[DISCUSSION POST] Grant Idle Educational Content #1

Abstract

The idea is to create informational and educational content about Idle finance and its protocol, as also discussed in this post. Since the community is growing, new users need to clearly understand what Idle is, by having several resources available divided by a specific topic.

The Pilot League has decided to initiate an Educational grant, under the category Community Grants, to reward users for creating educational contents about Idle :books:

Budget

The reward will depend on the number of topics covered and the length of the article. The pilot league will decide which articles to select as acceptable; these will be the ones that will receive the reward :moneybag:

LENGTH REWARD
500-999 words 10 $IDLE
1000-1499 words 25 $IDLE
1500-2000 words 35 $IDLE
TOP CONTRIBUTOR EXTRA REWARD
+3 Topics covered 10 $IDLE

Scope of the Work

The purpose is to create educational articles about Idle, since the Pilot League is planning to modify the current gitbook by also adding new educational content and resources.

For the first edition of this grant, the Pilot League asks its community to focus only on written content :writing_hand:

Each written content must be up to 2000 words in length and you can also add visuals (charts, photos) to make the content more enjoyable.

The articles should always include an ELI5 paragraph so that beginners can follow along and understand the high-level concepts without feeling lost.

Assume your audience might not be specialized in math, finance, and computer science. They are sophisticated enough to use Metamask or other user-friendly wallets to perform simple DeFi transactions, without necessarily understanding everything that’s going on under the hood.

Topics to cover (main topics are written in bold, everything else is considered subtopic):

  • Idle Protocol overview
    – Architecture
    – Rebalance
    – Benefits

  • Providing liquidity on Idle

  • Using Idle Dashboard tools
    – Fiat-on ramps
    – Insurance [when available]
    – Migration tool

  • Using Batched Deposits (and soon Batched Redeems)

  • Building on Idle (integrating idleTokens)

  • Smart Treasury overview

  • Best-Yield and Risk-Adjusted strategies overview

  • How Idle Governance works
    – IIPs creation flow
    – How to vote and delegate $IDLE

Discussion Links

Informational Articles about Idle

Application Window

The application window will open as soon as the community’s active discussion phase under this post is completed to figure out how to integrate new parameters for this grant.

How to Apply

Candidates should provide the following information:

  • Topic to cover: Specify the topic/s for which you are creating the content

  • Article: Post your article/s by linking a shared document (be sure that the document is public and accessible to anyone).

Rules for written content

  • 1 Article per the main topic

  • Article must be about topics you find in the list above

  • Articles should be original and unique

  • Articles found plagiarized will not be selected

  • Articles that are not written in a shared document will not be selected

  • You can use any document sharing platform (applications will be then collected by the Pilot League in a common platform to avoid length valuation disparity).

When the open candidacy period ends, the Pilot League Committee will discuss the applications, thus the articles received. The final winner(s) will be announced in the governance forum here :trophy:

9 Likes

Cool stuff!
I would recommend that applicants announce here which topic they plan to write about, before they actually start writing the article, and only add the doc link before the deadline.
That will allow all applicants to see what everyone is already working on and that can possibly promote more diversified entries.

5 Likes

Hi @emixprime,

thanks for your post. Let me list some thoughts that came to my mind while reading it.

  • Talking about educational content, I don’t think that length (quantity) should be the key metrics in judging the articles written by contributors.
  • The topics you shared are different: starting from a general overview of the protocol to a how-to guideline type of article and implies a different level of difficulty. These differences should be reflected as well in the rewards allocated.
  • It could be helpful to see some examples of similar contents in order to better tailor the content to Idle’s need.

I will try to understand which metrics can be used instead of the above-mentioned length.

5 Likes

How does one get the info needed to write these articles? Just ask a lot of questions on the discord / telegram?

2 Likes

Thanks in the meantime for your comments and feedback regarding this grant!
We have internally decided to stop the applications and open them later; now, we prefer to collect your feedback to fit all the grant parameters best.

Responding to comments you have posted:

@unicorn yes, it would help users understand what others are already working on; we are going to integrate that, thank you.

@biaf the length is not a metric with which the Pilot League will evaluate and assign the reward to the selected article; in this case, it is only an indication that the users understand how much is the maximum reward.

Do you think we should categorize and then do a rebalance of rewards for the type of written content created? (typologies like how-to/overview/docs)

Regarding examples, here you can find examples of articles and educational content that can be useful for inspiration:

@tom take a look at previous discussions if the topic was already discussed in the forum or discord/telegram; otherwise, if you want to get useful info to write articles, you can ask questions discord/telegram or the forum itself.

6 Likes

Hi @emixprime,

I think you can either choose to divide based on argument or based on contribution type.
In the former, the possible arguments will be divided into different categories and then, based on this, will earn the rewards (conditional to different levels of implied difficulty).
In the latter, you can list some possible article templates and let the contributors decide which argument to develop within which document structure. Again, the type of article chosen would lead to different rewards.

