In this age we’re living in there are crazy amounts of content floating around. Take YouTube for example 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! If that doesn’t convince you, users watch almost 5 billion videos on Youtube every single day.
In the world of startups and content marketing, it’s even easier to get lost in the overwhelming amount of content. Everyone claims to have the best advice, the latest and greatest growth hacks and the most actionable case studies.
The time of Founders and CEOs are precious. So, the time they spend consuming content and educating themselves should be time well-spent on quality and actionable content.
That’s why I asked around and compiled a list of proven publications. These are sites that provide data-driven approaches to the most important questions facing SaaS start-ups.
The blog of Tomasz Tunguz
He releases articles quite frequently, almost on a daily basis.
His pieces are data-driven, well-written and actionable.
The topics are startup related: he covers lots of different subjects from content marketing, customer success, culture and strategy to financials, fundraising and data-analysis.
There are over 20,000 subscribers on his email list, and if you’d like to receive his posts via email you can join them by submitting your email on his blog.
He advised, invested or worked with more than 70 companies. So, from his background, you can see that his knowledge is based on true experience and success in the industry.
As Tomasz Tunguz, he covers a wide variety of topics too, but he focuses on SaaS businesses.
Here are the headlines of a couple pieces by him. Just to give you a taste about the subjects he covers:
- The 3-Step Startup Marketing Framework We Created to Grow KISSmetrics
- 27 books every startup ought to read
- Crawl, Walk, Run: Business Lessons from a Toddler
- Create products that people love by validating your idea first
- How Optimizely Shrunk Google’s Market Share by 92%
- 3 Lessons that SaaS Founders Should Learn from David Cancel
- Pitch Deck Templates Won’t Get You Funding, Here’s What You Can Do
- How to Build a Brand from Nothing
- 7 lessons learned growing SaaS companies
- It’s easier than ever to acquire customers for your SaaS business
- My favorite interview question for early stage startup candidates
Hiten also has a newsletter called SaaS Weekly. He shares his insights about entrepreneurship and features curated articles on SaaS businesses.
Groove is Help Desk Software for Small Businesses. They have over 6000 teams using their awesome solution. And as their product, the blog they run is amazing as well.
The Groove blog features articles about the startup journey, product and customer support, Q&As, and interviews. And it has a theme: Journey to $10M a Year, which you can even see from the timeline style design. There is a wide range of content types so you’ll always find something to digest.
Their most popular articles all have over 2000 shares! And there’s a good reason for that: these articles are engaging and experience based. Among the highlighting their successes they write about their failures, too. That makes their whole blog honest and credible.
Also, their content is well-written, structured and entertaining while staying educational. Which is a fine line to dance on!
Here are the headlines of their best content:
- A SaaS Startup’s Journey to $100,000 a Month
- 3 Early Fails That Nearly Killed Our Startup
- How We Built an Online Course That Generated $120,679 in 5 Days
- How I Overcame One of My Deepest Fears as an Entrepreneur
- Behind the Scenes: How We’ve Built a$5M/Year Business in 3 Years With Content Marketing
- Too Many Startups Like Playing Startup
- Interview: How Harvest Grew to 40,000+ Customers With Zero Funding
- Interview: How Product Hunt Went From a Side Project to One of the Hottest Sites in Tech
- Interview: How One SaaS Founder Went From Bagging Groceries To Building A Multi‑Million Dollar Business
- Interview: How Andy Drish Went From Picking Corn to Building a Multi-Million Dollar Business
Every Friday they answer a question that was asked by some from their audience. They choose the questions from the comments sections of the previous Q&A post or you can ask them via Twitter @Groove.
The questions vary from ‘When is it okay to be a jerk?‘ to ‘Do You Have to Be Technical to Start a Software Company?’ and ‘Do we hire people without remote work experience?’.
This a genius way of engaging with your audience and produce content around topics they are actually interested in. You can subscribe to a separate newsletter dedicated for these Friday Q&As.
As their blog, the newsletters they send out are awesome, too.
Close.io is a CRM solution for start-ups and SMBs.
Unlike the blogs featured until now the Close.io blog has a narrower scope. As you would expect their blog is sales oriented. As it usually is, with a smaller scope comes more focused and actionable advice in a certain field. And that’s what this blog delivers: actionable sales advice.
Sales is a skill a Founder or CEO has to develop for their company to grow. Especially in the early stages. Because you can use sales skills in all walks of life, not just for selling your product.
They write about cold calling and emailing, LinkedIn prospecting, warm up routines and everything sales and CRM related.
Once again here are a couple of headlines, to give you an idea of what to expect:
- 24 B2B cold calling tips for sales success in 2017
- 5 cold email templates that will generate warm leads for your sales team!
