Focus Friday: How Buffer was featured on over 100 blogs in just 2 months

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Today is the official launch of the Focus Friday segment which focuses on how businesses are using social media today. Its an honor to have a dear friend @LeoWid to start off this segment officially. Leon will also  be featured on this Sunday upcoming Sunday Coffee with me where I will interview him and get to know him a little better. So if you have any questions about Leon or bufferapp, don’t hesitate to leave them below. Take it away Leon!

This is a tricky headline I believe. The story I want to tell is not one about traffic. It is one about conversations and great people I met.

Yes the effect was very much the above headline and I am not going to say this is not something I intended. Yet the real result for me is the opportunity to meet an amazing amount of people and to be part of insanely smart communities – something I could have never managed otherwise.

First off, here is a link to a page where all the articles are listed if you want to have a look.


So now, have we “made it”?

Then I want to say that by no means have are we “done” or “made it” with Buffer to any extent. Of course, there is a strong growth signal of 65% each month, yet our user count is modest and we are only at the start of our journey.

A journey we have chosen to walk closely together with our users, bloggers and the many people supporting us on our way.


How did we do it?

It might be interesting for your to know that about 50% of the articles written are by bloggers and journalists and the other half is written by myself.

Realising that this is a viable route took us quite a while to figure out. What I think is the most important part is that the blog owner always comes first. Wanting anything from her or him means you need to have something you can offer them too. It always is a give and take.

Therefore I thought: I am working on Buffer each and every day. I know it inside out. I am using it like a maniac too and think it is an awesome product strictly from a user perspective (I know there will always be a bias saying this).

Why not give it a go and writing about it myself?

Having only modest blogging experience it took me while to find a compelling and most importantly unbiased way to present Buffer that would be accepted and not seen as a sheer marketing effort. Yet I had something to offer: a fully fledged post, written as passionately as I could about a new Twitter Tool I loved.


The most important bit

After finding into the flow of writing Buffer posts there is another thing I learnt and I believe to be the most important bit in my case.

It might be a no brainer but it truly is key for me: I write every single post about Buffer from scratch. Yes, I am starting every post with a blank sheet. Every Buffer review I am writing needs to be fresh and exclusive. This is the least bit I can do to thank a blogger for letting me have a post on his site.


Lessons Learnt

The greatest lesson learnt is that no matter what, the relationship and the conversation always comes first. It feels a little cheesy writing this, yet there is no other way for me to put it.

It always starts out with a conversation, be it a tweet, a blog comment or an email. The goal and also the values we carry whilst building Buffer is that we want to provide value for others. If this means to write a blogpost about Buffer it is great.

If it means advice on a completely different matter or sometimes just a chance to chat, this is even better.

Helping others is our first aim, no matter what that means.


It’s not about traffic – it’s about relationships

Yes, I will say it again. On the many blogs I had the honour to write a post for I continue to be in touch with. I return to their blogs to catch up with comments or retweets of their posts. It’s the most natural thing to do.

And also it’s just great fun to be in touch with all these great minds!

So in case you are out trying to build relationships and get exposure, being sincerely interested in what others are doing is hugely valuable to every step I am taking.


How are you building your community?

Which are the steps you are taking? Do they differ from mine? I would love to hear it as I always try to expand on ways I can improve reaching more people in a genuine way.

Oh and if you need a thoroughly written guestpost about a cool Twitter Tool or any other Twitter related topics, just let me know, I am at your service :)

  • Dino Dogan

    Cool stuff Leo…of course I already knew all this because you are everywhere man :-)

    You my friend, are a great example of how bootstrapping a project is done the right way…there are many organization that could learn a thing or two…or a thousand…from you.

    Great work…keep it up.

  • jaybaer

    Leo has done an amazing job on this. Truly.

    The real secret though? Working your ass off. There are not shortcuts for engagement or content creation. Just winning hearts and minds one at a time.

    Well played. I’m a HUGE proponent of Buffer. It’s changed the way I handle my time on Twitter.

  • Leo Widrich

    Jay, thanks a lot for your comment, it is really good to see you here.

    Yep, you are absolutely right there are no shortcuts and it all comes down to hard work. It helps a great deal if you love what you are doing I think and building relationships is just a great opportunity.

    Oh and thanks for your kind words on Buffer, it’s really much appreciated.

  • Leo Widrich

    Dino, thanks for your comment man. I can only return the compliment, it was actually your blog where I first set foot onto ground where there was a real community in place. You remember? It was quite a while ago it feels now and it set me off to a great race. Glad to run it with you :)

    And thanks for the kind words on bootstrapping, I think Jay made a great point above and it is a combination of work and genuine interest in creating relationships. As the founder of Triberr I think there is a story or two you can tell about that too.

