As those of you on our newsletter mailing list already know, we recently sat down and gave our blog a long, hard look. Not just the numbers behind it (though, those as well), but philosophical queries pertaining to its very existence. Why we are writing it, who are we writing it for, and, most importantly - what do we want to accomplish with it?
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It’s simple questions like these that often prove the hardest to answer, but also the most rewarding to think about.
So, we started with the basics. Are we writing it simply because everybody else is doing it? Because SEO is a harsh mistress and we need those juicy keywords? Or because we have something relevant to say and we believe the world will be a better place if we do?
Before this, we would sometimes do up to three blog posts a week. And this was fine - plenty of companies also produce content at a similar rate. And, like ours, their content is just that - similar and fine. You would read it, consume it, maybe even share it, but you would rarely retain any of it for long. It wouldn’t change the way you think, or give you any new insights. A disposable product, instead of a valuable resource you would come back to over and over again. Time-consuming, instead of timeless.
We’ve been in the tech game a long time now, longer than most. We’ve seen the rise and fall of MySpace, survived Windows Vista, remember the Alamo (okay, maybe not that last one). As a bootstrapped company, everything we’ve done, we’ve accomplished by relying on our own knowledge, skills, and foresight. Therefore, the stories we are about to unleash on this world are backed by the experiences we picked up along the way, through all the ups and downs. And we feel that this great journey is definitely worth writing about.
Next up - who are we writing it for? Who’s our core audience and what do you stand to gain by visiting us every week? Up until now, many of our posts were just thinly veiled advertising pieces, made to get you to buy our product (Disclaimer: which you definitely should, ActiveCollab is awesome!). But what if you’re not here for that? You should always get something out of our blog, regardless of whether you’re a customer or not. We want to view you and your needs as human first, a creative professional second, and a Google Analytics stat a distant third. And, as fellow humans, we value ideas and experience over everything else.
Our blog was already divided into categories, but we decided to add some new ones while deprecating others:
Marketing, design (UI & UX), development, and customer success stories, written by our staff (and edited by yours truly). Here, designers will share their secret stash of tips and tricks, and developers will recount the obstacles they faced when they embarked on the arduous path of the coding ninja. No fluff, only content you will find applicable and useful. Stories we wish somebody told us before we learned them the hard way.
Product updates will outline new changes and upcoming ActiveCollab features, explain the reasoning behind them, and describe all the planning and preparation such decision-making entails.
Project management and collaboration. We’ve already written about this extensively, but in the future we plan on showcasing our own first-hand experiences and how we deal with these issues on an everyday basis.
Customer stories and case studies - where our esteemed customers regale you with tales of their professional triumphs and how our software helped them manage their work.
Finally, guest posts, in which we’ll invite our tech-savvy friends to share some of their favorite stories with us.
But the biggest question we asked ourselves, the one we spent the most time pondering was - what do we want to accomplish with our blog? The more we thought, debated and pontificated on this, the more the answer became obvious - we’re doing this because we want to create something significant, something we can be proud of. We are swimming in a virtual ocean that’s brimming with useless “Top 10 Reasons Why (insert name) Is (insert adjective)”, and hollow articles that spend your precious time retelling what you already know. Our goal is to create a gentle stream of pertinent stories that use just the right amount of text needed to convey their point and never wear out their welcome.
Lofty ideals? Sure - but ones that, we feel, are worth striving for.
In the coming weeks and months, we’ll do our best to prove to you we are sincere and fully committed to this.
And, as always, thanks for reading.