How to Run a Blog for Tech Startups

Running a blog for a tech startup can be tricky. Not that getting a blog just right is a walk in the park for cosmetic companies, but a tech blog comes with its own set of challenges.

Before we get into the complexities of how to write a tech blog, let’s first tackle the why. Why should a tech startup, facing a multi-front battle to get its product to the right market, devote a portion of its precious time and manpower to set up and run a blog?

If done right, a blog can be an excellent tool for increasing awareness of your product in your market, directing relevant and interested traffic to your website, and positioning your company as a valuable source of information. The last benefit is a significant one. If your audience respects and appreciates your knowledge, it will be more inclined to trust your product too. It’s the type of long-term strategic thinking that elevates a startup above its competition.

Throughout the years, we’ve had our share of hurdles to jump over while running blogs for numerous tech startups and companies. Along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes – how to define a tech blog agenda, how to plan and execute it well, and much, much more.

Here we go.

Choosing the Topics

Or: What the hell should I write about?

The default instinct here is to write about your product/service. And that’s unfortunate. While you are proud of your creation and want to share it with the world (and the world should hear about it), a broader approach needs to be taken. As in everything else in life, finding a balance is key.

Writing about your product/service is obviously important for informing prospects, but you have the rest of the website for that; product and solution pages, case studies, and how-to-demos. A too-self-centered blog is very corporate – too Microsoft/Google style. So keep your product posts to release announcements, feature descriptions, and really awesome, eye-catching stats about the benefits your product delivers.


  • Strike a balance between self-promotion and providing value.
  • Write about important announcements and impressive feature and benefit stats.


The Funnel Perspective

Or: What? Content has a funnel too?

So what else should you write about? Think top of the funnel. Look at the industry you’re operating in and give the people what they want. Remember, marketing mythology says that top-of-the-funnel folks aren’t even aware that they need your product. In order to PTDTF (push them down the funnel) you need to think holistically about the ecosystem your product plays a part in and start exploring this ecosystem in your blog.

Integrations are a trove of content potential just waiting to be exploited. Every tech product works with integrations, plug-ins, add-ons, and/or APIs. Think of integrations as bridges to the rest of your ecosystem, since integrations represent processes and workflows and architectures. Prospects in your market, in any market, are searching Google to solve various difficulties they have in their work and to learn about new ways to improve efficiency and overall performance. Identify these and write about them.

And while we’re talking about the top of the funnel, what about outside the funnel? The best example of outside the funnel would be completing products/services. Every product has other products/services that are used alongside it. Most likely, those completing products/services are more well-known than yours. (If any Intel folks are reading this, we beg your pardon.) So use their ‘star power’ as leverage for your own content creation. It might sound a bit unorthodox, but it makes sense – more people are interested in well-known products than lesser-known ones. As long as they are not competing directly with yours, why not? This will make even more sense when we get to the SEO section.


  • Top-of-the-funnel posts address the pain points, trends, and best-practices of your industry.
  • Outside-the-funnel posts cover completing products/services.


How & Why SEO Should Play a Role in Your Blog Strategy

Or: Oh no, here we go, SEO again.

Everybody’s least favorite topic. From product managers to engineers, from CEOs to CMOs, from designers to office dogs – if there’s one thing that can bum anyone out, it’s SEO. So let’s try to simplify it by explaining how SEO helps you decide what to write about in your blog.

SEO is basically the marketing world equivalent of, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it still make a sound?” Think of every post you want to write like this: If a post is published on your blog and no one reads it, does it still help you?

That’s the role SEO plays in content creation – finding out in advance if folks are likely to read your post.

You have an idea of what to write about. Great. Just do some simple keyword research to see if there are a sufficient number of searches around that topic. You don’t need to do it yourself. Either your content dude knows how to do keyword research, or you can outsource it. It’s a very cut-and-dried way to make content decisions. If folks aren’t searching for it on Google, drop it.

You may find yourself asking the following question. What is considered a sufficient number of searches to justify writing about something? Only you can answer that, and it depends on the kind of product you’re pushing. If you are a SaaS (meaning you charge a monthly fee and need to drive traffic in order to obtain a certain volume of users), your cut-off number of searches should be relatively high. If, on the other hand, you have a product with a very high price tag, you only need a handful of searches to justify a blog post.