In both scenarios, I would add:

  • Ranges of rewards (for example 8 to 10 $IDLE): to let the committee better judge similar contents and differentiate the rewards based on the quality of each submission.
  • More details on how to structure the written content (length should stay, but it should be a brode scope). In this way, contributors would adapt their ideas to Idle needs avoiding the lengthy process of creating something from scratch. This, as well, could ease the judging process by making the documents more comparable.
3 Likes

We took some time to implement some changes and change some parameters; these are the sections that, compared to the original post, have been changed (we are curious to have your feedback, the changes have been made following your previous comments):

Budget
The reward will depend on the type of article and the number of topics covered.
The Pilot League will evaluate the contents and their quality; after that, it will decide which articles to select as acceptable; these will be the ones that will receive the reward :moneybag:

TYPE OF CONTENT REWARD
Overview article (an introduction, a general overview of a specific topic regarding Idle) Up to 15 $IDLE
In-depth article (deeper and structured content as how-to guide of a specific topic regarding Idle) Up to 25 $IDLE
Developers/Tech article (technical resources, developer tutorials, modules analysis/review, and anything that can be useful for integrating Idle) Up to $30 IDLE

Scope of the work
Topics to cover (main topics are written in bold, everything else is considered subtopic):

TOPICS OVERVIEW CONTENT IN-DEPTH CONTENT DEV/TECH CONTENT
Idle Protocol overview (Architecture, Rebalance, Benefits) :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Best-Yield and Risk-Adjusted strategies :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Building on Idle (integrating idleTokens) :white_check_mark:
Deposit funds in Idle :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Using Batched Deposits (and soon Batched Redeems) :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Using Idle Dashboard tools (fiat-on ramps, migration tools, insurance [when available]) :white_check_mark:
Idle Governance Process (IIPs creation flow, how to vote and delegate $IDLE) :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:
Idle Smart Treasury :white_check_mark: :white_check_mark:

Article Examples

How to Apply
Firstly, reply to this post with:

  • Topic to cover + content type: specify the topic/s for which you want to create the content and for which type, in that way also the other applicants will be aware of the topics already selected.

Secondly, when you will complete your work, update your post by adding:

  • Your Article: post your article/s by linking a shared document (be sure that the document is public and accessible to anyone).
3 Likes

Since one of my main specialties is Content marketing, here are my 2 cents. It’s actually a very complex topic, I’ll try to sum it up.

Writing content is a necessity. As everyone is probably aware. However, it needs to be structured. A strategy is needed. Not just a random pool of ideas (Don’t get me wrong, a random pool of ideas is an important part of the strategy).

TLDR: It’s unfortunately not as easy as “Let’s brainstorm the ideas and start writing”.

List of things that need to be done as a part of the content strategy process:

  1. A pool of ideas.
  2. Make the content organized. So you cover all the problems of the people and offer the solutions.
  3. You need to manage the copywriters a lot throughout the whole process.
  4. Before they start writing the content, provide them with an outline for the blog.
  5. Do the keyword research for each of the individual blog posts.
  6. Do the competitor analysis for each blog post.

Let’s drill down.

  1. Make a pool of ideas. This is the format I use. I’m a geek for Sheets/Excel. Sue me.

  1. Make the content organized. I personally use a Content Matrix framework. I divide it up between the themes. Once inside a theme, you drill it down and structure it to make sense. The framework I use is below.

And the concrete example.

Notice that each content piece has a problem listed that it solves and how it solves it. Not only that, but once you have the attention of the user with a broad topic from the Awareness phase. Could be something like “What is DeFi”. After that you lead the reader down the funnel (or well, down the rabbit hole) with a more focused content. Such as “Comparison of Idle Finance and Yearn Finance” from the Consideration phase.

  1. Managing the copywriters throughout the whole process:
  • when they express interest,
  • when they send you an outline before actually writing,
  • and most likely give them feedback once they finish up the first draft, as from my experience they need to make many corrections
  1. Before they start writing the content, provide them with an outline for the blog. Once they get it and accept it, they are giving you back an outline of their own. Which you then approve. Only then can they start writing. Here’s an example of an outline I made and used successfully for years. Mind you, the subheadings should be based on user intent and keyword research.

  2. Do the keyword research for each of the blog posts. Why?

  • To see the monthly search volumes for each of the terms
  • what the user intent is behind each keyword, to get the ideas
  • to see what the users are actually searching for; there’s no point in writing a piece of content nobody is going to search for.

Here’s how it looks like when done. Mind you, when actually doing the research you end up with a shit ton of keywords that need to be sorted through (actually one of the keyword tools is called keywordshitter(DOT)com), but what works better are paid tools such as SEMRush, MOZ, Ahrefs… I personally use Ahrefs as it gives great bang for the buck (pretty similar to the others but has a superior backlink analysis tool)

It’s usually in the form of a cluster (kind of like a mini-theme). So all the related keywords. Also be careful not to make the same keywords the focus of multiple blog posts. As Google regards to this as duplicate content. So instead of ending up with one blog posts on the spot #4 of SERP, you’ll end up with 2 blog posts on spots #44 and #59.

