I know what you’re thinking right now.
“It’s been umpteen weeks since you’ve written on this blog and THIS is what you’re going to write about?!?”
Yes, I totally used quotes because THAT is EXACTLY what you’re thinking.
Yeah, that’s right, THIS is what I’m writing about – so sit back, buck up, and get ready for a totally bumpy ride.
First, let’s focus on the AUDIENCE
1. Where do they work?
2. What languages do they use?
3. How how much experience do they have?
4. Do they tinker on nights / weekends or only at work?
Do you have multiple audiences what are the differences?
Starting with the last question, just to be contrarian, I…. wait. No, my brain just melted off. Because am I answering this question as a Red Hat employee? As an IBM employee? As the RDO Community Manager? As the OpenStack Liaison? Or as Rain the Dancing Engineer Fierce Woman?
When I talked with Adam about my melting brain he suggested focusing on the similarities among them to find the buckets OR to go ahead and entirely separate out personal from professional.
But this is being published HERE; therefore, my audience on groningenrain.nl is:
1. Works all over the world, about fifty percent in tech and fifty percent in Other Realms
2. English is the uniforming language, but also Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, python, java, ansible, and more.
3. I’m pretty sure I don’t have anyone reading this blog as young as high school or so, but starting at about high school degree ish level and going all the way up to C-level. Sometimes. But thinking about that too much leads to a bloated ego and vomiting, so let’s move quickly on to number four.
4. Yes. People tinker both on nights / weekends as well as only at work.
I definitely have a lot of different audiences who are interested in a lot of different things on this site and if someone is interested in one thing, they’re typically not interested in something else, plus I sometimes talk about really personal things.
Like, really personal.
Okay, so now we have our audience defined, the next step is to figure out what they’re interested in, so we look at the following questions:
PROBLEMS + DESIRES
1. What problems do they have?
2. What annoys them?
3. What do they want?
Ermm….. so let me know if I get this right, yeah?
1. We have all kinds of problems, #AMIRITE
But seriously, technical issues, women’s issues, diversity issues, how to simultaneously party all night AND binge watch doctor who AND eat all the chocolate chip cookies AND stay fit and trim and living up to society’s standards for the typical magazine model. Spot on, yeah?
More like how do I survive in today’s political / hateful climate? How do I stay kind / sane / gentle with #brexit and #trump and so much fucking #hate in the world?
How do I come up with another damn blog post with my son’s smile is the most distracting, joyous, beautiful thing in the entire universe?
What do I want for lunch?
2. No blog posts.
3. Blog posts.
Then we talked about this and there were a lot of answers with regards to developer relations as well as technical problems and desires. So I kind of turned left with this, but I think it’s a great direction and I’m gonna keep doin’ this cause #REASONS
There are all kinds of things we can put content together for, like:
1. company blog
2. technical blog
3. documentation tutorials
4. sample apps
case studies SUCCESS STORIES
7. use cases
and then we added
8. vlog posts
9. captured talks
Of these, which is BEST for you now? And which has the most POTENTIAL? But, more importantly, which piece of content are you going to write TONIGHT based on the AUDIENCE you described and the PROBLEMS + DESIRES that they have?
I mean, besides the live note taking blog of this workshop you’re writing right this second, RAIN.
I just realized that it’s the first Tuesday of the month and I haven’t put together the RDO Community newsletter for this month. So that’s what I’d normally do tonight. Except not really because over working is Totally Not Cool ™ but if I wasn’t at a conference this week, I’d totally slap that together today and make it happen. As it is, now, I’m going to go ahead and plan to publish November’s newsletter next week on the 13th.
How many blog posts per month?
How many blog posts per week?
How many blog posts per day?
How many blog posts per year?
Cause your priorities are indicated by your question. The answer is always two. Two per day, two per week, two per month, two per year. So…. I’m gonna go for two per month. Maybe. We’ll see. I’m thinking that two per year is more realistic over here.
Then use whatever tool you feel most comfortable to keep track of all the thingsess – that is VISIBLE and SPECIFIC. Include your test headlines so you can specifically see the content rather than “Headline will go here blah blah blah blah blah blah” and then everyone in the organization can see what’s happening, get excited, and contribute.
DO THIS NOW!
1. Create a basic editorial calendar
2. Add your first post
The calendar needs a date, a ACTUAL headline, an author, and a status and optionally include the publication (company blog, technical blog, et cetera)
I don’t even know if this trello board is available in public, but I’M GONNA ADD A LINK ANYWAY!
So I opened up https://trello.com/b/OANXdIJH/rains-private-projects and started to work.
You gotta go over there to see things.
Also, I should probably set up that newsletter. On another Trello board.
A private Trello board.
You can trust me. I actually did it.
At this point I’m wondering how much I just got derailed by thinking about cake. Cause this happened:
— K Rain Leander @DevRelCon London (@rainleander) November 6, 2018
Solve a problem that is not specific to your technology.
Use your project / focus / technology with regards to different frameworks / technologies / languages / apis / case studies / problem solving / success stories / partners / other evangelists / collaborations / demos / social listening / ET CETERA
Source the water cooler chat / the slack dialogues / IRC logging / questions for support tickets / email lists and ALWAYS add a date and ALWAYS add authors.
And then there are TYPES of posts – tutorials, interviews (vlogging or written Q&A), roundups,
think pieces thought leaderships, how we works (best practices? our practices?), customer examples or success stories, sample apps – there might not be seven different type of posts on a recurring basis, but more like two to three types on your regular posts and then posting in other ways throughout the month / quarter / year.
You have five minutes, GO!
Skimmers make your life easier!
Outline the post in terms of what the actual sub-headings will be. Write out your three to five sub-headers and then fill in the lines. These are not set in stone and may evolve to be something else, but it’s an excellent guide to get you writing.
–> Insert a tiny little rant on being a parent and having twins and mornings and waking up early and the word bullshit and I may have thrown shade. I’m sorry, Adam. <-- Find the time when you can focus consistently for an hour every single work day. AND JUST DO IT. Even if you have twins. And a toddler. Get to it, Leander.