Markdown makes content marketing easier

October 1, 2020

From a member of our content marketing team:

I’ve been writing web content now for over a decade but am afraid to code. Upload a file to the CMS? You got it. Send a plain text doc to the web team? Gladly. I’ve even been known to paste text in the occasional WYSIWYG. But ask me post to my copy in HTML and I start to shiver.

Ercule has a small team and we blog with a static site generator, so my team kindly nudged me to get in the back-end.

So I’ve started using Markdown and I think it’s the perfect content writing experience. Here’s why.

It’s a less intimidating workspace to enter

When first presented with Markdown, my first thought was: I can actually see the English there among the code. It’s not what I’ve come to expect from coding interfaces. My eyes gloss over at the sight of Javascript and I feel like a relic of a distant century. The syntax is minimal and often intuitive which enables a n00b like me to think: I could do this.

It uses visual analogs

I start an unordered in Markdown basically the same way I would in a Google doc or even a word processor: an asterisk and then a space and then I type on. Numbered lists? Equally intuitive. Creating a task list requires actual Markdown language – but the command itself is a nearly literal-visual translation.

MarkdownGeniusToDoList

That is, it takes on the visual shape of a task list, the same way this looks like a person shrugging: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. (Now if only the Markdown code for emojis were always so obvious.)

No toolbars required

The basic blog formatting I need is easily typed out in Markdown, which I prefer over a WYSIWYG simply because it distracts less from the act of writing. This means that I also have to actually learn the language as I go, rather than relying on buttons, which does interrupt workflow a bit. But I appreciate having to learn the language.

I’ve wanted to know how to code in the same way that I prefer cooking my own meals over hitting up the drive-thru. I was overdue for a way in, and Markdown is it.