We spend a lot of time writing technically as developers. With the trends of learning and building in public, we’re creating more content than ever. All of this technical content creation requires both knowledge and time to create the content. With different platforms, you also have to know how to navigate through various processes and genres. As technical writers and developers, this can be a challenge. Optimizing how we package our technical writing can help to ensure a larger audience and greater value for the time we put into our writing.
Content Creation Lifecycle
Enter in the Content Creation lifecycle. What does that mean? Well, let’s start with a brainstorming session. There are three questions we’re going to answer:
- What’s your process?
- Where do you post?
- What content are you comfortable creating?
When you’re writing your post, how do you get started? Do you tweet about it? Ask others what they want to talk about? That’s a good way to gauge interest and let others know you’re working on it.
Do you research the topic? How do you research it? Do you talk to others about the topic? Do you start drafting with an outline or just start writing?
How can you be more public with your writing process? This is the first step in optimizing your content.
Posting Your Content
Once you've completed your writing, take advantage of the many places to gain visibility. If you’re posting your blog and not sharing anywhere else, you’re losing your reach. For example, I post on my own site and Dev.to or on the Deepgram Developers blog and Dev.to links on Twitter and LinkedIn and sometimes Instagram and Polywork. I’m familiar with those platforms, audiences, and how to post. You might also post on reddit, Hashnode, Facebook--there’s no short list of where to post.
Types of Content
Up above I mentioned the type of content you’re comfortable creating. I say that but I really mean “what content can you tolerate creating?” For example, I’m super uncomfortable livestreaming, but I can tolerate doing it. Blogging is my happy place, so this is where I start. You might be more comfortable creating a YouTube video, so that video could be your starting point.
My suggestion is to list what you’re comfortable creating and then set some reach goals.
Putting it into action
Now, we’re going to create your content creation lifecycle. Let’s venture back to your process. How can you utilize content creation in your discovery process? For example, if I’m writing a post on “Storytelling in Writing,” I’ll do research to ensure I grasp the topic. Here’s how I’d break down the content creation strategy:
The first step of my process is doing some research. That research includes reading articles and maybe watching some videos.
My next step will involve reaching out to my network. To do this, I could create a strategy to build my resources:
- Create a message in my most active social media space. In this case, it’s Twitter:
- Hold a Twitter Space: You’ll need to do some research to help create productive questions, but by inviting other experts in the field, you’ll be actively doing research and creating a content creation path for your technical writing. For example, you might build on the previous tweet with a Twitter Space on Storytelling in Writing like I did to help you develop your understanding of the topic.
After the exploration phase, I have a pretty good sense of the direction I want to take things. This is the perfect time to start drafting my blog post. Within that post, I can link to previous posts I’ve written like Technical Writing: A Beginner's Guide because it’s relevant to the topic of Storytelling-it’s useful to know writing basics before telling the story.
Content doesn’t have to stop when you hit that publish button. In fact, you have momentum you can continue to build on. Some options for repurposing your content:
- Livestream: You can do a project walk through or a Q&A.
- YouTube Video: Turn your blog post into a lightning talk or short video like this one I created.
- Podcast: Turn your Twitter Space into a podcast
- TikTok/Instagram Reel: Create a fun or informative short video highlighting the main point of your writing.
- Give a talk: You’re already prepared. Depending on your audience, the material may need updated, but you’re close to being done if the talk is short.It can be a lunch and learn, a conference talk, or something you put together yourself.
- Wiki: Can your post be grouped with other posts? Is there a place they can live together to provide greater context to an overall subject? Grouping it with other posts can help you to maximize your visibility for your other posts as well.
Content Creation Tools
It’s worth noting that using tools that help you to repost content can make this whole process seem a lot easier and can provide inspiration for how to repurpose your content. For example, I use Canva a lot. There’s a free version and a paid version, but both give you tools to edit images and video in a variety of ways.
Any audio or video you create for your projects can be repurposed through their transcripts too. For example, if you’re publishing a video you can use Deepgram to get the transcripts of your pre-recorded audio and use those transcripts to create an image of a quote, to create the rough draft of your blog post, or as part of the description for an Instagram post.
With so many social media options out there, there are many ways to optimize your technical writing. Where you start is up to you, but it’s often easiest to start where you’re most comfortable and then maximize your content by creating different paths to the work you want to highlight.
What does your content creation lifecycle looks like? Let's us know on our @DeepgramDevs Twitter.
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