One of my clients, Tugboat Enterprises, launched its “Rising Tide: Tales from The Land of Selkie” blog last week, and if you’re wondering about some of the finer points of doing a product blog, it’s definitely worth a visit.
When you get there, you’re not going to find a blog extolling the wonders of Selkie Rescue (which is actually pretty hot stuff, if your primary box is a PC and you want to have a hope in hell of recovering your data when it dies).
What you’ll find is a mix of topics that are in part about the product, but much more about the people, passions and values of Tugboat. It’s those things that readers will remember and respond to and respect.
Want four pointers to effective product blogging? Here goes:
- Never, ever “market”. Marketing has its place in the scheme of things; your product blog is not that place. Instead, focus on the where your interests and passions and the the interests and passions of the people you want to be your customers intersect.
- People are interested in guess what? People. With the exception of sites that feed our inner child – like Engaget – blogging is about people. Sometimes the people you hate, or you love, or that anger you, or that you wish you were. It’s a conversation between people. What that means for your microISV blog is that posts about moving from 1.0.3 to 1.0.4 are fine, but posts about who your customers are and what they’re doing with your product are better.
- Be remarkable. That means, have opinions, say things you care about even if some – or most – of your customers may not agree. If you’re blogging about the right things your prospective customers will soon figure out you are on their side. If they don’t because you’ve watered down all the passion in an effort to be “businesslike” or worse still, “corporate”, you lose.
- Don’t be afraid to show off and have a little fun. I love Tugboat’s film noir/Raymond Chandler promo they have in the middle of their blog. It’s funny, cute, hokey and self-effacing. It works. Besides, if running a startup isn’t fun now and again, why are you doing it?
It was a lot of fun working with Judi, Emma and the rest of the Tugboat gang helping them find their voice for blog. I guess they thought so too:
“Bob Walsh’s knowledge of the world of blogging helped guide us in getting our company’s blog, “Selkie – Musings from the Island of Misfits” up and running. We found his insights and advice valuable, and reading his book
“Clear Blogging” was very useful as well.”
– Emma Larocque, Sales & Marketing Coordinator – Tugboat Enterprises Ltd.