Hey folks! Welcome to my sandbox. I want to spend some time here talking about developer advocacy, content marketing, developer experience, social media, SEO, and probably politics and puppies if we’re being really honest with one another.
I currently lead developer advocacy and content at Split.io, where we hope to be beloved by every developer who has ever deployed code behind a feature flag. So like, all of you, right? Previously I’ve led developer content at Okta and Stormpath, consulted on content strategy for a variety of smaller startups, and led initial content efforts at Delivering Happiness. I have a BA in English from Kent State in Ohio and am always happy to debate less vs. fewer with anyone. Let’s not start on Oxford commas, ok?
Content Strategy and Developer Advocacy
I believe that a data-driven content strategy is one of the critical pillars of a successful developer advocacy program. And yes, that means understanding SEO and wielding it with tactical finesse.
We used to say that content was king, and if you wrote it (and wrote it well), they would come. This isn’t not true, and many many programs have found high degrees of success just from a volume of highly valuable, well-written content, without giving much of any thought to SEO. My argument is simply that you can find that success faster with an SEO-driven content strategy. My approach has always been to understand the ecosystem of keywords relevant to my brand and relevant to developers everywhere and combine that knowledge with a clearly mapped customer maturity curve. This work will get you to a set of keywords you should be targeting right now and in the future. You then build a program to systematically attack and own that ground. We’re going to talk more about how all of this works on this blog.
Content is still king. It’s not just about SEO, and your SEO-driven content still has to be excellent. But if you’re going to take the time to write awesome content, why not give it the broadest possible visibility and the longest life you can?
Who Else Am I?
Shockingly, even though dev advocacy and content are my professional passions, I’ve got a bunch more interests. Yay for being a well-rounded person, or something? Even more shockingly, as a writer, I like to write. Hence this blog. I’ve also written a couple of novels that we should all hope never see the light of day. I’m a long-time participant in and supporter of NaNoWriMo, and my fiction work has all sprung from previous feverish November writing sprees. Think space operas and urban fantasy.
I’m also a wife and a mom in California’s Bay Area. I like to think I’ve held on to the best of my midwestern values as I’ve evolved into a “west coast liberal.” Sorry, Dad. I believe in community, friendliness, and lending a hand or a dollar everywhere you can. I identify with the “maker” culture and find deep satisfaction behind my sewing machine.
Looping back to those space operas… I’ve been heard to say that my morals and ethics have been shaped by Star Trek as much as or more than anything else. The Next Generation was formative television for me and gave me an optimistic vision of humanity’s future that 2020 has deeply challenged. I think science fiction exists to question and explore the human experience, and reading great sci-fi is one of my favorite ways to challenge my own thinking.
If any of this resonates with you, I’m excited to have you along for the ride, and if you’re just here to build a better content or advocacy program, that’s awesome too!