The thinking process here is somewhat similar to PPC. If you run a paid search campaign, you already have many of the insights you need.


  • Do keyword research on every topic idea before investing in writing.
  • Decide on a ‘sufficient’ number of searches to justify a blog post.


Thinking Long Term

Or: The content ROI predicament

If you are razor-focused on an immediate ROI, dollar-out-dollar-in kind of a deal, it might not be the ideal time to start a blog. Put it on the back burner and come back to it when you have enough breathing room to plan ahead. Content is a long-term game. It’s something you invest in without expecting immediate results. Still, look around – everybody is doing content even though they can’t put it in an excel sheet to calculate its ROI.

Here’s why content is ROI-challenged but still provides tons of added value: A post can have twenty-two thousand unique page views, without a single one of those converting on the session. From one perspective, this is a lead gen failure. But on the other hand, those folks that read it will remember it. Maybe a couple of weeks or months later they will read another one of your posts, and then the following year when they need a product just like yours they will go, “A-ha!” That’s another thing content is challenged by – attribution. Can’t be done.

Or maybe they do a Google search for what they’re after and one of your posts comes up – because you did your keyword research and wrote about relevant stuff that folks search for. You see, it all comes together. And that’s why content is a long-term investment.

A solid piece of content that is informative and objective and that was properly keyword-researched and constructed with an SEO-state-of-mind can carry its weight for years to come. This means it can generate a steady stream of visitors and promote brand awareness without you needing to do anything. It’s called Evergreen Content. Here’s a breakdown from the SEO masters at Ahrefs. It usually requires more investment than a ‘regular’ post, but when done right it’s priceless.


  • Content is a long-term investment.
  • Content promotes brand awareness.
  • Create a few Evergreen pieces.


Who Will Write & Who Will Manage

Or: OMG – Who will write? Who will manage?

Finding the right writers is a real challenge. And finding the right person to manage the content operation is no less of a challenge. This is especially true for technology companies that need to communicate highly technical messages to a highly technical audience. To frame this discussion, let’s divide it into content about your product (bottom of the funnel), and industry-relevant content (middle, top, and outside the funnel).

The middle, top, and outside of the funnel can be outsourced. You’ll need to do a serious search to locate experienced writers that are knowledgeable about your industry. You should ask to see relevant content they have penned in the past to prove their suitability, do a test-run with each, and then choose the best candidate(s). A word of advice: skip writers who claim understanding but are unable to provide written proof for it.

The bottom of the funnel – content that dives deep into your product – is the hardest to outsource, unless you invest in educating your writers by providing demos and detailed documentation of your product. Alternatively, you can have your product/development team write the super technical stuff about your product. It makes sense, since they know it best. But engineers aren’t famous for their writing skills, nor do they have the time to devote to it.

So how do you solve this problem? That’s where a strong content manager comes in. Everybody needs a managing hand, and writers are no different. A content operation cannot run effectively without a manager. You need someone who can guide the outsourced writers and edit their work, and lead your internal team to produce the very bottom-of-the-funnel content, either by interviewing them and ghostwriting, or by applying heavy editing. Or some combination of the above.


  • Outsource top-of-the-funnel content.
  • Do a thorough recruiting process for your writers.
  • For bottom-of-the-funnel content, you need heavy guidance for your internal team or intensive education of your outsourced writers.
  • You need a content manager to make it all happen.

Want to learn more on content marketing for startups? check out our blog, or contact us to get started

How To Market Your Startup In Germany – Part 2

In the first section of this blog post, we discussed the first batch of tips for preparing your marketing strategy to conquer the German market. If you missed it and you want to catch up, you can find it here.

In this second part of the blog, we will discuss channels, marketing tactics and privacy issues.

1. Throwing away some of your most basic marketing conventions

In German marketing, the print is not dead. If you thought you could go completely digital and never print another word, think again – the notion that everybody throws away company brochures after a glance is not necessarily true; the printed document is still alive and kicking in Germany. In fact, a “real” document is even more appreciated. For example, when corresponding with Germans via email, they feel much more comfortable getting attached documents rather than hyperlinks to a website.

