Blogging

February 16th, 2012

5 Established Startups With Killer Blogs

This post is part of the Branded Blogging Series, which features tips on how to learn from the successes of some of the most innovative and successful brand blogs.

When launching your startup, you have to work harder than the big names out there in order to establish yourself and your brand identity.

Providing engaging and shareable content that highlights your business and the space it exists in will help you do some of the heavy lifting.

To get your mind warmed up to how your startup can provide relevant and interesting content to its budding community, here are five examples of startups that are doing content right:

1. Etsy

Etsy, the online platform for local artisans, understands what it means to build a community and create compelling content.

Utilizing the breadth of content that its community is already creating, the Etsy Blog highlights artist work, how-to’s, seller profiles, and interviews. All of this content is written by full-time staffers and the occasional guest post from an Etsy artist.

The blog posts about three stories per day. The blog flexes its editorial muscle, while also acknowledging the constant consumption of content that Etsy users already endure every day. There’s a lot to look at on Etsy, so the blog must be expertly curated to keep readers coming back for more. We’d say it has that formula down — we’re fans of the Keep It Weird series, which highlights the oddest items being sold on Etsy.

2. OkCupid

You would think running a dating site favored by millennials would be a one-dimensional business.  However, OkCupid has leveraged the backend data it collects on a daily basis and packaged it into a blog called OkTrends.

The blog highlights original insights and research based out of millions of OkCupid user interactions. It creates a compelling story about the online dating world today and what can be inferred based on one’s OkCupid profile.

For an example on how sharing your company’s research can be awesome content, take a look at OkTrend’s hilarious (and fascinating) “10 Charts About Sex” post.

3. Birchbox

Birchbox, the online subscription-based beauty sample startup has two blogs: its initial blog which covers the gamut of fashion and beauty, and a style how-to blog called The Haute Box.

Birchbox knows how to leverage content as an integral part of its marketing and sales strategy, all while staying in style with the best personal blogs out there.

On the first blog, staffers regularly share their favorite items in a display similar to fashion magazines. They also write about relevant trends and pop culture, and occasionally post about what goes on in the office (like the time they received that shipment of Snuggies).

The Haute Box, on the other hand, provides makeup tutorials and is strategically establishing itself as a beauty resource for women. The team’s makeup tutorials often come in the form of high-quality YouTube videos (like the one featured above) — now that’s strategic!

4. Meetup

Meetup hopes to help the world get organized and “use the Internet to get off the Internet.”  Meetup’s overall success depends on the success of its individual Meetup groups, of course.

So it makes sense that the Meetup blog highlights the Meetup groups that make it a powerful platform. 

The blog stays up-to-date on current events, posting about Meetups that are most culturally relevant. For example, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Meetup posted about the Cairo Queens Meetup Group who met to fast together.

The blog also highlights behind-the-scenes moments at Meetup Headquarters, tips and tricks on hosting a successful Meetup, and a weekly post called “Organizer of the Week.” The best part is that bloggers range from Meetup employees to actually Meetup organizers.

Meetup is getting in on the data trend, too — to celebrate 1 million Meetup group joins in January, it published an in-depth look at one booming Meetup community — the technology enthusiasts. With lots of fun infographics (like the one pictured above), its “State of the Meetup Tech Union” post was pure fun.

5. Foodspotting

Foodspotting is the photo sharing app adored by foodies that helps users find and rate specific dishes.  Users snap pictures of the dishes they are eating, and then post them to Foodspotting with ratings, descriptions and a restaurant tag for the rest of the Foodspotting community to enjoy and try. The app itself showcases the user-generated images and can be sorted by what’s nearby, recently uploaded, and best rated.

The blog, Spotted: A Foodspotter’s Field Guide, shares updates about the team, product and company, as well as editorial posts focused on food. A few yummy reads include “A Bite of Old Favorites in New Orleans” and “15 Dumplings to Try Before You Die.”

Foodspotting, too, is in on the data secret, having released a list of the top 100 Foodspotting dishes and users of 2011.

The blog gives readers the chance to follow along with the company’s successes, while also engaging them with content about everyone’s favorite topic — food.

Get Started With Your Startup’s Blog

If your startup is looking to start a new blog, whether you’re new to the block or have been around for years, there are a few lessons you can learn from these all-star startup blogs.

Keep these takeaways in mind while created a content strategy for your startup’s blog:

  • Think of your blog and its content as a resource for your readers.
  • Post content that directly relates to the core of your business.
  • Leverage a varied community of writers, including employees, customers, and influencers in your space.
  • Make the blog a transparent story about your company.
  • Keep your audiences’ content consumption behaviors in mind.

Does your startup already have a blog? If so, share your content strategy tips in the comments below so that other startup bloggers can learn from your success.

Image courtesy of Flickr, tarop


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