When we first launched the Roadmap course in May, we debated for a long time about whether or not we should start a company blog. In my past ventures, blogs ended up as exercises in futility. They inevitably died when we lost steam on our posting frequency and then we eventually stopped writing them altogether, leaving behind a graveyard of content and dreams of a large readership.

When actively maintained and frequented by an engaged user-base, a blog is an amazing asset for any company to have. So the question we posed to ourselves was: how can we create a blog that is likely to remain sustainable over time, avoiding the burnout that so frequently follows blog creation?

Our first conclusion was that my prior burnouts weren’t associated with the actual writing, but rather with the process of selecting topics to write about. Our second conclusion was that the principal focus couldn’t be simply opining on industry stories. The blog’s focus needed to center around content that we were already engaging with on a consistent basis.

So what would this tactic look like, practically speaking?

On a regular basis, I receive many questions and invitations for meetings from startup founders. In the past, I would do my best to respond to each person individually and schedule time to speak with them. My motivation for connecting with first-time entrepreneurs was threefold:

  • It kept me sharp. The best way to learn about what the future holds is to be speaking to as many people you can about the future that they are creating;
  • I believe in the principal of ‘paying it forward.’ In the past, many people were there to help me. It’s good karma for me to help others; and
  • I’m interested in bringing founders into the Roadmap boot camp where I can provide the most comprehensive entrepreneurial information I’ve gathered and scale the educational platform that we’re building.

In the past month, we created Founders’ Hours— weekly 20-minute sessions that entrepreneurs could schedule in order to ask me any questions they have about building startups or relating to the weekend course that we offer. Right now, we’re using the free minimalistic service Calendly for meeting scheduling.

While each founder’s case is fairly specific, the advice that I offer is, more often than not, broadly applicable to a wide range of entrepreneurs. This means that it makes sense to try and memorialize each session’s content in the form of a blog post. Using Founders’ Hours as a content creation vehicle would accomplish:

  • Educating entrepreneurs on business questions asked by real startup founders;
  • Drawing dedicated, quality entrepreneurs to upcoming events; and
  • Generating sustainable and shareable blog content.

By institutionalizing these question-and-answer sessions on a weekly basis, we’re guaranteeing that we’ll continually generate blog content. Publishing these findings would also satisfy our company’s over-arching vision, which is providing guidance and inspiration to entrepreneurs so that they can build stronger businesses.

At the outset, we’re instating the following basic guidelines for our blog, just to keep the content uniform and flowing smoothly:

  • Each post is based on a Founders’ Hours session;
  • Content is anonymized and generalized so that no individual can be identified and so that it will aid the larger entrepreneurial community.

As we launch this blog, we view it as an experiment, not a fixed device. For the time being, we hope we’ve solved the problem of offering content that isn’t duplicative, irrelevant, or merely self-promotional. We’ll continue adapting our guidelines as we go along, making sure to focus on content generation tactics that can be enacted with the least amount of effort and the maximum potential value, which we’ll write about here.

The Takeaway:

To have a much better chance at developing a regular blogging habit, center your blogging system around content that:

  • You’re most interested in;
  • You deal with frequently (which makes you somewhat of an authority);
  • You view as having a great potential for being automated.

If this tactic has worked for you in the past, we’d like to hear about it. Leave a comment about the wonders of automation or your blogging hacks below.

Want to receive entrepreneurial advice and contribute to the greater startup community’s knowledge base? Schedule a free Founders’ Hours session with me here. (We’ll never share your personal details.)

– Andrew