January 5th, 2021
This blog post is a work in progress.

Ok, so I have an idea. And since I can’t implement it all myself, it will be best to write about it to get my thoughts on paper since I will be having someone help me with this...

I think it would be cool if we built a Starter Story Contributor program. The goal of this program is not to have guest-written articles, but to have “contributors” out in the field helping us find more businesses to cover.

One of our team members, David, lives in Spain and has been working with me for years now. One thing I noticed is he helped us find and interview many brands from Spain. Even though Spain is half the size of Germany, we have 3x the amount of interviews of brands from Spain.

My theory is that David was a bit of an “evangelist” for Starter Story. I know that he works with a lot of startups in Spain and is well-established in the startup community.

If we can have more people “in the field” in different countries and communities, we could (1) expand brand recognition/traffic (2) interview more businesses & grow our datasets (3) see trending business ideas FIRST and (4) reach new international audiences.

This reminds me a bit of the Forbes Contributor network, which has been a huge driver for them.

As always, interviewing more people is a virtuous loop for Starter Story. We publish their interview, and it benefits us. It also benefits the business with recognition and press, and they share it on socials and tell their friends.

So whenever we publish an interview, we are opening more opportunities for more interviews in the future. If we can do this at scale, we grow all of the business, including traffic, memberships, and brand.

Why I think this works fundamentally (what are the incentives?)

Businesses want press, especially new businesses that are having a hard time getting press. At Starter Story we’ve built a model that can cover any business, even small side projects. I’ve always said that every business has a story to tell, and there is always something interesting, deep down.

For our contributors, having connections at Starter Story is an asset. If our contributor is speaking to a business owner, they can say “Hey, we can get you a nice press piece for your business, and it’s free”.

Once the article is published, we can link to that contributor’s LinkedIn, socials, etc. This helps build the contributor’s brand, and also incentivizes them to get us more interviews. For each interview they do, they’ll have their name, link (for backlinks) and photo slapped on there.

How to find contributors?

The first place we can start is on our mailing list. I’m sure there are some people that would like to help. We can send an email blast about the program.

The next place is Twitter.

The next place is on the website directly. We could have a CTA on each article to get some people interested.

The other thing we could do is go directly to startup networks. Coworking spaces, startup incubators, etc. The benefit for them is to help their companies, and also to incentivize other startups to join their programs.


We could incentivize people and pay them on a per-interview basis,  but I’m not convinced we need to do this. We do all the heavy lifting for the interviews...

If you're reading this and have some ideas/input, I'd love to hear.