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How/Why You Should Start Blogging

jenkens profile image Jen Kennedy Updated on ・4 min read

Cover Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

So you’re looking to write your first blog post? Blogging is great practice for both new and experienced developers. I encourage everyone to at least try blogging as it can be a big benefit both you and your potential readers. You don’t need to be an expert to release a blog post. Writing about a topic and researching it can help you teach yourself. So find a journal, some fun topics, and get writing!

Topics

Bull Terrier taking Notes

A lot of people want to blog but can’t find a good topic or think they need to write about something new and novel. My best advice is to keep a journal or notes app with you at all times and write down any potential topics that come across your mind. Even mindlessly scrolling through Twitter can give you your next blog post.

Finding topics at the beginning can be slow but soon you’ll acquire topics quicker than you can write. For your first post I would recommend just writing about what you’re currently doing. Write about an app you're building, interview prep, or your journey so far.

Your experience and words are valuable, and your blog post could be the motivation a CodeNewbie needs to continue pushing or the puzzle piece that finally helps that pesky concept make sense. Because you’re using your own experience it can be easier to write than a jargony technical post. The more you look for topics the easier they’ll be to find.

First Draft and Editing

Kermit the Frog desperately typing

No one starts off as a great writer. Like programming it’s important to practice every day for progress and growth. If your writing process is anything like mine your first draft will be terrible, but that’s okay! Like programming we can refactor and clean up concepts.

My first drafts tend to be a mess of ideas all jumbled up in disorganized paragraphs with random side thoughts. But it’s important to get words on the page. It's important to reread your blog post to catch any typos or grammatical mistakes. I definitely suggest reading your work out loud to help you find any confusing or long winded sentences.

There’s also great technology out there like Grammarly or Hemingway App to help revise sentences and increase word choice. No matter what your writing process is, make sure the end product is easily readable and engaging. I think if you’re passionate about the topic that feeling with be expressed through your blog post.

In this day and age it can be hard to keep your readers’ attention, so make sure your writing is broken up into paragraphs, and try to include pictures, gifs, or code snippets so that a reader doesn’t load your page and see a large block of text. No one’s first blog post is going to be perfect or become an instant success, we all have to start somewhere.

Publish

Mission Accomplished

So you’ve finally written your first blog post and you’re ready to release it to the public, but where?

You’re probably reading this blog on Dev.to! I decided to post by first blog post here because of the supportive and engaging community. Writing and putting your work out there can be scary, so having support from other users has really been motivating for me. Dev.to is also open source! Blogging on their platform is a great way to support open source and maybe even be brave enough to start contributing.

FreeCodeCamp is a platform most self taught developers know as a great place to learn and develop your programming skills for free. FreeCodeCamp was one of the first coding resources I used and I think a lot of my JavaScript experience can be correlated to FCC. They recently launched their own FreeCodeCamp News to encourage blog posts from the community.

Another great place to publish can even be your very own blog. Creating your own blog can turn into a blog post itself. Talking through how you made it, what technology you chose, and all sorts of other decisions you made along the way. Your blog is a great representation of you and can be a place to truly showcase your personality and skills.

If you want to start writing right away and not get bogged down creating and hosting your own blog, it might be best to start with a WordPress. WordPress is a great place to get up and running quickly and it can also be upgraded and customized when you find yourself with more time.

After you’ve posted your blog feel free to post on other platforms to help get more readers and feedback. While you’re there grab some inspiration for your next blog post from all the great articles on the site.

As your publish your blog post make sure to take a second and remember this moment. This is a personal victory and can be a big step in your journey and help you grow. The most important thing to remember is to keep writing for yourself and have fun with it!

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