Content Creation Strategies as an Educator (Part 1)
Who am I, and why can I talk about this
Hi! I'm Day, a Security Engineer on Datadog's Security Detection and Research Team. In my free time, I'm a Content Creator and self-proclaimed Educator with about a 60k audience spread across all major social media platforms.
Although I've been creating educational content on my YouTube channel, CYBERWOX, for over three years now, I'm also a new Course Instructor for LinkedIn Learning and I recently released my first course on AWS Threat Detection there.
I've also worked on several major learning platforms, such as Security Blue Team & LetsDefend, creating multiple Cloud Digital Forensics & Incident Response (DFIR) Capture The Flag (CTF) challenges, labs, and training modules to help others learn cybersecurity concepts.
From YouTube alone, I've amassed over 2.2 million views from my videos and thousands of learners in just 3 months from my recent LinkedIn Learning course. That being said, I believe I have some insights to share on content creation strategies as an educator.
Why are you an educator?
One of the most generic questions ever is “Why?”. So let’s start with that :)
Money & Opportunity
I'll cut right to the chase with this one. We all have bills to pay, and money gets those bills paid. If you're in it for the money, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Money is a great motivator and is something you should consider as an educator. There’s a lot of money to be made and a lot of bills to be paid - that’s a bar right there.
There may be an opportunity to fill a gap in a specific market or niche. As an educator, you can identify these gaps, create educational resources, and decide to monetize them.
Passion & Purpose
I am passionate about many things - music, tech, fashion, faith, and much more. It only makes sense that I want to share my passion for these things by teaching others. Also, some of us feel that we have a specific purpose in life, and your purpose might be to educate others about how great something is.
Notoriety & Fame
Some folks enjoy being in the spotlight. If that's why you're an educator, then so be it. There's nothing wrong with that, either. Just make sure you have actual knowledge and substance to back that up.
Who are you educating?
Once you've understood why you want to become an educator, the next important thing to understand is who you're educating. So, here's another generic question - "Who?”. This can be divided into any of the following categories.
As an educator, you'll interact with individuals at various skill levels, which plays a significant role in content customization. For instance, beginners might require foundational, easy-to-understand materials. Mid-level learners may need education to move them to a senior level, so their content would be intermediate.
Senior professionals, on the other hand, generally have foundational and intermediate knowledge, so you'll likely focus on advanced concepts with them. Experts, although proficient in their fields, may be beginners in others. Therefore, it's essential to consider this when teaching individuals at this level.
When creating educational content, it's also essential to consider the demographic you're targeting. This could be transitioners looking for a career change, students seeking to broaden their knowledge, busy professionals aiming to upskill, or specific age groups with unique learning needs. Tailoring your content to fit these specific demographics can enhance their level of engagement and the eventual success of your efforts.
Creating educational content for niches such as Software Engineers, DevOps Engineers, or Cybersecurity Engineers requires a deep understanding of each field. As an educator, it's crucial to tailor the content to suit the specific needs and skill levels of these professionals.
So, for instance, Software Engineers might need content that covers common programming techniques, while DevOps Engineers may benefit from learning about the latest in infrastructure automation, observability, and continuous integration. Meanwhile, Cybersecurity Engineers might be interested in advanced tutorials on threat detection and cloud security.
Also, these different professionals have different personality types. In my experience, cybersecurity professionals are extremely opinionated. You need to know your stuff and be confident about whatever you might be talking about with them. The same applies to many other fields.
Regardless of the niche, the content should be engaging, informative, and relevant to the audience's needs.