Honest Blog Marketing or 21st Century Panhandling?

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Blog creation can be used by businesses for millions of different reasons, and as blog marketing experts, we’ve seen them all. Or at least we thought we had: On Sunday, Mashable.com ran a piece about a company blog set up by its founders to hopefully save the company.

Two years ago, Erin Hopmann and Jess Lybeck started Dabble, an education startup which hosted a series of diverse online and in-person classes for Chicago residents. Fundraising and investments for the startup were moving along just fine and sales have been up this year. However, when it came to get the next round of funding, Hopmann and Lybeck had little to no luck. The crunch has been so bad that the founders stopped taking a salary and cut their staff down from 7 to 3. The pair hopes their blogging campaign, 30 Days of Honesty, will help get investors and consumers alike excited about their brand. The blog, which started on August 26, chronicles the ups and downs of running a startup. 

“The dream would be that our knight in shining armor comes along with a belief in the business to fund it,” Hopmann told Mashable in an interview last week. “I think knowing [that option is] a stretch for 30 days, the other hope is awareness: People that use Dabble love it, so we just need more eyeballs.”

The campaign is not dissimilar to the viral Tumblr blog “My Startup Has 30 Days to Live” which served as an inspiration to Hopmann and Lybeck. While certainly unique, we’re not sure how effective the blog campaign to save Dabble will be. Only time will tell. We do know that these kinds of fundraising efforts for for-profit businesses in blogging aren’t usually received with open arms. In this era, nearly everyone knows of or has been a part of a business that failed or went under. So unless it’s for the greater good or a worthy cause, folks tend to roll their eyes at blogs that beg. Also, the campaign isn’t exactly selling readers on how great Dabble is and why it’s worth saving. Yet something about the campaign must be working, as it is definitely gaining publicity for the brand. 

Readers, what do you think? Is this brilliant blog marketing or smug panhandling? Sound off below!

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