How To Write Smart Content For A Software Development Company
One of content writers’ biggest pet peeves are people who assume that writing is easy.
Writing good, relevant and catchy content on a weekly basis is hard. Quite hard, actually.
I’ve been the main contributor for Exaud’s blog in the last year, simply because I’m part of the company’s marketing team and take care of the majority of things related to our communication. And although I really enjoy creating content, I usually find myself running out of ideas or rambling on about them. Let’s also keep in mind the fact that my background couldn’t be further away from STEM.
When I end up feeling a little bit lost and overwhelmed, I go through what I believe to be the best practices of content writing. By focusing on them, I’m able to pinpoint what topic I’m leaning into and how to build it up to a readable and hopefully, enjoyable blog entry.
Here’s my humble sheet cheat to create smart content:
Original. New. Relevant.
Ideally you’d be creating original, new and relevant content. I’m going to keep it real and say that this is a big stretch. Why? The internet is gigantic. You’ll find pretty much anything and everything in it. Expecting to be a pioneer on a certain topic is pretty bold, but I encourage you to do it nonetheless. Do your research (always!) and even when you find the subject you want to write about to be popular, consider how you can make it more interesting. Add a twist. Make it more relevant.
Another good advice is to create content you’d Google yourself or that you believe your target would look up. In B2B (which is our case), I always try to write on subjects that might interest developers and tech enthusiasts (afterall, our team is composed of those personas), but also, potential clients. I’ll leave curious topics and discussions for the first group and go for a more educational approach on the second one. Keep in mind that I’m also sharing good practices with competitors and that’s okay. Although I had my share of college professors wishing to see us rip each others’ heads and that applied between competitor companies, I believe that business to business communication relies heavily on knowledge sharing.
Make It Readable
Leave the really intense industry jargon to the side, unless you’re going for that kind of content – that’s perfectly fine but my take is that you don’t do it exclusively.
Make sure you break the text down and yes, you can call me out on that because I shamelessly love and swear by bullet points. They’re my favorite writing cheat since they allow the reader to skim the text sections easily. In a few seconds, you can find out if the text is of interest to you or if you’re going for something different. I can swear by this because that’s exactly what I do, especially when doing research for new posts.
Let The Specialists Talk And Make It Personal
I would be lying if I told you that I don’t notice my colleagues go b-a-n-a-n-a-s every time I show up at a meeting or on our slack channel asking for blog contributions. They do. They’re busy programming and I show up telling them I need someone to volunteer as a writing tribute (forgive the nerdy reference). But we’re a software development company and our core are the developers who bring our projects to life. They’re into the industry, what’s new, what’s not and we love their opinions even when they’re not directly correlated to programming. They can end up sharing some really insightful information on Jetpack Compose or taking us on a trip through the history of mobile video games. The team inputs, insight and opinions are what makes the content more personal and interesting. I’m sure every developer can talk about programming specificities but have you ever read a very passionate article on Noam Chomsky in a software development blog? Encourage them to participate and your brand awareness will thank you. And going back to the jargon talk, leave it for this type of posts, they know their stuff!
My main point here is that you don’t have to carry the blog all by yourself and for specific articles and insights you can ask for opinions and get what you need directly from the source or have them as a guest writer.
Take Advantage of Social Media
I know, the buzzword: social media. When it comes to it, we have to be cautious and strategic. We don’t want to be everywhere because it simply doesn’t make sense. For instance, what else would we add to Instagram? Absolutely nothing. If we provided solutions for B2C directly, we could certainly study a strategy but that’s not the case, so we have to go for another approach. When writing content for a Software Development company, it’s important to figure out how it will translate on social media. And social media isn’t exclusively about what you post there and how others’ perceive you and your content. Social media can also provide a lot of insights. Tech communities are quickly paced and interact A LOT – it only takes you a run through Twitter and Reddit to find some really interesting threads and subreddits on relevant topics. Not only can you fetch inspiration from them, but if you’re daring, you can promote your content there (and by daring I mean if you’re open to criticism whether it’s positive or negative, because these communities were built to exchange ideas and opinions and they won’t sugar coat anything).
Keep It Updated
I’m sorry to break it down to you and tell you that your content won’t be exclusively holding the responsibility of keeping your blog and social media relevant: regular updates also play an important role. Having a website or a blog is a commitment and search engines absolutely adore websites that are regularly updated so they can send visitors their way. When I’m about to get started on a new blog entry, I always consider how I can further explore it in the future. Is this a two parted text? Is it related to something I wrote before? Can it be linked to a ‘to be born’ article? Thinking ahead can save you a lot of time and copywriting headaches!
There’s a lot more to this but an even bigger text than this will scare you away from this blog entry. If you’re a writer, do you agree? What best practices do you stand by?
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