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4 Best Practices for Writing an Atlassian Community Article

With thousands of apps in the Atlassian Marketplace, it can be tough to stand out and build awareness. Listing your app on the Marketplace gives you access to a vast pool of Atlassian product users, but how can you engage with them and ensure your target buyers find your app? The Atlassian Community is a great place to start! 

What Is the Atlassian Community?

The Atlassian Community is a forum with over four million members to discuss all things Atlassian. Members can ask questions, share knowledge, and organize online or in-person events. In addition to posting discussion topics and questions, members and vendors who meet the requirements can post longer articles on relevant topics and position themselves as thought leaders.

How Can Vendors Get Involved in the Community?

Clearly, the Atlassian Community is an ideal place to engage with your target audience, so how can you get started? One of the easiest ways is by replying to questions that are directly about your app or about pain points that your app solves. Just be careful to provide genuinely helpful advice rather than giving a sales pitch

And one of the most effective ways to get involved is by contributing Community Articles. All Marketplace and Solution Partners who have reached Level 3 and above can do this provided they follow Atlassian’s guidelines. We often get questions from clients about what is and isn’t allowed under the guidelines and how to make the best use of Community Articles, so we’ve put together all the answers to these common questions.

Read on to learn how to set goals for Community Articles, choose high-performing, relevant topics, and follow best practices for writing helpful articles.

How to Set Goals for Atlassian Community Articles

Before you start writing for the Community, consider what you want to achieve. If you aim to drive traffic to your own website or make quick sales, the Community is not the best place to do that. Community articles work best for building brand awareness, engaging with potential customers, and drawing traffic to a particular topic (and indirectly, to your Marketplace listing mentioned in the article).

Building Brand Awareness

When readers get useful information from your articles, they’ll have a positive impression of your brand. Contributing timely advice on a relevant topic establishes you as a trusted authority on the subject. Even if members aren’t actively looking for an app solution, they’ll keep your brand in mind and it may be at the top of their list when they are in the market for an app.

Engaging with Community Members

An article gives you an opportunity to start conversations with Atlassian users. Responses to your article provide valuable insights into your audience’s thoughts and concerns even if they don’t engage with you directly. And while discussing your app itself should be secondary, there’s a chance readers will ask questions about it.

Boost Search Traffic

Since linking to your website is discouraged by Atlassian, Community Articles won’t help your website’s SEO ranking. However, Atlassian Community content often ranks high in searches for certain topics. That means if you choose the right topic, your article may appear at the top of the SERP, leading more readers to find you. And since Atlassian is widely respected, people who are just browsing are more likely to click on an article on an Atlassian site than on one on an unknown site.

How to Choose an Atlassian Community Article Topic

How effective your article is depends greatly on the topic you choose. Atlassian helpfully displays the view count on each post, so it’s easy to see what works and what doesn’t.

Community Articles are also an excellent way to repurpose content from your blog. Top-funnel, awareness-level content works best, both to stay in line with Atlassian’s guidelines and to capture the interest of prospective customers. Examples of this type of content include addressing common pain points and providing helpful tips. Blogs on detailed use cases for the app or going into technical depth about the app would not be suitable.

Here’s an example of the view count from an article we repurposed for the Community for one of our clients.

screenshot of the view count on an Atlassian Community article we did for our client
Check the number of views on articles to find out what type of content is most popular. (Source: Atlassian Community)

Use the Community search bar to look for topics you’re considering and find questions or discussions related to them. If there’s a popular question that hasn’t been answered completely and it’s possible to write a full article on it, that’s a good place to start.

Current issues and events relevant to Atlassian users also make appropriate topics. Stay in touch with what’s going on, for instance, the latest updates about Cloud migration or Atlassian Team event themes. Atlassian also allows vendors to write about their own events, so if you’re hosting a webinar or taking part in one with partners, promote it with a brief article.

Best Practices for Atlassian Community Articles

Now that we’ve covered goals and topics, let’s get into some best practices for writing the article itself.

#1 | Use the Apps and Integrations Section

While vendors are allowed to post articles in any section that’s relevant to their chosen topic, we recommend using the Apps and Integrations section as this provides more leeway for talking about your app. Articles written in other sections are requested to follow the “99/1 rule,” that is, 99% about the general topic and only 1% about your app.

In the Apps and Integrations section, vendors are free to discuss their specific apps and link to their Marketplace listing. However, remember not to make your article a sales pitch. Overly sales-oriented articles may be flagged by Atlassian’s moderators.

#2 | Take an Educational Tone

Instead, your article should aim to educate readers on how to solve common problems. Focus on the pain points and include other solutions in addition to your app. For example, users may be able to address their issues with spreadsheets or native Jira features.

Think about the key takeaways from your article. Ideally, readers should feel they’ve learned something useful even if they don’t decide to try an app. That way, they’ll view your brand as a trusted source of advice.

#3 | Avoid Linking to Your Website

Atlassian guidelines discourage external links, and including too many may cause your article to get flagged. Avoid linking to your website, either to your homepage or to blog posts. Since Community articles are not in-depth research pieces, it’s usually not necessary to link to other external sources, but if you need to reference a strong supporting statistic, that’s acceptable.

Links to your Marketplace listing are allowed, but we encourage putting those toward the end of the article. Use the last paragraph of the article as a CTA, after you’ve already begun to gain readers’ trust.

#4 | Remain Product-Neutral as Much as Possible

Acknowledge other apps and native Jira features as possible solutions. There’s no need to link to your competitors’ listings or mention them by name; simply note that there are several apps that can help. 

When you’re introducing your solution, suggest “using an app” rather than “using (your app).” Then, when you get into examples, use your app to show how the problem can be solved. It’s fine to use screenshots from your app to illustrate a point.

Start Building Your Atlassian Community Presence 

Engaging with the Atlassian Community builds brand awareness and helps establish you as a trusted thought leader. Readers will see that you understand and care about the issues they face. As the purchase process on the Marketplace is often impersonal, prospects appreciate vendors who are approachable.

Writing Community articles is also a great way to repurpose content, but if you don’t have an extensive library of content in place, planning and writing the articles takes time and effort, especially for businesses without a marketing team. If you need assistance with marketing your Atlassian apps, contact us for a free consultation.

The Author

Susan Swier

Susan spent most of her writing and editing career in educational publishing. She’s a voracious reader who can quickly grasp complex subjects, a useful skill when transitioning into the B2B field.

Susan Swier