Being a Junior Web Developer.

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I have been one for nearly 3 years now, I’ve been employed by 2 agencies one for well over 2 years and now Sagittarius, just hit 1 month. The time before my career was spent at college learning a wide range of IT topics, I ultimately enjoyed the course earning highest grade but 1 unit really stuck to me and that was web development

Going into the role for the first time was an experience, in college they could only teach us how websites functionally work to an extent, to see it in practise was really exciting. Even small text changes being put to a development environment and then seeing it pushed live and out there on the net! Really cool!

Before entering a role you have to make sure that the company your joining is the right fit for you, in your job interviews it’s always a good idea to ask how they plan on building a junior into a senior, whether it’s a plan or anything, just so long as you know and can gauge what’s in store for you for the next couple of years, the interviewer can also see you’ve invested in yourself to get better, which is a very hireable attitude, appealing to companies.

Being a junior means a lot of things but mainly it’s that pestering your team members for help if you’re stuck and researching comes with the job and is almost expected of you, you are far from expected to know as much as the lead dev who’s had 10+ years in the field, don’t feel intimidated by other members of your team, be inspired by them. What you don’t want to be doing as a junior is sat there twiddling your thumbs because hours, day’s even weeks will pass and you don’t feel accomplished, you won’t get the ‘Heck Yeah!’ moment we all crave. I fully recommend shadowing other team members, seeing how they do their work can be very beneficial, researching new tech, new methods or even trying little bits out for yourself. Explore the code, it can do marvellous things. Making the odd cup of tea can’t hurt either… I make tea… ok I don’t, but I hear good things!

Take pride in all of your work, no matter how small you feel or your team feels the work is, the more pride you take in your work, the more your employer and team members will help and invest in you and the more enjoyable tasks will start to come your way. Getting stuck into your first big project can be scary/exciting it really depends on the individual, for me it was scary. Not having a strong background meant that I would no doubt be asking for help, doing a lot of research online for hours on end. One thing to remember is that that’s all fine!

Be confident in yourself, that’s something I’m guilty of…, if I’m assigned an intimidating task, I’ll think to myself, ‘There’s no way I can do this!’ But behold an hour later doing some research and digging around I have firm grip on the task and most of the time it’s completed. This is known as the ‘Heck Yeah!’ moment I mentioned earlier.

Listen to everything your team members say you’ll absorb a lot of information and it’ll be a great deal to take in but being able to join in in conversation about any topic, work or social stuffs is always good, you’ll build a good relationship and start to feel part of the team.

So to summarise or TL;DR if you will…

Ask all of the questions, Have confidence and show pride, feel part of the team and learn.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Ben Davies Thumbnail
Ben Davies
Client-Side Developer
Ben started his career in 2013 as a full stack developer but has since specialised in client-side development.
Ben Davies Thumbnail

Ben Davies

14 Jan 2016 - 5 minute read
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