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Content Marketing Startups Writing

5 Content Marketing Resources for Technical Solo-Founders

If you’re a solo founder you probably don’t have much time or money to invest in content. Many founders rely on DIY audience building through creating and sharing their own content. If you want to DIY content, how do you prevent content from sucking up all your time and energy? This collection of resources aims to help you produce effective content without wasting extra time flailing in the wrong direction.

Doing Content Right by Steph Smith

Doing Content Right is the essential resource for technical content creators looking to build an audience. The books is a master class on producing effective content, from basic SEO to developing channels for getting your content out. A lot of founders waste too much time on SEO and other forms of optimization, but Steph outlines a minimalist approach that is perfect for the time-strapped content creator. The accompanying worksheets help you build out your own content strategy.

The Developer’s Guide to Content Creation by Stephanie Morillo

The Developer’s Guide to Content Creation teaches effective ways to plan out and execute individual pieces of content. Useful worksheets help you brainstorm, conquer writer’s block and get your content out the door!

The Elements of Style

If you’re DIYing, your content is likely to be on the shorter side, so you’ll want to keep it as clear and effective as possible. The Elements of Style has helped writers produce good writing for generations. I always make sure to reread it at least once a year. As far as I’m concerned, older editions have all you’ll need, and you can get these for free on Gutenberg.

Vale

Think of Vale as Grammarly for nerds. Essentially a high-powered linter for prose. You can purchase Vale’s desktop applications (Studio or Server) or do what I do and install Vale-CLI and use it with the VSCode extension. Vale can check for misspellings, wrong technical terminology, passive language, and grammar errors. Vale is geared towards technical writers, but you can write your own style. For example, I have a rule that ensures my titles meet SEO title length recommendations.

Blogging For Devs

Blogging for Devs is a website with courses, useful blog posts, and a vibrant community. If you’re a technical founder who writes, this is the place to be. Free courses include growing your marketing (on the home page) and SEO. The Blogging For Devs community is a paid membership but it is full of experienced content creators dishing out useful advice. Plus there are regular speakers/AMA sessions with tech content luminaries like Steph Smith and Stephanie Morillo.

BONUS: The Content Technologist

Had to edit this post to add The Content Technologist, a fantastic resource for learning about the tech behind producing good content. A must read whether you oversee a content department or produce your own content. 

 

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Categories
Content Marketing Startups

How do I write content for my bootstrapped startup?

If you’re bootstrapping a startup you’re probably short on both time and money. Is content marketing out of reach then? No, I think not. You just have to be able to start small.

A small start, if done right, will enable you to scale. By the time you have the money to hire a content writer, you’ll be able to tell them what to write.

I’d start with a story. Once a founder hired me to generate content. But he was never quite happy with the content. We went back and forth trying to figure out what he really wanted from content. In the end I produced a few pieces that did well on various metrics, but because there was no real goal, he still wasn’t satisfied. He had plenty of money for content, but that couldn’t help him.

These days I ask: What problems does your product solve? If your ideal customer posted about one of these problems in a forum, what would their question be?

Start with brainstorming these questions and answering them. These make great blog posts. And even more, in the future they can make great briefs once you’re thinking about hiring help with content. In fact this is exactly how I wrote the very blog post you’re reading.

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