There are thousands, in fact millions of bloggers out there – in fact I suspect that many of you reading this blog yourselves! Yet many bloggers struggle with the same issues – building an audience, keeping up to date and creating blogs that people actually want to see. Chris Smith and Bec Evans saw this need to help writers kickstart their blogging careers, and came up with Prolifiko – the app that offers effective tools to change the blogging mindset. 

Tell us a bit more about your business and what it offers

We develop digital productivity tools for writers of all types and we’re launching a new app called Prolifiko to help bloggers kickstart and continue their blogging habit. Prolifiko is currently in development and set to be launched over the summer.

Prolifiko uses a simple but highly effective micro-learning process to help bloggers write targeted, effective posts which work for their audience and build their readership. The app gives the writer five short tasks to complete over two hours and then gives them a set of tools so they can go on to use – such as a writing calendar and a goal setting function – to develop a more effective blogging habit.

So, in terms of benefits, the app helps the writer not only to filter their content ideas so that they only write on topics that will engage their audience, but also to structure their posts to read well whilst optimising their time, energy and work so that each post is highly shareable and makes readers come back for more.

We are not and never will be a content aggregation bot!

We’ll be running a series of free ‘blogging with a purpose’ workshops to coincide with the launch.

And who is your target audience? Is there a particular gap that you saw in the market for this? 

For Prolifiko, our audience is anyone who wants to use their blog to build their business or professional profile in some way – or ‘blog with a purpose’ as we call it. We’re not about helping people to find ideas (most people are brimming with them) we’re about helping people become more productive, focused writers.  77% of small businesses have blogs yet 85% of those blogs have fewer than five posts – Prolifiko is all about giving people the strategy, structure and motivation to continue with their blogging.

What makes your business unique – how do you think it differs from your competitors?

Prolifiko combines a micro-learning approach with persuasive technology to give bloggers the help they need to become more focused and regular in their writing. Our behaviour change methodology is based around that used in our existing platform Write Track – a goal-setting community for creative writers.

Prolifiko homepage

So it sounds more like a productivity oriented tool then?

Yep! Prolifiko is all about helping bloggers to get read, making them more productive, saving them time, giving them focus and helping them continue.

How long have you been working on this project?

Overall, two years although we’ve ‘pivoted’ the business a couple of times so it feels like this iteration of the business is entirely different – new and exciting!

And what makes you so passionate about this business?

What we’re passionate about is helping people identify their blogging strategy, write posts that really engage their reader and then helping them to continue and progress – building their readership along the way.  If you want to use your blog to help your personal or business profile in some way – there’s no point in writing posts that don’t get read. It’s that simple. 

Tell us a bit more about your personal background and how you came to running your own business?

The people behind Prolifiko are myself and Bec Evans. I am a PR, content and communications specialist who blogs, runs a digital agency on the side and am the scriptwriter of an award-winning short comedy film… phew. Bec works in innovation and has a background built from working in publishing, editing and brand management. She also ran the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre for Creative Writing – a national writers’ centre where she worked with hundreds of writing students each year. In short, we are writers and we know what makes them tick.

And your family background? Are there any entrepreneurs in your family who motivated you to take this path?

There are two types of entrepreneur, people who do it for the money or people who do it for the freedom. Both myself and Bec are the latter. Although money is nice clearly! My main motivator in doing what I do is to have independence and autonomy and that’s definitely something I’ve wanted all my working life.

Can you remember any event that happened in the past that inspired you to start this venture?

Our best ideas come to us when we’re out of the office – doing something entirely different. For example, the original idea for Write Track came to Bec when she was out walking in the countryside. Prolifiko is really the culmination of lots of writers we know saying over and over that we should build a writing tool for them – so just generally being harassed by friends!

Tell us a bit more about your business partner and how that came about

As I’ve already mentioned, my business partner is Bec Evans who had the original idea for a productivity tool for writers. She then brought me on as a co-founder and we developed Prolifiko.

What’s the most exciting or inspirational moment to date running this business, or in fact in your life in general? 

This is a bit cheesy but it’s important – our users continually surprise and inspire us. We’ve had AMAZING feedback when talking to bloggers about Prolifiko and about the challenges and issues they have. Whether it’s feeling like they’re blogging into a vacuum (we’ve all been there) or feeling guilty about not blogging each week – we know that so many writers share the same issues and it’s been great that our ideas have gained so much support.

And the toughest moment?

Putting your trust and faith in people who let you down, don’t deliver or over promise. You don’t want it to shake your faith in people because we believe people are fundamentally good. But sometimes, it’s hard.

Was there ever a strange moment in your life, for example something happened that made you feel like you were destined to do this?

Working in a dingy office with windows you couldn’t open, having a two-hour commute and the slow, creeping realisation that there MUST be more to life than this. So more prosaic than weird but still momentous! For Bec, being told in her first job after university that she’d never get anywhere wearing trainers to work. Now, she’s head of innovation for a publishers and co-founder of a startup. And still wears trainers.

Where do you envision your business being in 3 years’ time? 

We want to run a digital writing productivity empire! We want to start with blogging and business writing but we want to create products for writers of all types because whilst writing makes people happy, people struggle with the same problems of discipline, motivation and confidence.

And finally, for someone who’s starting a business, what would be the one piece of advice you can offer?

Put people at the heart of what you do, listen to them and paraphrasing the words of Paul Graham – make stuff people want.