Content Marketing For Developers

Today I was reading about content marketing. It’s become quite popular online. Although it’s not my area of expertise, I wanted to share my thoughts about how this relates to developers.

What is content marketing?

If you want more information, check out this post: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/07/explain-content-marketing/

In this article, Michele Linn states that her favorite example is American Doll(a company that sells dolls) writing a post about girls growing up. This serves to build the brand of American Doll, rather than trying to advertize about the quality of the doll’s hair, their latest model, or the quality of the plastic they use.

What happens if a developer uses their blog to build their brand by offering content, without the focus on selling their skills?

It’s difficult to find good talent in the software world

The passion problem

Recruiters and talent acquisition specialists are looking for quality developers. However, for the developer, showing that they are passionate about their job and about tech is often difficult to convey in an authentic way. The common things that developers say to gain the attention of recruiters are often the same.

Phrases such as:

  • “I love technology”,
  • “I am a hard worker”
  • “My favorite language is Python!”

These phrases are so common they might as well have just said “I’m the same as the other 10 devs you talked to this morning”.

The unpopular standardized coding assessment

Developers hate these for many reasons. Let me just state a few things here:

  • these tests are impractical because they take too long to complete,
  • offer little reward for the effort (>1 hour just for a chance at a job at one of over 100+ places applied to)
  • lack specificity which pertains to that developers work which leads to poor hiring choices

A solution

Blog

The majority of developers know that they should have a blog, or some kind of online presence. It’s recommended all over dev.to, medium, and reddit. It’s a good way for a developer to interview themselves. Writing about code forces the developer to fact check themselves since more people will be reading what they say. This leads to a greater understanding of the topics they write about, and allows for memory recall that helps set the ideas deeper into the mind.

But there’s more to it than just learning, and taking notes. Developers that have a blog can show this to recruiters and other dev teams. The information on the blog is a record of the thoughts of the developer. It is a showcase of their skills, interests, choices, and thought processes. A good blog can replace a technical interview. Which is great if the developer is really amazing at their job, but struggles with interviews over the phone or on zoom which require them to focus in front of a stranger.

Content Marketing

“But what do I blog about?”

The blog should focus on offering value to the reader. It’s not just about what the dev knows or has done, it’s also about what the developer can help others do. This is what will bring readers in. It’s also what will make the dev more hireable. The blog should serve to build the brand of the developer rather than trying to sell themselves as a service.

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