September 16, 2023
One of the best ways for a platform to expand exponentially and tap other audiences is UGC (User-generated content).
That basically means that people who love your stuff will discuss it on their channels - that can be any: YouTube, Twitter, articles, emails, you name it!
But not every company experiences this phenomenon - not at scale.
Usually, it happens more when you have an architectural tool like a database or a framework - but for companies like us (Novu), it’s pretty rare to see UGC around us.
So yes, you might not get people writing for you organically, but you can get people writing for you for money and post it on their channels.
You can gain:
More credibility - people are talking about you outside of the organization.
More reach - You can tap different people's audiences.
More buzz - You get other people’s content when you release yours.
Here is what we have done in Novu.
We have created a notion document and shared it in our Handbook.
We wrote things like:
Our way of styling
The amount of money we pay
Feel free to copy some of the stuff from our Handbook.
The more details you have in your offers, the easier it is for people to write for you.
** We shared our offer in public, but I would not recommend it, and I will explain why in the following steps.
Most technical content writers are not marketers, and they usually fall back on the easiest article in their mind to write, in our case, for example, “How to use Novu,” and when they write it, it would usually look the same as something you already have. Avoid this trap. I typically prefer the How to Style if you have read my previous blog post.
It’s super important that you write a list of topics people can write you about.
The next thing is to talk about the steps - once you let somebody write for you, give them clear goals for the schedule.
The date they start
The date they need to deliver it
Don’t leave it up to them to decide. You will never get the content in the end. They must understand they will not get paid if they don’t deliver on time.
Let’s face it: if you post on Upwork or any platform offering money for articles, you will get a huge influx of people who want to write for you. Money buys everything, so I don’t recommend publicizing the offer. Here is what we have done to find the best possible content writers - this will blow your mind. 🤯
I think good content writers are also good marketers - if their pieces or content are good, they will get a lot of attention.
Head over to DEV.to and select the hashtag of the content you are interested in, like “React” or “Kubernetes,” and then click on the “Top” DEV feed.
You will get a list of the top content writers:
They already have an audience
They know how to get to the top feed
They have decent content (not always).
Scrape all their information:
The article they wrote
Their email - sometimes they list on the platform, sometimes you can find it in their GitHub.
Now, you can reach them out over email. Here is a template we have used:
Usually, you will get around a 90% reply rate - not kidding, you need to handle it. It’s not easy.
I think I am pretty decent at growth and code, but if there is one thing I am bad at, it is logistics. Having these funnels sounds like a fan, but it’s tough to manage.
You need to track people's progress.
You need to put an editorial on people’s articles (I usually do).
You need to pay them (that can be a headache - for me at least)
You need to keep track of all of their messages and questions.
You need to keep in mind that it’s not a replacement for the current way you write articles, it means you add something new, and you need more resources for it. It’s not a walk in the park.
Do you want to brainstorm about your product? Schedule with me here (it’s free). I might give you some “aha!” moments. Who knows 🙇🏻♂️
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