TL;DR — I want to help more women investors share their expertise through writing. This post features those who already blog and how to join them.
My personal mission, as the VP @ Springboard Enterprises and beyond, is to promote, inspire, and increase the odds of success of women entrepreneurial leaders.
So when CB Insights put out its Periodic Table of VC Bloggers last month, I was disheartened — but admittedly not surprised — to find just five of the 89 blogs on the table penned by women: Christine Herron, Renee DiResta, Jalak Jobanputra, Joanne Wilson, and Christine Tsai.
To me, words are a powerful tool. They have the potential to inspire, entertain, and bring awareness. Writers help advance the industry through thought leadership, and — as Founder Collective’s Joe Flaherty points out — prolific writing leads to influence.
Three quick facts
- Fact: According to a recent Fortune article, 96% of VCs are men so one would expect this list to be gender imbalanced. With the blogs above, women represent 5.6% of active VC bloggers.
- Fact: There are a number of other women VCs/angels who blog — Dayna Grayson, Lisa Suennen, Carol Curley, Kara Nortman, Whitney Johnson, Caterina Fake, Sallie Krawcheck, Kelly Hoey — even though they didn’t make the list. Many also write guest posts on Women 2.0 or here on Medium. The list even inspired others to blog, like Katie Bolin.
- Fact: The most widely-read VC blogs are written by men, according to the VC blog directory produced by Larry Cheng in 2011. While it is an old list, the top-ranked blog by a female VC at that time — Christine Herron — was 28th. A more recent 2013 investor blog index by Danielle Morrill doesn’t indicate an improvement (she notes that just two female VCs were blogging, one inactive for several years).
In fact, while CB Insights included only active VC bloggers, defined as blogging at least “a couple times in the past year”, the number of posts for the women on this list in 2014 was 4 or less for all but Joanne Wilson:
Two options for those who’d consider blogging
I know from managing Springboard’s column on Inc.com for the last two years that investors, entrepreneurs and experts are often simply too busy getting stuff done to prioritize writing. Those that do leave me in awe.
I think the world would benefit from hearing the voices of more women investors, so I’d like to help others join them.
Here are your two ways you could start:
- Start small, write for a column or a platform
The best way to build a successful habit is to start small. Consider writing a guest post for our Springboard column on Inc.com or for Women 2.0. Or, use a platform — write on Medium, LinkedIn, Quora, or Tumblr where your posts will already have a built-in audience.
- Go big, start your own blog
I hope to see many join Katie Bolin in her pledge to write regularly, whether it’s weekly or even monthly. Here is a quick guide to start blogging when you feel you don’t have the time.
Five problems faced by busy investors that want to blog
Whichever way you choose, you will face the same challenges with your writing as any entrepreneur or busy executive. These are just some of the things I struggle with, and how I try to address them.
Problem: Making the time.
Solution: Schedule the time on your calendar like any meeting.
Problem: Maintaining the habit.
Solution: Commit publicly to write once every quarter, month, week, or more.
Problem: Knowing what to write.
Solution: Write only about what you know. Pretend there is a friend or a peer and that you are writing a letter just for them.
Problem: Worrying about who reads it.
Solution: Forget it. Ignore hateful comments or #tweets and just enjoy when you learn that just one person has benefited positively from your story.
Problem: Worrying about ROI.
Solution: Again, forget it. Build an audience first, and ‘monetize later’. Writing is like networking — the value created often isn’t able to be directly traced to any one particular activity.
Here is how I can help
I want to offer more than just share a few tips. Here’s how I am prepared to help and if you are interested, message me if you would like to help too. Together I hope we can bring some gender diversity to the VC blogosphere.
- Write an article and share the published link with me. Send me a message and I will send it through my networks.
- Write an article and share the draft with me. I will be happy to provide my $0.02 or can share it with others willing to review your draft.
- Sign up to write an article for our Springboard column on Inc.com. Shoot me a note and we can work together to craft a topic and discuss the format.
The List of Women Investors Who Blog
Please let me know who I am missing in the comments, and I will update this list. Click here to follow them all on twitter.
- Christine Herron — http://www.christine.net/
- Renee DiResta — http://blog.noupsi.de/
- Jalak Jobanputra — http://thebarefootvc.com/
- Joanne Wilson — http://gothamgal.com/
- Christine Tsai — http://christinetsai.co/
- Katie Bolin — http://katiebolin.com/
- Dayna Grayson — http://daynagrayson.com/
- Lisa Suennen — http://venturevalkyrie.com/
- Carol Curley — https://womeninvest.wordpress.com/
- Kara Nortman — http://www.ventureinside.com/
- Whitney Johnson — http://whitneyjohnson.com/blog/
- Caterina Fake — http://caterina.net/
- Sallie Krawcheck — https://www.linkedin.com/influencer/174077701
- Kelly Hoey — https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/5902826
- Rania Anderson — http://thewaywomenwork.com/articles/
- Female Founders Fund — http://femalefoundersfund.com/blog
- Katherine Barr — http://www.inc.com/author/katherine-barr
- Heidi Roizen — http://heidiroizen.tumblr.com/
- Kay Koplovitz —http://www.forbes.com/sites/kaykoplovitz/
- Dawn Umlah — http://dawnunfiltered.com/
- Lizzy Hazeltine — http://ehazeltine.com/
- Judy Robinett — http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judy-robinett/
- Brittany Laughlin — http://www.brittanymlaughlin.com/