Also, you may need to take a different approach regarding your success stories. If one of your strongest marketing tools is Israeli and American success stories, you will soon find they will only take you so far. Because though these may be perfect examples from where you stand (same industry, same challenges), foreign success stories are often meaningless to Germans, unless we’re talking about well-known brands. If you had to choose between presenting a potential customer with a case study that is very much like their own, but is unknown to them, and a brand that has very little in common with them, but is well-known to them – it’s best you go for the latter.

2. Data protection and privacy are for real

Europe, and Germany in particular, take protection and regulation of personal data very seriously. In fact, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will be effective as of May 25, 2018, will affect any organization intending to conduct business in Europe. From a marketing perspective, this means that many of the tactics you are used to will no longer be eligible. If email marketing is an important channel for you, you should prepare for a big change; for example, there will be no more checked-in boxes, and no additional data usage allowed unless otherwise expressly indicated. In other words, to avoid unnecessary fines, preparing for GDPR should be an essential part of your marketing strategy in Germany in the upcoming year.

3. Have you ever heard of Xing?

Xing, the German social network, is pretty much the “German LinkedIn.” The main difference is that Xing relies on offline meetings more than LinkedIn, reminding us a little bit of the popular Meetup. To be credible, you should manage a company page in German on Xing, and create profiles for executives in your startup. As far as posting goes, the same LinkedIn rules apply in Xing.

4. Where are your customers?

Dreaming of a Berlinian nightlife? It might not happen. Berlin’s startup scene is hot, and it is exactly where you want to be. However, is it where your customers are? You should probably prepare to spend your offline marketing and sales efforts someplace else such as Munich, the center of the German automotive industry, or Frankfurt, where financial and more traditional German businesses reside.

To conclude, marketing in Germany is significantly different from your North American experience and requires more than a quick adaptation of the US-centric marketing materials.

Are you already making your first steps in Germany? We would love to hear what is working for you and what isn’t-
Want to take the discussion a step forward? Let’s chat.

How To Market Your Startup In Germany – Part 1

Your startup is doing well in North America – the funnel is working, the leads are coming, and it seems that your marketing and sales efforts are finally paying off. You can pat yourself on the back (when no one else would). Another sign you are doing well is hearing your CEO tell you it is now time to conquer a new territory – Germany. Considering this is Europe’s largest economy and the world’s 4th largest economy, and keeping in mind Germans speak English – what could go wrong?

Well, many things. Ask Walmart, which failed miserably in Germany after losing a billion dollars in the process, trying to apply the same US formula that made it the largest retailer in the US.

Your startup is no Walmart; you can’t afford the time, and you certainly can’t spend billions of dollars. So, we have collected a few basic tips to support you in your initial marketing efforts in Germany. And because we wouldn’t want to wear you out, we split the list into two parts. Here’s the first one –

1. The German culture plays a role in your marketing

For once, the German thoroughness, punctuality and precision are not a myth. Germans research and compare competitive solutions, even if the solution they are looking for is inexpensive. There is hardly any buying impulse, so you should prepare in advance; Germans would expect you to hold to the same principles.

If you tell Germans a certain feature is “on the roadmap (the Israeli way of saying: “Good idea! We have no clue when we are going to have it!”),” they will expect to know exactly when they will be able to see it live. You should keep your promises!

As for your marketing efforts, English is not enough. Germans do know English; however, they expect you to make an effort for them, at least at the beginning of your relationship. So at the very least, have your landing page and product brochure in German.

2. Your funnel and sales cycle are about to change

You will need to rethink your funnel. If you have a low-touch-funnel, where conversion happens with hardly any offline efforts, you may need to rethink your approach; as you get closer to conversion, it is highly likely that you will need a face-to-face interaction to close a deal in Germany (we are talking B2B, of course).
Brace yourself. It is not going to be a quick sales cycle. Germans tend to have a long decision making cycle, which is no surprise considering their thoroughness. Prepare for a long lead nurturing process, and adjust your content marketing strategy accordingly. The upside is that Germans are considered loyal customers, and are not likely to switch easily.

