Blogging as a Developer
Ali Spittel Mar 28
I haven't posted in a while (though I've got some good stuff in the works), but I wrote this up for a talk I gave on blogging as a developer. I though these tips could be helpful for people here as well!
- Reinforce your knowledge on topics. The best way to really learn something in depth is to teach it to somebody else!
- Demonstrate your knowledge. You can show to the world that you really know a topic inside and out!
- Build a community and meet other people who have similar interests to your own.
- Challenge yourself and keep yourself accountable.
- Help people who are learning the topic you are blogging about!
How to Get Started?
- Find a topic or a theme -- for example Vaidehi Joshi's BaseCS. It will be easier to come up with posts if you have a theme behind your blog, plus your blog will be more cohesive and followers will know what they are getting!
- Find a platform -- or multiple! Many sites encourage cross-posting, so at least copy and paste your articles from one to another!
- Medium is well read and has great design. Publications with lots of followers can pick up your pieces and increase your readership as well!
- Dev.to will publicize your posts for you and has a great community already since it is completely geared towards developers.
- Your own site! Use a CMS (like WordPress) or a static site generator (like Jekyll) to write your own blogging platform!
- Pinpoint an audience - decide whether you want your posts to target complete beginners, casual developers, experts, etc. Write to that audience! There will be more beginners than experts in most cases, so that audience will be bigger!
- Tone - be conversational and casual in your blog posts. Those posts tend to spark the most discussion and engage readers the most. Explain jargon and explain tricky topics in greater detail.
- Use lots of code samples, links, pictures, and embeds in your posts. Break up the text!
Beating Writers Block
- Having a topic for your blog should help.
- Reach out to your social media networks and see what posts they want.
- Keep a list of future articles when you think of them. Write them down!
- Look at what questions people are asking on StackOverflow, Twitter, etc.
- Social Media! Schedule posts to go out regularly about your blog post. Also, engage in conversation about your topic online and provide your post as an additional resource.
- Tag the social media accounts of the technology you wrote about in your posts, they may publish the article to their accounts as well!
- Monitor readership and your audience.
- Post to othere people's blogs. Some accept guest posts or are an aggregation of other people's posts. For example, most Medium publications and CSSTricks!
- Create an Email newsletter to update people on new posts.
- Post regularly to keep people coming back.
- Use the tagging system your blogging platform gives you. It will help push your blog towards people interested in your topic.
- Write articles on cutting edge technology -- there will be less articles on that subject and a lot of they hype will already be there for you on that topic!
- Have a footer at the bottom of each post with links to other similar articles you've written and a call to action for them to follow your blog.