Ok, it's still resolution time, right? Time to get cracking on some new initiatives in 2013... and I can't argue strenously enough for investing the time into a blog this year if you've started a company.
Forget the fact that you can't write or it takes a long time. These are things that go away over time. First off, many of the widely read tech bloggers aren't the best writers either. They're not known for their literary prowess or their way around the English language. They're known for their insight--their ability to focus an audience on something others might not have noticed. Being a good writer is NOT a prerequisite for being a good blogger--AND, you get better by writing.
Plus, if it takes too much time, just write shorter posts. Problem solved. It's not about how much you write--it's about the practice of noticing stuff.
Being able to innovate requires both intuition and creativity--combining a good sense of direction with enough spontaneity to be willing to lose your way long enough to move in a direction others haven't travelled before. Getting into the practice of writing mixes around the disconnected new facts you pick up everyday with the existing knowledge you already have, creating new hunches. Writing also requires enough self-reflection to sift between the hunches by understanding your observational bias in order to help you pick out the best ones to follow.
In other words, if you aren't journaling what you're seeing and doing in a thoughtful way, you're running your company based on year or more old information, never cleaning off your blind spots. Just because you got funding doesn't mean you put your head down. Reporters should be looking to you to understand when things change and what it means. You need to champion your space and the trends behind you just as much as you need to champion your own company.
Your job is to keep the company funded and to hire the best people--and both require a convincing narrative told to people you build a relationship with over time. Do you think it's easier to raise money from people who have been following along for months or even years, or from people that have no idea what you're about? The chances of getting money from someone who is hearing about you for the first time during the pitch process is extremely low.
What about hires? Blogging about what you do provides a long term, consistant assault on their will power. By the end, they're willing to take a pay cut and start working crazy hours because they got on the train with you five stations ago. You've roped them into the story way before they ever saw a job post.
When an entrepreneur doesn't blog--it makes me wonder if they understand what investing in the long term really means. Blogging is a way to seed ideas with journalists. If you understand anything about PR, it's not about placing a story--it's about seeding a story early and nurturing it long before you need it. It's about relationships. You are the best person to tell your story--and two years from now, your Forbes pieces is going to be due to a reporter getting hooked into the vision long before you ever reached out to them.
When you're fighting fires everyday and you don't have time to reflect on being a better entrepreneur, or to opine on what's going on in your ecosystem, you're not building a machine. Reflection makes you better. Building a brand helps your company. It creates opportunities for you that puts distance between you and your competition. It gathers inbound opportunities for you--often your first ones, before anyone else is willing to work with you.
Not only that, but investors and business development partners want to work with leaders. They want to work with the people who are visibly moving their industry forward. If they're hearing that interesting stuff is going on in your area, you better be right in the middle of it--helping to promote it and guiding visions on how things are moving in your favor. Otherwise, you're a trend follower, not a trendsetter.
Just take an hour and a half a week--block off two periods of 45 minutes in your calendar. When you know it's there, you're going to be thinking about what you post ahead of time--which means you're going to go into your job with your eyes that much more wide open.
That's a good thing for any entrepreneur, not just one who blogs.