    It’s great being in touch with you Dino, makes life a great deal more enjoyable my friend :).

  • Prasant Naidu

    It’s not about traffic, its about relationship. same way its about sharing and not about selling. the more i read about you guys I motivate myself towards my passion. great thoughts behind all ur hard good luck Leon and Aaron great start of Focus Friday.
    One question that i would love to ask here is that how did u kept ur self focussed in the process of developing apps. I mean there are so many apps, did failure made u guys weak and think that this a mad rush. so wht were ur thoughts or activities to keep these feelings away :)

  • Prasant Naidu

    Dino, Leon’s tweets were quite an indication that he was doing something great for aaron 😉

  • nealschaffer

    All I can say is: Leo is the man, someone who has the passion, energy, and intelligence to succeed in a hyper social world that we live in. Long live Buffer!

  • Leo Widrich

    Neal, great to see you here.

    Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate it and they bring me my boost for the next weeks of full steam work on Buffer.

    It really is a hyper social world just like you say, having people like you and Aaron around makes a huge difference. Thanks for all the support.

    Speak to you soon! :)

  • Leo Widrich

    Prasant, wow, you are doing a really great job yourself socialising and building connections! Great to see you here man.

    So glad you find the stuff we are doing motivating, this well motivates us both then! :)

    That’s a great questions. We applied to Y Combinator recently and go rejected and there was a very similar question there. We responded “It’s not the huge amount of other apps out there that scares us off, it is losing focus and forgetting about what our users need that scares the hell out of Joel and me”.

    So in a way, I really try to keep my focus on our users and not worry at all about competition. Competition is great in fact. There is always enough users we can get in touch with and we don’t have to worry about other apps doing a similar thing, there always need to be alternatives! :)

    Hope that helps with your question Prasant, thanks for your comment :)

  • Aaron Lee

    I agree with you completely Jay, there is no secret than working your ass off and I see Leo doing this amazingly. Hard work pays off and its showing for Leo.

    I see huge promises in buffer as well. We’ll hear more about buffer this coming Sunday. :)

  • Aaron Lee

    LoL! I agree Neal! The other day I saw a video of your blog on buffer blog. Passion is indeed the key and Leo has 100x moer passion than anyone I know.

  • Aaron Lee

    Indeed, Dino is amazing when building a community. He’s everywhere just like you Leo. I notice that when dropping by blogs and I see comments both of you make LoL! Moreover it was your emails, tweets and comments that never fails to catch my attention Leon.

    Cheers to that. Perhaps we can share the email too because it was good email.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing blog post. I’ll continue to share this because this something we all need to learn.

  • Prasant Naidu

    Thanks Leo, i am trying to observe people how and what they are doing. Yes users, that’s the key thing cause u are up there cause of them and if you don’t respect them you know it better :) yes will keep my focus and i have the same thought process when i am doing something what i am doing. really helps and as jaybaer has said it no shortcut for engagement or content creation :)

  • Leo Widrich

    Oh yeah, definitely go for it Aaron! If you find a chance to post it, go for it :)

  • FastGush

    We never received your post! We waited..

  • Leo Widrich

    Oh no, I am terribly sorry that I let this one slip, I am writing one as we speak, hope I can make up for that! It would be the first feature with the brand new Buffer features, hope it is not too late. :)

  • FastGush

    No Probs!

  • Leo Widrich

    Just sent a fresh post over, hope you can let me know if it is still acceptable :)

  • Kiera Pedley

    Goes to show that hustle pays off – Well done Leo! Good on you for embarking on the marathon, not just the short sprint!

  • Leo Widrich

    Kiera, thanks for your comment.

    Yep, I couldn’t agree more, actually Joel who founded Buffer uses these exact words too. We are not on a sprint, we need to run the marathon.

    Glad you found the story interesting :)

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  • Kameel

    Wow! I’m impressed. This is a fabulous example of how content creation should and community interaction should be done!

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  • Leo Widrich

    Kameel, thanks a lot for your kind words, much appreciated. Yes, I think creating a strong community is really the key to any success with a startup.

    Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  • K.Singh, London

    This is an incredible story of success and a further testament to the benefits of producing quality content. But we must not forget that Buffer is ultimately a great product. I guess the moral of the story is that you always need the basics to be right in this case a good product that makes life easier for marketers.

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  • Graphics Path

    I am really impressed to see this article and i agree with you but I just want to include one thing that we don’t have to be social butterflies to benefit from real-world interactions! It might take a bit more planning and effort, but there’s really no substitute for building relationships and finding new clients

  • Ash

    Completely agree Jay. I’ve been using buffer for about two years now and I have to say it really has been built with a lot of thought in terms of customer experience. And that, I think is a direct result of hard work!

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