some case studies on happy customers, but they can’t write about what’s actually happening at your business and what you’re learning along the way.

To get started, don’t try to be perfect, don’t try to be visionary — all that can come much later on (I’m still trying to be one or both of those things). Like Gary Vaynerchuk says, “document; don’t create” — it’s way easier.

Learning to write should be like learning to pitch — something none of us are born doing well, something most of us would choose to rather not do, but something you need to learn how to do if you want to knock it out of the park.

If you can’t get started, or feel your writing lacks structure, I use and recommend Writally. And if your audience demographic is consuming a lot of video, Folktale will help you make professional videos to go with your writing.

Filed under:   blogging   content marketing   writing