i would like to know if you have started a blog as a way to attract and have conversations with what could potentially become your earlyvangelists and regular customers?
But i mean specifically starting up a blog on a real domain (not free hosted) before any product development, basically as a way to establish yourself and for you to learn from them but also for them to see that you're more than just someone wanting to chat.
Im thinking that a blog could make it easier to find people to complete surveys and more.
A stepping stone basically to build relationships with them, for the customer discovery step of customer development, i think it would be important to have a decent blog design for this, i mean relevant to the initial idea and not to use a free template.
A few questions that i have though are:
Would you setup the blog on the subdomain, with nothing on the main domain for the time being? Im thinking that if the feedback and interest is in the right direction then i would not want to waste the domain or the established blog content by not having it in the right place to start with.
Have you done something like this yourself but possibly done it wrong when you first tried? If so, how differently would you do it next time?
So much that i read about customer dev is about conversations, and my startup will be web based and looking for customers online so it makes sense to me to also start relationships this way, i know blogging isn't the only way but i sometimes wonder at people ignoring the chance to start it this way, especially when the investment is minimal in ££/$$ basically a domain, a custom blog theme, wordpress and time writing, i mean if customers should be looked after and relationships built to last then it makes sense (to me at least) to get used to conversing with them.
Also theres the possibility that someone who said something a few weeks ago (that got you excited) might return to tell you otherwise now, which can keep you on your toes and not making the mistake of forging ahead thinking that you dont need to ask any more questions.
Also it avoids the paranoia of trying to keep it a secret while learning, something that i have read of others making this mistake, and as quite a few people have pointed out to others, that the strength is in the execution of your startup, and that it would be daft to try and hide everything, a hindrance basically.