I thought I’d publish this email just for fun. I’ve been meaning to post something about this, but why rewrite it when I can just copy and paste! It’s republished with Humberto’s very gracious permission. I’m looking forward to following his product. Another reader of this blog going forth into the ISV world!
On Aug 19, 2005, at 2:51 PM, Humberto Oliveira wrote:
First of all I would like to say that I really enjoy your blog and your expertise in marketing your product. Like yourself, I am starting a micro ISV venture with a friend of mine and I was hoping you could give me some tips about using a blog to advertise my product. Did you already have the name and maybe a rough spec of your product when you started blogging? What is the best moment to begin blogging? If I start to early isn’t it going to sound like vaporware?
Here in Brazil we don’t have as much people using blogs as a marketing tool and really believe in the power of this tool. Our product is a mass mailer web application, and our target customers are small companies and freelancers webdesigners.
Thanks for the email. You may want to check out an article I wrote that goes through some of this:
As for your questions, I started blogging a few months before I actually started production of HelpSpot. During that time I mostly just got my feet wet and talked about technology and so on. Then I think it was about February when I really got started spec’ing my business and product and I started talking about it on the blog.
I don’t think it’s really ever too early to start. The thing I’ve found is that you need to focus on the ‘business’ your starting and not entirely on the product. If all your talking about is a product that’s 6 months away, that’s boring. If, however, you talk about the process you’re going through and talk about the product in terms of the process then that’s interesting. You’ll be able to build your reader base that way and it’s great to have a reader base before the product is done because your readers can give you some great ideas. I know mine have.
Try and be as transparent as you can be, that’s how people learn from you and it’s also what gives them enough knowledge about your organization to be able to effectively help you when you ask. This is really hard, because in most businesses (all I’ve worked in) they want to keep all the knowledge inside. If you’re doing it right then you should have at least one post every few weeks where you just stare at it and wonder if you should click the publish button.
In general, I would just stay away from a blog where every post is just directly about the product. Readers aren’t as interested in your product as much as interested in you and the process you’re going through.