  1. Do the competitor analysis for each blog post. Why?
  • To know which topic would it be too hard to rank for
  • To get content ideas
  • To get backlink opportunities
  • To replicate and improve upon what they’re doing

To touch on some of the points mentioned in all the comments in this thread so far:

It’s not wise to limit yourself in any way. Some articles are supposed to be longer than 2.000 words. Some articles will perform well only if they’re 500 words (ex. cooking recipes), some will perform well only if they’re 3.500+ words (long form content ex. a guide to Keto diet). How do you know how long the specific blog post should be? You do the research. The point #6 mentioned above. A rule of thumb is that it should be better than the competitors currently ranking for that cluster of keywords (better usually means longer, but not necessarily; the key here is that it needs to provide additional value).

Agreed on the visuals: charts and original photos perform great. You should also “break up” the text up with some additional elements or images at least each 500 words.

In fact, here’s a list of instructions I made that I send to the copywriters I work with.

Not always. It should correlate to the stage of the customer’s journey. Yes for the Awareness stage, probably not for the Decision stage. Anyway, if done properly, the whole content hub should be interlinked and all subpages should be easily accessible

All the issues solved if length of the content is justified by the competitor analysis (by making a specific length a requirement), and the difficulty level is solved with the User journey stage distribution (Awareness-Consideration-Decision-Delight customer)

Brainstorm ideas + thorough research

There’s so much more in regards to the strategy and the operational part one you actually get into it. I tried to sum it up as best as I could.

7 Likes

@mangaa18 Thank you for the detailed reply, we appreciate your interest in sharing your thoughts from your experience in content marketing!

I agree with you, content creation is something crucial and it’s not that easy as people can think, so giving as much information as possible about how users should create it is critical too (like the examples you’ve shared, improve readability).

:arrow_down: Regarding the steps you’ve listed, I’d say that:

Certainly, this is a very good list of steps to follow for the publication and creation of content, including the management of copywriters who will have as a reference point the various guidelines and instructions provided.

The Pilot League is organizing this grant to receive educational content from the community regarding the Idle protocol that will guide both new and existing users in the community.

In my opinion, your steps can always be valid, but in this case, I see them as a little too marketing-oriented (for us right now); let me explain:

  • In your example (the picture) and from some steps, the focus is very much on attracting the customer with the content you are publishing, climb the rankings of competitors by analyzing keywords and topics periodically;
  • At least for this first grant, we weren’t thinking solely to attract users via content marketing with DeFi blog posts/articles, although onboarding new users in Idle remains a final goal.

Despite this, it is helpful to understand the community’s response in creating content; the risk of having to organize a much more comprehensive framework for the first organized grant, including a marketing strategy, is that we don’t yet know the response the community will give us on this grant.

Exactly, that’s what we want to do by modifying Idle’s current Gitbook, making it more similar to the Sushiswap structure.

In general, I agree with this; however, we decided internally to have a maximum limit of 2.000 words because, imagining the content that should be included in the Gitbook platform and also looking at those of other communities on Gitbook, beyond that limit would be too long.

4 Likes

@emixprime I do agree with you. From what I have understood, we would like to create newly written materials to better guide IDLE current users in investing their money in the platform. As the title of the post states, the focus should be on educational contents and not on a new marketing campaign.

Nonetheless, the ideas of @mangaa18 are interesting and I think they can be already partially used in this grant. We should not aim at too demanding contents, but it can be smarter to include already some of his ideas, instead of trying to modify/adapt later the articles.

The PL committee could do a competitors analysis to understand what other platforms are explaining better and how their written contents ease the process of onboarding and investing. Once done, the content structure should gain clearness accordingly.

5 Likes

Exactly, I was just talking about Content here, as the title of the thread suggests. There are obviously many more activities to be done.

It’s not just about that specific frameworks. But setting objectives as well. We need goals, because if we don’t have them, we are doing stuff without clear purpose or not as effectively. For example, Goals need to be “SMART”: Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Using the SMART goal framework sets boundaries and defines the steps you’ll need to take, resources necessary to get there and milestones that indicate progress along the way. With SMART goals, you’re more likely to achieve your goal efficiently and effectively.

There are many many more frameworks and best practices to implement before actually doing any legwork (or at least to be done simultaneously).

That’s why it’s helpful to drill down on everything from someone who knows a fair bit about growing digital businesses. And it’s up to the community to decide. Besides, no one would do any work if there’s no thumbs up from the community anyway. But it’s up to people like us to elaborate on all the potential benefits of doing certain activities, and how it’s supposed to roll.

There’s obviously some differences in doing marketing for DeFi and other businesses. And I don’t think it’s been done on that scale as of yet, as the whole niche is fairly new. So there will be quite a bit of innovation required. And adapting the growth frameworks for DeFi, DApps and for the whole decentralized philosophy of growing the protocol and user base.

Glad you like it guys! Yeah, it’s just about that, to think of as many things as possible to be included right away, instead of having a Gordian knot to detangle later. It’s all about that seamless integration.

Damn am I excited thinking about growth and how to adapt it to DeFi! :star_struck: really scratches my itch.

4 Likes