- Avoid embarrassing sales performance by learning this simple 3 step warm up routine
- How to close a deal when the prospect has a “better offer” from a competitor
- What every inside sales team needs to know about using LinkedIn for prospecting, qualifying & closing deals
- 3 stupid sales shortcuts: spamming, lying, and begging
- 10 steps to create a successful sales plan for your startup
- 5 person sales team? Here’s how to create predictable performance
- How to create a sales call script [Free template]
As it was with all previous blogs the Close.io newsletter is great, so don’t be afraid to give them your best email.
“SaaStr is the undisputed thought leader in how to build SaaS businesses. Jason is legendary.” — Lew Cirne, CEO NewRelic
Today, SaaStr has over 3 million views per months. It also has a venture fund, that invests in 4-5 promising SaaS start-ups per year.
Forbes included SaaStr as one of the Top 100 blogs for entrepreneurs and Inc. named it one of The 50 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs.
If these accolades don’t convince you what SaaStr is one of the most credible and respected sources in the SaaS scene, I don’t know what will.
You can find different content formats ranging from blog posts to videos and they host events too.
The topics touch on everything connected to SaaS businesses, like customer success, hiring & retention, venture capital marketing & partnerships, building a sales team, getting initial traction and scale.
You can find a couple of headlines to give you a taste if you’re not familiar:
- 3 Simple Tips for Pricing SaaS Products in The Early Days
- Benchmarks in SaaS for Seed and Series A Rounds in 2017
- Got 100 Customers? Believe It Or Not, It’s Time for Your First User Conference
- What Lies Beyond $100M ARR? Your Company-as-a-Platform. For Others.
- 11 tips to get the best ROI on your event sponsorships
- Every Investor is Different. But. 22 Reasons I Won’t Fund You
- Want Happy Customers? Implement the 5-Visits-Plus-2-Badges Rule. For Your Customer Success Team — And You.
- In The Early Days, You Won’t Have Enough Customers. But Your Mini-Brand Will Come to Your Rescue.
- My Top 10 Year One SaaS Mistakes. Save Yourself Some Pain & Just Don’t Make Them Yourself.
- In The Early Days, Don’t Forget To Pay Yourself, Too
- In SaaS, You Have to Love the One You’re With
There are two types of newsletter subscriptions for SaaStr: you can sign up for individual posts or a weekly digest.
Startup School by Y Combinator
‘We believe the barrier to entry for people to start a startup is still too high. We want to make it easier for people to start a company, regardless of who or where you are, so we’re starting by sharing what we’ve learned, through Startup School.
Startup School is a free 10-week massively open online course (MOOC).’
The Y Combinator Startup School features great resources for people getting started in the startup world.
Its goal is to encourage and inspire people to start a company as a way of positively impacting the world.
During the course, you can learn the necessary skills to launch a company from a diverse group of entrepreneurs and industry leaders. They equip you with the resources for continuous self-improvement and growth. And it doesn’t stop there.
One of their goals is to build a community of entrepreneurs who can encourage, teach, and help each other. This is a great way to connect people from different industries so they can work together towards a common goal.
If you attend as a ‘Startup Founder’ you will also:
- Be assigned to a group of students and a group Advisor. Advisors are members of the Y Combinator alumni community who are currently running their own startup.
- Have advisory sessions once every week via online video, and as needed via email
- Have access to a Mattermost room with the other students in your group
- Be responsible for updating your advisor on progress once a week
Their site features videos of lectures with resources like transcripts, slides, and e-books attached on topics such as:
- How and Why to Start A Startup
- How to Get Ideas and How to Measure
- How to Build a Product
- How to Get Users and Grow
- How to Invent the Future
- How to Find Product Market Fit
- How to Think About PR
- Diversity & Inclusion at Early Stage Startups
- How to Build and Manage Teams
- How to Raise Money, and How to Succeed Long-Term
You can find all of these lectures and extra resources on the Startup School homepage.
As you can see from this list, they cover all the necessary subjects needed to get started in the world of start-ups, and the variety of experienced speakers provides credibility and different perspectives.
Wrapping things up
There you go, some of the best resources for an aspiring startup founder to get educated.
I think that a somewhat experienced founder or CEO knows that education has to be a lifelong process. And among these sources, everyone can find a topic or field they need some improvement in.
Sooooo…. Let’s go! 😉
If you’ve read this post to this point I guess you like to enhance your skills.
Why don’t you check out our FREE email course? 😉
I’m the Head of Marketing @ Automizy.
I started out in the marketing startup world right after graduation and since then it’s been a blast to navigate in these waters.
After work, I love playing basketball and traveling.