3. Your product value proposition may need a facelift

You may also need to rethink product value proposition “Free” is not a good value proposition in Germany. Free product demos or free consultations might not work well with German customers, and may even cause you damage. Germans usually don’t trust free offers, and would rather pay more for higher value, rather than get something for free. In other words, in order to market in Germany, you need to rethink your value proposition. For example – improving workflow and efficiency; increasing value from existing investments; optimizing a business process; etc.

We hope you found some helpful and practical tips in this article. If you have any comments, please share them – we would love to hear what you think!

Stay tuned for the second part of this list.

The Road To Round A: Part 3 Of 3

* This blog post is based on Natan Chosnek’s presentation at the Alternative Finance Conference on March 4, 2013.

In the first two parts of “The road to Round A” we talked about the difficulties in transitioning from the pre-seed period in a start-up life, i.e., “the age of innocence”, to post-seed and preparing for round A series – when “reality bites”. We also discussed the common pitfalls start-ups face when preparing for Round A.
We are now going to share our top 10 tips for overcoming these pitfalls, beating the odds, and succeeding in raising Round A funding. So here they are:
1. Keep your priorities straight: Your top priority after your first round is your second round. Ask yourself – what should I achieve right now in order to be successful in second round?
2. Involve your investors: Remember that your investors care about you meeting your goals as much as you do – so keep them involved. Investors should know about your success and your failures.
3. Be realistic, even pessimistic: Plan attainable milestones – ones that you can actually meet. Don’t try to impress anyone.
4. Be flexible: Be ready to change your goal and even your next milestones if needed. Remember that there are many more ways to miss a goal than to reach it.
5. Focus on the next “baby step”: Use your strategic plan as a guideline only – while focusing on your next milestone – the “baby step”. That’s where you’re going to be evaluated.
6. MVP and go: Create a minimum viable product with value – don’t become a product-centric organization. Your product probably has many features, stick to the ones that help you reach initial sales.
7. Look outside: Invest time in your viability within your ecosystem: Clients, partners and investors. Don’t get stuck in your office, look what’s happening outside. It will help you figure out where you should be heading.
8. Always work on your pitch: Don’t ever think your pitch is perfect – get at least one feedback a week on your pitch, and constantly improve work on improving it.
9.  VCs are just like customers: Study the VCs you are interested in for your second round early on. Raising funds is like sales, you should get to know your potential customers.
10. Product marketing is key: Think product marketing and not just strategic marketing. Make sure your product is your best marketing tool.

“This is the coolest time in a start-up life! You can do anything! You can change direction, and everything is open. The market looks huge, the potential looks infinite”, says Benzi Ronen, CEO of Farmigo, about the post-seed period. It helps to remind yourself about this, as you make your own mistakes. And good luck!

The Road To Round A: Part 2 Of 3

* This blog post is based on Natan Chosnek’s presentation at the Alternative Finance Conference on March 4, 2013.


So, you raised seed funding. You should be much happier now, only you’re not. You have more demands to manage. You have new goals. You have staff. You have investors, and they don’t act like angels anymore.

We hate to tell you this, but it may get even harder. We are going to share with you a few of the common mistakes start-ups make on their way to Round A.

“Start thinking about second round as soon as you have the term sheet for the first round signed”, says PlanetSohoCEO, Ron Daniel, who raised $8 million series A round.

Start-ups don’t think about A round early enough, knowing that the second round is coming, and that the chance to succeed is totally dependent on the type of investors they need to approach, and their ability to set goals that will work for second round.

For some startups, seed funding came too easy. There are many reasons for it. A CEO that completed series A round in 2012 told us that this made him vain when meeting VCs for his second round. He got kicked in the butt – which he rightly deserved, and he had to change his attitude in order to succeed.

Vanity is just one of many mistakes you cannot afford when raising A round. Another is increasing your burn rate, and not taking into account that raising more funds will take longer than you expected.

The third common mistake we call “digging your own grave”. Many startups set unrealistic goals to attract their investors during first round. “Ambitious milestones are a double-edged sword”, says Yevgeny Safovich, CEO of SphereUp, raising B Round these days (Disclosure: SphereUp is a Forabilis client).

