Create content like you create products.

Startups treasure their products and put a huge amount of effort and passion into creating them.

However, many startup blogs and communities don’t have the kind of craftsmanship that their products do.

Your company does not need to blog ten times a day to have an impact.  Focus on creating content that is not merely related to the press release of the day.  Great examples are Paul Graham’s essays.  Many of them were written years ago, but if you stumble upon them today they are still a great read. 

A few tips for taking a product focused approach to creating content.

1) Start with a mindset of creating a product (content) you would love

This mindset will guide your writing process so that you naturally avoid writing spammy or uninteresting content.

2) Pick a market

If the product your startup creates has a specific market, you will probably be creating content targeted towards them much of the time.  Many times, you will also be targeting your industry peers, or markets you want to collaborate with.  Getting inside the mindset of your target is an extremely important step in creating great content.

3) Define the ‘featureset’

Content can take the form of text, video, pictures, and sub-features of all of those.  Think of all the awesomeness that is baked into a product like an iPhone.  Your content can be a combination of all the mediums or just use one, but the more you bake in, the more irresistible it can be.

Consider using beautiful artwork, or generating infographics.  People love seeing this stuff included because most content they see everyday is mass produced and lack these features.  If you don’t have the skills in house to create an infographic or a cool illustration, hire someone to help you.  Freelancers and agencies love collaborating on this stuff because it lets them flex their creative muscle.

4) Narrow down and execute

Just like in building your apps, stick to a lean mindset.  It is easier to achieve quality if you keep your content short.  Because you’ve thought and crafted your words carefully, you won’t need to overload your content.

5) Launch and refine – the feedback loop

It’s time to launch your content and spread the word.  This is a whole topic in itself, but to get started, reach out to a few friends and colleagues who you think might be interested in your content, or could offer feedback.

Just like in creating products, you will be able to use this feedback to refine your content, and get ideas for your next piece.  Your audience will naturally grow out of sharing your content with a few select peers because they will have been a part of of the creation process and want to share it with their friends as well.

Lastly, make yourself easy to contact.  Include your email or social media handle, and people will find you in no time.  By the way, I’m  and @ziadbc on twitter 🙂

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