Modern Makers #51 - Doing Content Right

✍️ How to write content in 2021 🦄 Coda is now a unicorn

Welcome to issue #51 of Modern Makers

In the agenda:👇

✅ Doing Content Right - some learnings from Steph Smith’s content
🧱 A look back at Notion's Block x Block event
➕ A list of 100 formulas to boost your Airtable bases
🦄 Coda is the new unicorn in town


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Welcome to the new makers who have joined us. I hope you are well on this sad Monday here in England after last night’s defeat against Italy 🇮🇹

As you may have noticed, the pace of publication of this newsletter has slowed down a bit in recent weeks. I'm trying to keep a bi-monthly rhythm this summer before probably going back to a weekly frequency in the autumn.

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📚 Book of the week

Doing Content Right
Author: Steph Smith
Release date: 2020

Doing Content Right is a digital product created by Steph Smith. The product includes: a 270-page book, video lessons, exercises to complete after each chapter, a quiz and a community of over 500 makers. I discovered this content on Kyleigh's recommendation.

Creating content and sharing your thoughts and expertise can accelerate your career, help you find new customers and meet new people. Writing is an essential asset for people who have mastered this skill.

This book covers all the essential aspects of online publishing. Distribution, writing, SEO, monetization... It is dense and full of links and resources to explore further. If you want to create written content, Doing Content Right will give you all the basics and the right questions to ask yourself before you start. If you already have an online publication, it will provide you with as many tips as possible for growing and monetizing your audience.

Here are some key learnings:

  • Your value proposition should be easy to articulate. What are you creating and for who? Whatever project you are working on, you should be able to summarise it in one sentence. If not, your value proposition is not clear enough.

  • There are two key aspects to managing a successful online publication: 1) Creating quality content. 2) Promoting and distributing that content. Try to allocate 50% of your time to each of these two activities. Don't make the mistake of thinking that people will find your product or content once it is online. "If you build it, they will come" is a lie.

  • We live in an age where consuming and producing information has never been easier. Information and content have become commodities. Quality is therefore the only way to stand out.

  • With so much content being created every minute on the web, it is legitimate to ask whether the world needs our content. But two types of content will always be essential: 1) New content that is relevant 2) Content that is better than what is already available

  • The Idea Ikigai - the type of content you can create lies at the intersection of 3 elements: 1) an interesting topic 2) content that does not yet exist in the format you are considering 3) a topic that you have a unique perspective on from your experiences

  • Before you start, make sure you have the patience (it's a long-term game) and have a differentiating angle that can make you stand out. This angle can be a different tone from other publications dealing with your favorite subject. Or a more original approach based on your professional experiences. Or an original way of distributing information, allowing your audience to better retain the key concepts in your content.

  • Don't spend too much time choosing your blogging platform. The most important thing is to make a choice and start writing your content.

  • Define your key audience. Who is your content aimed at? Where are your readers based? What do they do for a living? What online platforms and communities do they frequent? What types of content do they consume? What issues do they face?

Learn more - Doing Content Right

Three other content that caught my attention this week:

👑 The Queen of Cuba - Podcast - Revisionist History - Malcolm Gladwell's podcast has started its sixth season. This episode of season 4 is the audiobook version of a chapter from the book Talking to Strangers. This episode tells the story of Ana Montes, nicknamed The Queen of Cuba. A DIA employee who was actually a spy for Fidel Castro. A fascinating story.

🎓 The Creator MBA - Newsletter - Means of Creation - How content creators can take inspiration from startups to grow their business and personal brand. Creators should iterate, try out new formats and platforms to find their Creator-market fit.

📚 How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content - Video - Max Joseph - Max tries to figure out how to read more books and goes on a tour of some of the world's most beautiful book stores. This video made me want to visit the town of Obidos in Portugal and spend a night at The Literary Man hotel which contains over 65,000 books.

🌎 What’s new in the world of no-code

Notion's Block x Block event took place on June 29th. Notion made official the launch of Synced Blocks that I mentioned in Modern Makers #50. Notion also confirmed the upcoming launch of a French version.

A session allowed us to see how Notion's teams use Notion in their daily work. Another session focused on the automation possibilities offered by the API.

All the conferences are available on Notion's Youtube channel.

I also enjoyed this article which focuses on a new trending job: "Chief Notion Officer" — Notion experts who help companies build and optimize their workspaces, while training teams to use the tool and implement good practices. A proof of how important tools such as Notion have become for businesses. Even more so in the new post-Covid environment where the need to centralize all essential information in an internal Wiki is becoming crucial (e.g. for the successful integration of remote employees).

Formulas are an essential part of getting the most out of your data. The Formula Playground contains 100 formulas to use in Airtable. Several types of formulas are available: text data, numbers, dates and Regex functions.

You can duplicate this entire database in your Airtable workspace and watch this video to better understand how to use these formulas.

A resource to bookmark if you use Airtable.

No-code continues to seduce investors. This week, it's Coda's turn to announce a $100M Series D which now values the company at $1.4B. The valuation of the company founded by Shishir Mehrotra has doubled since last year!

Coda wants to rebuild a brand new version of its Editor and expand its catalog of Packs (third-party apps integrated within Coda). The company also intends to double its workforce in the next twelve months, from 130 to 260 employees.

Read the official press release on Coda’s website

Coda will be holding its second Block Party event on the 6th of October. You can register here.

Here is also a video on how to use Coda for those who want to know more about this tool.

📦 And also…

As always, if you're enjoying Modern Makers, I would love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I do my best to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

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I also invite you to contact me if you have questions or need help with no-code tools. Feel free to use the button below for those of you who want to organize a call to get to know each other better.

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Have a great week and keep learning.


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