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Launch And Grow Your Business With Start24

Roberto Popolizio
Joost Boer, Co-Founder of Start24, Person has taken up the challenge of answering our questions about his company, its evolution, plus his tips for future bloggers and insights in the latest industry trends.

P.S. If you are looking for a sitebuilder, you will also discover why Start24 switched from Divi to Kadence.

Please Present Start24 To Our Audience. What are the topics you analyze on Start24 and who is your typical reader?

Start24 gives practical advice around launching and growing a business. For instance, we offer a ton of resources on starting a website: from doing design, which WordPress theme to choose and how to pick the right web hosting. But we also offer content around sales, marketing, look into planning software to help run organizations more lean. We’re targeting Dutch (speaking) people.

Our typical readers are (fledgling) entrepreneurs and people working in small and medium-sized enterprises.

What’s Your Story? What Sparked The Idea, And How Has It Evolved So Far?

We launched Start24.nl back in May 2020. The corona pandemic was just a couple of months underway and our country was in lockdown. This meant Tom Berger (my business partner) and I had some spare time on our hands.

At that point we had both been entrepreneurs for over 5 years each. As such, we came up with the idea to built a platform for budding entrepreneurs where we’d share our advice, strategies and workflows. We were initially going to put some of our content behind a paywall, but dropped this idea in favor of relying on an affiliate marketing model by testing and reviewing both physical products and software.

Both of us have been dabbling with websites since our teens. As such the idea of launching a website seemed quite natural for us.

What Makes You Stand Out From Other Start24s Like Yours?

With Start24 we take a quite personal approach. Our website feels pretty “blog-like” both when it comes to design and our writing, or drawing, where we can on add our own experience as entrepreneurs. We don’t outsource any content: every piece of content on the site has been written by us.

Aside from that, our aim is to cover pretty much any kind of business tool under the sun: from web hosting to planning software to CRMs. On top of that we also write content about management and business in general. Many websites focus on just one of these niches.

Can You Give Us An Overview Of How You Have Built Your Website And The Tech Stack Currently Implemented?

In 2021 we moved away from the page builder approach (Divi in our case) and rebuilt the website using the Kadence theme and the Kadence Blocks plugin. Kadence has been build around the Gutenberg editor which makes it incredibly lightweight. As a result our site became much faster, while we haven’t had to sacrifice anything on functionality or design.

We’re trying to use as little plugins as possible for safety and speed reasons and to decrease the odds of conflicts occurring. Alongside the suite of Kadence plugins (such as their Pro extension, social share plugin and popup plugin), we use just a handful of other plugins, such as Pretty Links, Rank Math and SG Optimizer (for caching).

Whenever possible, we built the functionality or designs we need ourselves, e.g. through custom CSS.

What Tips Would You Give To Those Looking To Start Their Blogging Journey Now?

For those just getting started I would recommend:
  • Pick a niche you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. This makes writing engaging and valuable content 10x easier. This advice doesn’t apply if you’re experienced and hiring writers but if you’re doing everything yourself, I highly recommend this.
  • Don’t over-analyze and don’t strive for perfection. You’ll learn and get better along the way – the best way to accomplish this is to start publishing. I see many people on Facebook groups and Reddit communities suffering from “paralysis-analysis”: they overthink and overcomplicate things which might prevent them from even pushing a website live.
  • Join an online community. Not only is this helpful for gaining valuable knowledge, but blogging can also be a lonely existence. Communities solve this issue.

What Trends Do You Think Are Going To Shape The Future Of Your Industry?

When discussing blogs and niche websites, I believe that establishing oneself as a trusted brand will grow in significance. I anticipate that anonymous blogs using fake personas will gradually decline in prominence because Google favors trusted sources led by genuine experts.

On top of that, Google has been really hammering on the importance of authentic review content over the past years, looking at at their (core) updates. They want people to actually try and review products instead of regurgitating the manufacturer’s page and a few customer reviews. So I think that investing in this kind of genuine content will become more important as time passes, and that as a result the barrier to entry for new bloggers will increase.

Lastly, Any Exciting News Or Developments That You Would Like To Share About Start24?

We’ll soon start publishing articles around handling finances and bookkeeping. It’s a complicated topic, but I’m excited to take a deep-dive into it.

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