Building A Content Brand w/ Linh Smooke of Hacker Noon


In this episode of Stories To Inspire Growth I talk with Linh Dao Smooke, COO of Hacker Noon, a well known and trusted content brand focused on technologists.

I’m sure all you B2B Tech Marketers are familiar with Hacker Noon, but for those of your who are not, here is a brief overview.

Hacker Noon is one of the most well known and trusted technical content brands.

Here are some of their numbers:

4.5 Million Monthly Users
Over 12,000 Contributing Writers
2,000+ Articles Published Per Quarter; 30,000+ Total
7 Full-Time Employees; 4 Part-Time

Hacker Noon is an online publication that does not employ any journalists. Think about that. Their whole business is based on content consumption and they don’t employ a single professional writer. Editors yes, for quality control, but the content comes from the community.

From the very beginning, Hacker Noon has been focused on building community and delivering value to both readers and writers. Readers enjoy ad-free content with no gates. Writers gain access to an active and engaged community that happens to be massive, and since building a strong content brand is a core component to building a strong foundation for growth I suggest you check out the platform and find a way to contribute.

Here is what makes Hacker Noon special:

  • 100% community-driven
  • No gates, and no ads
  • Content is created by the community, for the community

They do sell sponsorships, but these are non-intrusive, and when possible feature products that are relative to the topic the visitor is browsing (e.g. DevOps might be sponsored by Cloudbees). It makes a lot of sense to me…

Today, Hacker Noon is a major content brand, but it didn’t just happen overnight.

In this conversation we discuss some of the challenges the Hacker Noon team has faced over the years, dig into some of the decisions that were made, and lessons learned along the way. Including, how they’ve been able to get a lot done with a small team, the right mindset, and a lot of grit and perseverance.

I have been following the Hacker Noon story from the beginning and have been there with them as a contributing writer, and sponsor through the different iterations of their business. They have overcome adversity, and have made the most out of each and every challenge/opportunity that has come their way.

There is a lot to learn here about perseverance, focus, and staying true to your guiding principles.

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