The entrepreneurs with whom I work closely are familiar with my repeated encouragement that they blog on a regular basis. Perhaps encouragement, as my portfolio companies might suggest, is too soft a word; unrelenting nagging is more like it.
I’ve often felt like a lone voice in the wilderness on this topic, at least in France. Indeed, maybe the blogging habit comes more naturally in cultures that don’t frown upon self-promotion. However, I submit that regular blogging is about far more than shameless self-promotion; it’s about communication of thoughts, transparency in opinions, and beta-testing ideas with the sounding-board of your readers.
Despite my conviction, I’ve never been particularly effective in convincing my portfolio company CEO’s to adopt a blogging routine. Accordingly, it was with great enthusiasm and even a sense of vindication that I discovered this blog post called Why Every Entrepreneur Needs To Blog by former entrepreneur-turned-VC Charlie O’Donnell. Here’s my recap of the key benefits of blogging for entrepreneurs, largely inspired by Charlie’s post.
- Being able to innovate requires both intuition and creativity. Regular blogging hones both skills, by training the mind to be more perceptive to patterns and recognize trends.
- Writing things down forces you to sort your ideas with clarity, helping you to separate the signals from the noise in your mind before articulating them openly.
- Blogging can establish you as a thought leader in your domain. It allows you to champion your startup’s space and the trends behind it. It’s a way to seed ideas with journalists, over time encouraging the press to seek your expertise on the dynamics of a market in flux.
- It’s also a long-term recruiting tool. Blogging about your vision creates a continuous, long-term narrative that over time can represent your most persuasive tool to convince talented people to join you in your high-risk, low-pay adventure.
- This narrative you repeat via blogging also of course builds your company’s brand, generates inbound interest, and creates sustainable competitive advantage.
- Every startup in which I’ve ever invested was led by an entrepreneur that successfully formed a long-term relationship with me (and reciprocally, thanks to this relationship accepted me as a VC partner). Blogging is one of the best ways to craft such a relationship.
But my summary doesn’t do justice to the way Charlie has articulated the importance of blogging for entrepreneurs, so I encourage to you to read his post and reference it on your permanent bookmark list of internet wisdom.
Finally, for similar reasons, I submit that the importance of blogging extends to VCs too. Far from comparable to my blogging VC peers, I still try to practice what I preach by striving toward a weekly cadence of writing (most of which I archive here). I recall incredulously asking a very smart classmate in my electrical engineering undergraduate program why he switched into the English department to become a writing major. His response: “College is meant to be a time of self-discovery, and I learn more about myself every time I write.”