What is this?

I wanted to organize my thoughts on how to approach different aspects of growth for startups and writing a guide for others seemed like the best way to do that. It's based on my experience building Statuspage.io, and is also influenced by (read: liberally stolen!) other guides, tweets, conversations, etc. but 🤷🏻‍♂️.

Who is this for?

This is for founding teams that don't have enough resources for someone to focus on content marketing full-time. I'll put together my thoughts about how to approach this in a more sustainable way down the line (stay tuned here!)

It's also mostly relevant for B2B SaaS companies making a mostly horizontal tool (ie, something companies in lots of different verticals can use as opposed to something like time tracking software for lawyers).

Why you should spend time on content marketing in the first place

There's latent demand

If you're making something new that people will want (as opposed to just being a me-too copy cat product), there is latent demand for it. Those innovators (per technology adoption curve) would use your product if they knew it existed.

Having a piece make the front page of Hacker News could be the thing that lands you your first handful of customers.

It takes time for Google to start "trusting" your domain

Investing long-term in SEO and content may make sense for your business because it's one of the four scalable growth channels. It takes time for this to build, so start by doing the bare minimum today.

What is the bare minimum? You need to start occasionally posting new content, getting links from other domains with some authority, and answering long-tail search queries — don't worry if you don't know what that is, I'll explain more later!.

Pre-work: Laying the foundation for SEO success

Marketing site, blog, and app URL

Let me save you some time and future heartache.

Let's assume your marketing site lives at www.yourcompany.com.

Your blog should be a subfolder on the same domain: www.yourcompany.com/blog/. There has been some discussion in the past on whether it should live at blog.yourcompany.com - it should not. For SEO purposes subdomains are treated differently, so you should architect things this way such that the links to your marketing site and blog are additive.

Webflow is one option that allows you to easily combine your marketing site and blog — I use it for all my projects and recommend you do as well. The benefits of using a tool like this outweigh any flexibility you might get from serving it out of your main app. You'll get a built-in blog platform, CDN (Google likes faster content), and the ability for future non-technical employees to make copy changes and other small tweaks.

Your actual product should on the app.yourcompany.com domain (or something similar).

Kiss the ring