Jul 7, 2024

Technical content pipeline: How do you manage it?

Having a strong technical content pipeline can help you get your product or service in front of a wider audience than ever. By appealing to technical stakeholders with compelling content, you can both increase knowledge of your brand and generate new leads that turn into customers.

However, creating a consistent technical content pipeline is harder in practice than in theory. In this article, I’ll discuss what makes it so difficult and provide some tips, based on my own experience managing technical content, for creating a pipeline that works.

What is a technical content pipeline?

By “technical content pipeline,” I’m referring to developing a consistent, end-to-end process for non-documentation articles aimed at technical stakeholders. The goal is to create a repeatable and sustainable process that enables you to publish new articles at a consistent rate.

The structure of a technical content pipeline

Creating technical content is more than just “write and publish.” There are a number of steps you need to take to ensure consistency and quality. Below is a brief sketch of each step of the process and the deliverables for each step.

StrategizingCreate a topic strategy and a content strategy to determine what to write first.
OutliningLay out the structure of the doc to make sure stakeholders are all on the same page, particularly with approach and level of technical detail.
DraftingWrite the content.
ReviewingGet Subject Matter Expert (SME) feedback and incorporate it through 1-3 rounds of edits.
PublishingPerform a copy edit, optimize for SEO, and create any visual assets (header graphic, diagrams, etc.) required, and publish in your Content Management System (CMS).
SocializingCreate and publish social media drip posts, using one or more content reuse strategies.
MaintainingCreate a plan to maintain the content to keep it fresh.

Challenges with maintaining a technical content pipeline

I’ve worked with a lot of clients who see the value of technical content and want to invest heavily in it. In many cases, clients run up into one or more challenges turning this desire into reality.

Resourcing. As you can see above, a content pipeline is a lot of work! It takes a team to get it done, do it right, and – most importantly –do it consistently, week after week. You may find you’re resource-constrained in several areas:

  • It can be hard to recruit writers who have both the technical knowledge and communication skills required to produce content at volume.
  • SMEs may feel they don’t have time to review content created by company technical writers or agency writers. (This has been a chronic challenge in any technical content work I’ve done.)
  • Marketing may not have the cycles to get content ready for publication and social distribution.

Lack of alignment. Different teams may have different ideas about what type of content to publish. A common issue here is marketing teams want to publish more top-of-funnel content for technical decision-makers. Meanwhile, engineering or DevRel teams want to see more deep, in-the-weeds technical walkthroughs on the site.

Neither approach here is wrong – both target different personas, different levels of technical knowledge, etc. But If you aren’t aligned on what approach a particular topic or campaign will take, content could wallow in your pipeline.

Overcommitting. Some clients come out of the gate and want to publish two to four pieces of technical content per week. This is usually overambitious and ends up falling apart because they don’t have the basic components of the pipeline in place.

Tips for managing a technical content pipeline

All of these factors make developing a technical content pipeline hard. Hard, but not impossible. Here’s how I advise standing one up from scratch:

  • Start small
  • Get aligned early
  • Use a diverse pool of writers
  • Free up stakeholder’s time
  • Create a content calendar
  • Have a distribution plan

Start small

Honestly, this is good advice for any new process. Don’t try to boil the ocean and write 20 new pieces of content per month. Instead, start with a modest goal – for example, two new pieces of content per month. Make it a goal to ramp up to four per month within the next three to six months.

Get aligned early

When developing your topic and content strategies, get your important stakeholders – including and especially technical SMEs –involved early. This enables everyone to work together on developing different sorts of content:

  • Top-of-funnel and/or organic traffic plays designed to expose your tech to a new audience.
  • In-depth technical walkthroughs that show the depth, versatility, and robustness of your solution to technical experts.
  • “Spicy” thought-leadership content that takes a radical position with the goal of creating a buzz on places like Hackernews or X.

It can take some explaining for technical stakeholders to see the value of content in categories such as organic traffic plays. By getting them on board with the plan early, you can prevent misunderstandings when these pieces come down the pipeline for review.

Use a diverse pool of writers

To get consistent output over time, you’ll need a diverse pool of writers. Try to create a writing pool that consists of both internal experts (engineers, analysts, solutions architects, evangelists, tech support engineers, tech writers) and external writers (or content agencies like Ercule).

Internal writers have the benefit of knowing your product deeply because they work with it day in and day out. However, they also usually face the most time constraints. External writers will need time, training, and feedback to become experts on your tech. Their strength is that they can dedicate themselves to cranking out high-quality content.

Using both internal and external resources guarantees that you can continue generating technical content at a consistent pace – even in the midst of a product launch or a major conference.

Free up stakeholder’s time

It’s important to reach out to your stakeholder’s managers and make sure they’re also bought into your technical content initiative. In particular, they should know why it’s important and how much time you’ll need from their people each week. This helps prevent you from losing resources during crunch times.

Create a content calendar

Even with only two to four articles per month, you’ll quickly lose track of what’s in progress and what status it’s in if you  don’t create a content calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy – just a work item you can assign to the appropriate team member and a status update field reflecting where each piece of content is in the process.

Tools like Notion or Asana work great for this. However, even a simple Excel spreadsheet is fine when you first start out.

Dedicate someone to publishing

Without someone in charge of getting content out the door, it’s more likely to languish. One or (ideally) two people should be responsible for bringing content through the “last mile” and getting it out the door. This involves pushing through the SME review process, editing, finalizing publication design, publishing, and socializing.

This is another area where it can make sense to hire an external resource to supervise the process. An external publisher can keep your pipeline moving even when other responsibilities are swallowing up your time.

Set up distribution immediately after publication

It’s tempting after you hit the Publish button to wash your hands and be done with a piece of content. Resist the urge!

Don’t let distribution be an afterthought. Make sure you get your piece in front of as many people as possible as early as possible by:

  • Distributing it immediately to syndication channels such as dev.to, Hashnode, and Medium
  • Scheduling initial social blasts on X, LinkedIn, Reddit, HackerNews, etc.
  • Scheduling “drip” posts in a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite, using social media reuse strategies to transform parts of your articles into compelling social content

Taking 30 minutes to take care of this as part of the publication process ensures you can get the content your team worked so hard on the audience it rightly deserves.


Creating a technical content pipeline isn’t easy. And, sadly, it won’t run itself. By staffing with both internal and external resources and keeping an eye on all of the moving parts, you can create a consistent, high-quality technical content pipeline that never slows down.

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