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My Top 5 Reasons to Write as a Programmer

simonholdorf profile image Simon Holdorf ・4 min read

I get asked frequently by fellow programmers why I started writing online and if they should do the same. Let me tell you one thing right from the start: Yes, you should!

Writing as a programmer has a lot of benefits like additional income, personal development, increased reputation, and more. You don’t need to write 10,000 words every month. You don’t even have to write every day. And you definitely don’t need a background in writing or some hidden talent! You just need a reason for writing, and that’s what this article is about.

So in the following article, I wrote down my personal top five reasons why programmers should start writing online.

1. Reputation

A good reason for a lot of programmers to start writing is to build up some kind of reputation. Let’s say you are a programmer who is able to write JavaScript code and turn it into functioning applications, but nobody else knows you can do that.

By starting to write online about what you do, you give other people the chance to get to know you and what skills you possess. It’s an excellent way of self-marketing and constantly leads to new opportunities — especially job-wise.

You don’t even need your own blog for this (I do recommend creating one, but that’s content for another article). You can use social media like Twitter or Reddit or one of the awesome platforms like Medium, Dev.to, or Hashnode to share your work.

2. Education

Another great reason to start writing as a programmer is with the intention of helping others. The demand for skilled developers is still high around the world, but access to learning material and money to buy it are definitely not.

By creating content in the form of blog posts, tutorials, or ebooks, you can help other people discover and learn new things and improve their skills.

It is totally up to you whether you want to charge for it or not, but especially in the beginning, I would recommend creating something for free. Not only is it going to help you become a better writer, but it’s a good way to build up a reputation, it’s fun, and helping others is always a great form of motivation.

3. Yourself

This is actually the reason why I started writing online. I wanted to do it for myself — to share my thoughts and get feedback on them. But oftentimes, writing has some sort of therapeutic effect on me. My mind is always full of ideas and thoughts, and writing them down really helps me in many situations.

Don’t be afraid to share failure and things you regret but learned from. Life is not always sunny and there will always be people trying to drag others down. Even more so online, but don’t let them discourage you because when you write, you write for yourself!

4. Publicity

Another valid reason for writing online is to gain public attention — whether for yourself, your product, or your company. A lot of people certainly write in the hope of becoming famous. And platforms like Twitter, Instagram, etc. support this with their clap and like systems. These small rewards can really be addictive and also dangerous.

I think it’s OK to write for the rush, but there are definitely better reasons for writing. I believe that if you start writing without looking at those likes too much, it will not only be less stressful to write, but it will pay off in the long term even more.
You also shouldn’t try to copy others too much. It’s fine to get inspiration, but in the end, you should find your own way of writing.

5. Money

Your writing can generate a substantial amount of (side) income. I’ve managed to generate several thousand dollars each month writing on Medium about programming and tech:

Medium Earnings February

But writing for money is an art in itself, in my opinion. It needs a special focus. The focus on making money. If you want to maximize your ROI, you need to align everything you write towards that goal. Things like reputation or education are just side effects — not the main purpose.

When writing for money, you need to make sure that your articles are constantly read by a lot of people. And I mean lots and lots of them. At least on Medium, you need high exposure of your articles but also interesting content because the time each person spends reading your articles is an important factor for the algorithm that determines your payouts. Medium publications are a great way to increase the reach of your articles, so you should try to get accepted as an author for at least one major publication!

Another option to get paid as a writer is applying for paid writer programs offered by internet businesses. Those are going to pay you a fixed amount, often between $100-$500 for one article. Here’s a list of such programs and what you can earn:

GitHub logo malgamves / CommunityWriterPrograms

A list of Developer Community Writer Programs

Paid Community Writer Programs

Paid writer programs usually have just enough of an incentive for people to get started creating developer content, besides the extra income it is an amazing opportunity for people to build a career out of it. For non-technical sites, have a look at http://whopayswriters.com.

A list of companies that have paid Developer Community Writer Programs.

  • Auth0 - Up to $300 per piece

    Technical tutorials with code. Pick from a list of possible articles.

  • CircleCI - Up to $300 per piece

    Technical tutorials with code. Pick from a list of possible articles.

  • Clubhouse.io - Up to $600 per piece

    Technical tutorials and how-to guides. Pick from a list of possible articles.

  • Code Tuts+ - $100 (Quick tip) $250 (Tutorial)

    Technical focused articles. Pick from a list of possible articles.

  • Couchbase - $200 per piece

    Content area experts can submit tutorials and blog content.

  • CSS Tricks -…

Focusing on money and ROI is not so important if you choose a paid writer program. Your focus should rather be on meeting the criteria of the program in question.

Final Thoughts

There are many good reasons to start writing online. Some require a special focus for you to be successful and almost all of them benefit from each other.
But the best advice I can give you is to just start writing. Just do it, for whatever reason. Not tomorrow but today!

If you like what I write chances are you'd also want to connect with me on Twitter to learn more about programming, writing & careers🥰

Posted on by:

simonholdorf profile

Simon Holdorf

@simonholdorf

🚀 Full-Stack Engineer ⚡ Entrepreneur 📰 Writer

Discussion

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Hello!

I always wanted to be a writter, but I think there is enough people doing blogs with tutorials, and with what I start I think writting the basis of python or react is something that I think is a drop in the ocean, it is true that even a tutorial of the basics of python can help others.

I say this cause I don't have the background or do things like lets see which framework has a better performance my knowledge is not so deep with this topics, idk maybe I just want to write but at the same time I don't want to.

Thanks for the article you give something to think :D

 

Hey Jizavala,
I suggest you just write down what you learn and let others decide if it helps them or not. And don't let the fact that most of the stuff has already been written discourage you. That's no problem at all!

 

Thank you for your advice.

 

Agreed I also think that its good for learning and documentation. Like when you learn how to create something and then you write a guide which is both useful for you and other developers to follow. It makes you a more rounded developer in my opinion.

 

Yeah, you get the point :)

 

Writing also helps me get my ideas out and lets me know I haven't been doing nothing all year 😁
I love being able to look back and think, look at all I did! It's also nice when you completely forget you completed a project and are delighted to read the post again!

 

That's spot on, Abdisalan!

 

I'm starting out as a programmer and I had a feeling that I should start writing. Your post helps me provide better clarity. Thanks much..

 

Hey Sabarish, thanks for reading it and all the best on your journey!

 
 

I agree with all your reasons! Beginners should absolutely read this.

 

Thank you, Swastik. Comments like yours are what keep me motivated even more to write for the community! 🙏

 

This is a great article. Recently I also have taken up the habit of putting out whatever I have learnt or developed, be it very simple or complex in the form of writing.

 

Thanks a lot, Sooraj, glad you like it!

 

Oh I didn’t know you can make that much with writing blogs. I started to write blogs just for devchallenges. Now I have more reasons 😄 Thanks for the article

 

Thanks and good luck with your future posts :)

 

Below is another podcast:

How developers can become successful writers

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