Startups and investors should realize that it is better to succeed in achieving realistic goals, rather then failing impressive ones. We have seen a start-up with a very impressive seed funding promising investors hundreds of paying B2B customers within a quarter, and, not surprisingly, failing.

Another topic many start-ups struggle with is whether to try and take giant leaps, or focus on baby steps. Giant leaps sound more impressive and the right way to go – but is it really?

Sometimes taking a small step towards your next milestone is more important than working towards a huge – but futuristic – goal. “You can do without the revenue, but even if a small number customers talk to your value – you still have a chance”, says Sharon Wagner, CEO of Cloudyn.

The last common mistake we will discuss, and it is a typical one for Israeli start-ups, is falling in love with features – and the more, the merrier. Developing your product should not come at the expense of visibility and marketing efforts. Dropbox is a great example for a start-up that had just enough of a Minimum Viable Product to go to market, used it to learn from its first customers, and become a huge success.

In summary, there are many pitfalls on the way to Round A. How do you beat the odds? we will share our best tips for the road in part 3 of this blog post.

The Road To Round A: Part 1 Of 3

* This blog post is based on Natan Chosnek’s presentation at the Alternative Finance Conference on March 4, 2013.


So you’ve decided to make your dream reality. Some will say you are merely a dreamer – but I will say that you are totally awake. You are, however, at the age of innocence.

You have a great idea, and you go for it. You attend events; do lots of networking; learn how to pitch your idea; listen to smart people who know things that you don’t; you work from coffee shops; you do lots of brainstorming; you drink lots of coffee. You don’t have any money, but you’re happy. Everything is fresh, the sky’s the limit.

And apparently, you’ve done something right. Someone is willing to take a risk on your vision – you have raised seed funding.

You should be happier, right?

Wrong. Everything just got much more complicated. We call it “Reality Bites”, or, even better, we welcome you to the age of awareness!

There’s a real office and a bigger team; many more demands; investors to manage (they were angels before, now they want results); lots of demands.

Wait, shouldn’t this be the easier part?

Wrong again. This is where it gets tricky.

In the US market alone, 7 million start-ups are formed every year (yes, 7 million). Out of them, 50 to 60 thousands get initial funding.  And only 1,500 get to the next stage, and raise Round A. It’s a tough funnel – about a quarter percent chance of success.

Let’s face it: Raising Round A is much harder. Why, and how do you beat the odds? Read more in Part 2 of this blog post.

The Forabilis Story

Forabilis means “the ability to move things forward”. In our ever- changing business world, this ability becomes much more difficult. Why? Because today, many businesses struggle to gain their market share in a crowded and tough business environment. The number of marketing and business tools is endless and confusing. Picking the wrong business or marketing strategy and tools is at best costly, but at worst, it can cost you your business.

Those who succeed are companies and organizations that know how to scale in the global market. In the past, you could afford to be local. Today, you need to be able to use the right strategies and tools, speak the market’s “language”, and work with the right people to reach a wider market and be successful.

The notion that a company like Forabilis can support companies in their global growth came out of our experience. We wear different hats – the business and sales guy cowboy hat, and the marketing gal’s beret. The cowboy hat and the beret are both crucial to any organization’s success, but they don’t always play nicely together. If it’s a small organization, you usually have one person in charge of both, and since these two hats require different attentions, that person is mostly torn in between. If it’s a bigger organization, there’s the issue of sales-marketing misalignment, with these two domains struggling and not collaborating enough to be successful.

And so we met, a business guy and a marketing gal, and discovered that if we listen closely to one another, we produce the best business results. We met when marketing gall needed some business help at a startup where she was a founder, and brought business guy to support her. Later the roles reversed, and business guy brought marketing gal to another venture, using her expertise in product marketing. This successful collaboration resulted in a business shift and a remarkable product. Forabilis was born.

We share the same attitude: we are both experienced strategists, each in our field, but we both like to get our hands dirty and do the work. We surround ourselves with great partners all around the world that help us deliver the best results for our clients. We combine high-level thinking with doing, and we pride ourselves by the quality of our deliverables and our results. And we love what we do.
2013 is the year of Forabilis. If you have questions, comments, advice, or would like to work with us, we would love to hear from you.