min read

The Power of Free: From Thought Leadership to Unexpected Opportunities

Have you ever pondered the wonder of sharing your insights for free?

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Have you ever pondered the wonder of sharing your insights for free? I’m here to unravel how this seemingly simple act can turn you into a thought leader and open doors you never dreamed possible. And guess what? My journey might resonate with you.

Embarking on the Path to Thought Leadership

Reaching Far and Wide

Let’s journey back to 2016, when Code Like a Girl was born, a platform to amplify women’s voices in tech. Our talented writers and I poured our thoughts out without a price tag. Back then, there was no partner program, just a shared commitment to change the conversation. And you know what? People started to pay attention. Without barriers, our ideas spread, touching more hearts and minds than we imagined.

Gaining a Quiet Credibility

Those free stories? They started building a foundation of credibility. Slowly but surely, “Code Like a Girl” began to earn recognition as a knowledgeable voice in the realm of women in tech. It was as if our collective dedication was painting a new portrait of women’s technological roles, and the world was noticing.

Connecting on a Personal Level

Through the power of free content, connections were formed. Our words became bridges, connecting readers with something genuine and relatable. It felt like forging bonds with long-lost friends, all driven by the desire to make a meaningful impact.

Opening Doors to the Unexpected

The Warmth of Connections

As our thoughts resonated, kindred spirits gravitated toward us. Collaborations and partnerships organically materialized, creating a community driven by shared values and visions.

A Simple Sharing of Insights

Our words caught the attention of the right audience. Soon, invitations to podcasts, opportunities to contribute as guest writers, and speaking engagements found their way to us. We were stepping into the spotlight, sharing insights that were touching lives.

Dinah Davis at one of many events that arose due to the success of Code Like A Girl.

Discovering “Forever Employable” Wisdom

In 2018, I stumbled upon Jeff Gothelf’s Forever Employable. It was like finding a compass for my journey, resonating deeply with the path Code Like a Girl had embarked upon. The book’s essence encouraged a shift in perspective — away from the traditional job-security mindset and towards a world where continuous learning, personal branding, and expertise-building took center stage.

Climbing the Ladder with Confidence

Armed with the principles from Forever Employable, I stepped into the realm of cybersecurity with newfound confidence. I shared my thoughts fearlessly, creating a ripple effect of opportunities — podcast appearances, event hosting, recognition, and speaking engagements.

Dinah Davis hosting the Secure & Protect stage at Elevate 2022.

Balancing the Free vs. Paid Approach

This brings us to the heart of the matter — when to embrace the Medium Partner Program and when to opt for free content. If your goal is to monetize your efforts and build a sustainable income, the Partner Program offers a platform for direct compensation. On the flip side, if you’re on a quest for thought leadership, influence, and community building, free content is your avenue to reach a broader audience and spark meaningful conversations.

Looking at Code Like a Girl’s statistics, an interesting observation emerged — partner program stories garnered fewer reads than public ones. Furthermore, platforms like daily.dev highlighted free stories, leaving members-only pieces in the shadows. So, if you’re considering the partner program, it’s worth noting this insight.

In essence, my journey underscores the power of sharing freely. It paves the way for thought leadership, a loyal audience, and unexpected opportunities beyond monetary rewards. So, whether you’re driven by passion, purpose, or the pursuit of influence, remember that the magic often lies in the beauty of giving without expecting anything in return.

Published in Code Like A Girl

Meet the Author

Dinah Davis

Fractional COO
Former VP of R&D at Arctic Wolf & Founder of Code Like A Girl


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