Beta.MN/ Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions and published in collaboration with Beta.MN for the early-stage founders between idea and execution.
What is the name of the company and/or product? Where is it found online?
BlogCalendar – www.getblogcalendar.com
What distinct problem does this solve for who and how does this create value for them?
BlogCalendar make bloggers more productive by making editorial planning easy. It also helps increase sponsored content revenue, by giving bloggers automated reporting tools for their sponsored content deliverables.
How did you come up with the idea / what was your motivation for starting?
I run two blogs, Curbly.com and ManMadeDIY.com, and we needed a way to coordinate and plan all of our content. With dozens of staff and freelance contributors (most of them remote), e-mail was not going to work. Other project management tools are built for software developers, or are too broad in their scope. We wanted something built just for blogging.
Then we had another problem: sponsored content (which is fast becoming our #1 source of revenue) was really hard to report on. I wanted to give our sponsors better evidence of their ROI, but there was no easy way to pull together a 360-degree report on a sponsored content campaign. BlogCalendar solves that by automating the reporting process, gathering metrics from sponsored blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, and links.
What is your big picture plan and vision for the future?
I want BlogCalendar to be the best tool for people who make their living from blogging. Right now we’re focused on editorial planning and sponsored content, but there are lots of other blogger-specific business needs that I hope to address.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
BlogCalendar is live and in use right now.
Who is on the team?
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
We use Rails + VueJS, and are deployed on Heroku with an AWS RDS Aurora database. The frontend UI is built on the Semantic-UI framework.
Who is the customer and what is your revenue model?
Our ideal customer is a small-to-medium sized blogger or publisher. These are folks who earn a living from blogging, social media influencers, or local publishers. We’re planning to go with a fremium model: a free entry level plan with a monthly subscription upgrade for premium features (like reporting)
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
It’s hard to get exact numbers, but there are a lot. For example, one influencer marketing directory, Fohr, reports more than 32,000 influencers on their platform.
What is your greatest strength?
Product development. I’m a web developer who runs two successful blogs, so I know the pain points that my target customer is experiencing.
What is your biggest weakness?
Marketing and sales. I don’t have a lot of experience marketing a SAAS product.
Money aside, what is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
I’d love to find a partner who’s passionate about sales and marketing to help get the product in front of the right potential customers.
Is there anything else you would like to add?