Editorial strategy

This page explains the strategy behind the content we publish on the Sourcegraph blog.

The Editorial Strategy for the Sourcegraph blog builds on our FY22 Content Strategy.

As one of Sourcegraph’s primary channels for generating awareness, the blog should play a key role in establishing the brand and our credibility with our audience. Beyond the blog, contributions to external publications and spin-off programs such as newsletters make up an editorial ecosystem.

In the context of content marketing, editorial content is defined by Power Digital Marketing as “content that is not explicitly aimed at selling something”.

Most technology brands have a corporate blog to support their content strategy, driving traffic through referrals and SEO, to build authority, credibility, and trust with their audience. Some brands have a separate engineering blog (for example, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb), which works well for consumer-facing brands whose customers are not necessarily interested in how the technology is built. For the most part however, corporate blogs tend to publish a blend of editorial and promotional content, ranging from tutorials and how-tos, engineering deep dives and product spotlights, to analyst report accolades, customer stories and company news.

With so much potential content to share, an editorial strategy helps to guide our decision making. It forces us to keep our audience’s needs top of mind and ensure that each blog post is set up for success by always offering something of value to our readers, maintaining a high quality bar, and aligning with broader marketing themes and objectives.

Editorial principles

The editorial strategy for Sourcegraph’s blog draws on the same principles that inform our overall content strategy:

  1. Quality over quantity. We do not sacrifice quality for quantity, and we take our reputation as a content producing company seriously. We respect our audiences’ time and thus, we respect the creative process and allow ample time for content creation.
  2. Audience-first mentality. We prioritize the needs of our audience over our own. Our content offers useful and actionable information regardless of whether the reader uses Sourcegraph or not. Content marketing does not equal advertising.
  3. Keep it helpful and simple. We make it easy to find, consume, and share our content. We create content that is intelligent, thoughtful, and accessible to all and apply user experience best practices. We don’t engage in fear mongering or share vapid content.

All blog posts and other editorial content need to align with the above principles, and we will vet content at all stages of production to ensure it meets our editorial standards:

  1. At the pitch stage: Wherever the idea comes from (within editorial, marketing, the rest of the company, or externally), at this stage we evaluate what value the proposed content will offer the reader. Is it helpful and simple? What do we hope they will learn or take away from the post? Are we putting the audience’s needs ahead of our own? (That is, are we helping them to learn something, solve a problem, or even entertain them, rather than just pushing a particular product feature?)
  2. At the review stage: Is the draft delivering on the pitch? Have we provided enough context or background information? Is it written in plain language and structured so it’s easy to read?
  3. After publishing: We will monitor performance of content to assess how it’s being received by our audience, and iterate on our strategy based on what we learn.

Mission statement

In one sentence: “Insights, tips, and technology to help you hone your craft and grow your career.”

The Sourcegraph’s blog primary function is to serve our developer audience: to be a source of information, inspiration, and delight. We want to help make developers’ jobs easier by surfacing technology, tips, and ideas to improve efficiency, grow in their careers, and hone their craft. We will do this by applying the above principles rigorously to all content that we publish.

The secondary function of the blog is to grow awareness of Sourcegraph’s brand. Fulfilling this function is a direct result of the first: we can’t establish Sourcegraph as a trusted, respected developer brand without serving our audience first.

Priority content

The buckets outlined below are an internal reference and guideline. Although there are three buckets here, content we may publish isn’t limited to these, and we may publish more of one type of content than others.

  1. Inside Sourcegraph engineering: How we built X, scaled Y, debugged Z. These are meaty deep dives into the process of building and iterating on Sourcegraph the product and engineering org. Got code snippets? Graphs and charts? Links to PRs? We’ll take them all. Even though we may talk about Sourcegraph as part of these stories, the focus is on the technical work behind the product rather than the product itself.
  2. Tutorials/how tos: These practical posts show readers how to solve a problem or improve on a skill. Better code reviews, communication and collaboration advice, and productivity tips are examples of topics we might tackle here.
  3. Customer/user stories: Stories highlighting cool things our customers and users are doing with or because of Sourcegraph. We’ll collaborate with customer marketing and community on these.

To view sample categories and feature stories, team members can check out the Editorial Strategy RFC.

Blogs our devs trust

According to a question asked in Slack, our devs would trust the information coming from the following company blogs if they saw a post in a Google search or on HackerNews.

Learnings: TODO