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Nevo David

How to write and scale your technical content

September 2, 2023

Nevo David

How to write and scale your technical content

One of the main questions that I am being asked is what I should write about. 

This question is usually even harder for people to answer when their tool provides no API / SDK.

Let me know if this is what you think in your head:

My tool is very technical, and I don’t have time and resources to write articles at scale. Also, I find it hard to use my developers to write me content - because they write the app's code, and they don’t like this kind of job.

It sounds almost impossible to bring an outsider to write an article for me - due to the lack of seniority and knowledge of our product.

And yet, we have managed to scale and produce a Novu article every week, and we used a junior technical content writer for it.

Stop with the “How we built the tool”

I want to give a simple example with Novu - we are an open-source notification infrastructure tool. If I were to write articles like:

  • Why we have chosen to use BullMQ as our queuing system

  • Why we are moving from MongoDB to Clickhouse

  • How Novu Archived 4TB of Message Data with Atlas Online Archive and Terraform

I would fail miserably in creating constant content. I would need to interview our architect, write, and edit it (probably by myself).

Don’t get me wrong - those seniority types of articles are super important, but not for content you aim to publish weekly - it’s just too hard, especially for smaller startups / individual developers.

Also, you will run out of ideas pretty quickly.

When writing deep technical articles, they have a lower Total Addressable Market (TAM), so they won’t work for you in driving traffic using amplification platforms such as (DEV, Hashnode, and Hackernoon).

They are perfect for an SEO play.

Start with “How to do something with your tool”

So, you change it and show people how to use your tool to build something.

Things like:

  • How to build a forum - Hanko for Login, Novu for notification, Infistical for .env secret.

  • How to build a discord bot - Novu for notifications, TriggerDev for scheduling the work.

I hope you can see where I am going with it.

Since those articles live mainly on the application layer and involve the API of the system, most junior developers can handle it easily. Scaling this approach is straightforward.

The Total Addressable Market (TAM) is huge because you choose any language and any level of seniority to address.

What worked for us mostly is showing the reward of what you can get.

How to use WebSockets ❌

How to build Y with WebSockets ✅

It means that if I am a developer and read your article, I will understand how to build Y.

[IMPORTANT] Make sure:

  • Your content has code snippets. If not, you have done something wrong.

  • Less UI and less self-branding, aim for product placement technique.

I don’t have an API or SDK

I have been talking to many people who have:

  • CRMs / CMSs

  • IDE tools

  • Notion alternatives

  • Compilers

  • Postman alternatives

  • Etc

It feels like that with these kinds of tools - it’s a dead end, but it’s not.

This Novu article has almost 200k views - it was significantly trending, and we got to be trending on GitHub after posting it.

But it’s not about Novu 🤔

You see, in this article, we talked about building Websockets and Upvotes, and while this isn’t a Novu article, it lives in the world of notifications.

Here are some more options that will fit us

  • How to send SMSs with Twilio

  • How to build a real-time bidding system

  • Build a chat app with and react.

Let me explain the logic behind it.

  • Developers interested in Twilio (SMS) are most likely to be interested in Novu (We have SMS providers).

  • Developers who are interested in WebSockets will most likely be interested in Novu (Our in-app bell icon has WebSockets behind it).

And so, if I put the call-to-action in the article to give us a star for Novu, there’s a high chance people will help us - because they like what we do, the same as they enjoyed the article.

Let me write a few more examples:

  • Postman alternatives - How to write tests with jest

  • IDE (Copilot-like tools) - How to use ChatGPT to convert Javascript to Typescript

  • CRM tools - How to automate message sending to customers.

And if you are still unsure what to write, try playing with ChatGPT 😸


Of course, if you want the article to trend, here are some more resources you should read about:

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