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How I Started Existing on the Internet

Ryland G on July 01, 2019

Warning, this is a detailed post. If you want to just see the results click here Intro For those of you who don't know me. Hello, my na...
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C.S. Rhymes

Great post. Very informative. Just make sure you give yourself some downtime every now and then.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really used reddit. I’m going to check it out and see what it’s all about.

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Ryland G Author

Great post. Very informative.

Thanks, really glad you got value out of my work, that makes me happy.

Just make sure you give yourself some downtime every now and then.

I'm going to give myself an easy week, I'm very exhausted so not a hard sell.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really used reddit. I’m going to check it out and see what it’s all about.

It's one of the best informational resources that is available to you, please do check it out!

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Henry Quinn

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really used reddit. I’m going to check it out and see what it’s all about.

But also God help you.

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taillogs profile image
Ryland G Author

What he said

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Dmitrii Pashutskii

If be honest it's still the best site out there. Yes, it could be cruel, but stick with the right subs and you'll be okay. When I first discovered Reddit several years ago it replaced me pretty big amount of websites I used.
Also, there are very unique subs which you won't find anywhere else. I'm taking Photo class on Reddit right now for example.

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akashic seer

I signed up to reddit years ago. I tried to do a post. I clicked the post button and nothing happened ever. No error, no message, nothing. So I left and didn't try again. I figured it was some sort of reputation system thing or something.

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Max Ong Zong Bao

Awesome article, I really like dev community. As I cross post a lot of articles most of it.

I always have a worried feeling of posting since I don't really know if those posts will be controversial with tons of backlash.

Especially those that are non developer topics.

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Ryland G Author

Thanks for leaving such a genuine response. I'm happy to hear the article provided you value.

I always have a worried feeling of posting since I don't really know if those posts will be controversial with tons of backlash.

That's the best case ;)

Especially those that are non developer topics.

I would expect those topics to do less well on Dev.to. That doesn't mean you shouldn't post them. I still plan on posting more data science stuff.

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Max Ong Zong Bao

Hahaha I'm inclined to post more python and startup stuff as well hahaha.

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Jack Harner 🚀

A very interesting look at the growth on the different platforms. Dev.To is definitely my largest audience by far (~1,700 followers) and it's a wonderful place for conversation.

The month of June was ROUGH for me.

Ya.. that schedule sounds super hectic and not very sustainable in the long run.

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Ryland G Author

A very interesting look at the growth on the different platforms. Dev.To is definitely my largest audience by far (~1,700 followers) and it's a wonderful place for conversation.

I'm glad you took that out of it too. I think if there's one thing to takeaway from my post it would be "Don't limit yourself to one audience". I also think Dev.to is wonderful and I enjoy my interactions here more than anywhere else.

Ya.. that schedule sounds super hectic and not very sustainable in the long run.

Completely agree. I was still getting enough sleep etc, but it was too draining. That being said, sometimes it's nice to be able to push hard for a month and overcome personal deficits quickly.

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James Turner

That's pretty great growth on DEV and on Twitter! I've been using both for longer and have no where near that progress. I guess besides writing more frequently (on DEV and on Twitter), I just have to write more interesting and/or controversial things. 😂

I did see your Elon Musk post, that was pretty clever to capitalise on that topic.

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Ryland G Author

That’s pretty great growth on DEV and on Twitter!

I agree. It still requires a lot of manual effort, but for the time I’ve been doing it, the progress is great.

I just have to write more interesting and/or controversial things

I really think more is better than controversial. I didn’t write a ton of controversial articles (only 2 actually). Once you’re writing frequently, you’ll feel comfortable playing around with topics until you find a good fit.

I’m glad you liked my Elon Musk post, I didn’t just write it for the controversy, but that was a nice bonus.

Thanks for taking the time to write such a genuine comment!

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Drew Town

Great write-up, Ryland. I've also recently started "putting myself out there" and it is pretty intimidating at first having my name attached to things.

Being consistent and just trying things seems to be the most important lesson. You really do never know what is going to resonate with the crowd.

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Bradley Wells

Do you always cross-post (with canonical_url) the full contents of the article from your blog to dev.to? How has your organic search traffic responded?

I have only been posting excerpts here, without using canonical, and I'm thinking about changing strategies.

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Ryland G Author

Yes I always cross post with full content and canonical. As for the organic traffic, obviously it’s suffered. But that’s more from me distributing dev.to links instead of my personal site links.

I just realized the network and distribution is much better here than it is for my unknown blog. If I didn’t answer your question, please let me know!

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Caleb Rudder

This is definitely great information! Thank you for Sharing.

As a current student about to graduate and wanting to get into more meaningful positions as well as be a constant learner, I've been trying to figure out what mediums I was going to start using. Dev + Twitter has been something that I thought would be a great place to start. Thanks for sharing your experience! It was encouraging.

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Nadine M. Thêry

I've been engaged and worked as a copywriter in my previous job. So yes, gaining popularity is about 50% quality of content (it doesn't always have to be GOOD, just interesting for somebody), 40% constancy of publishing and 10% engagement and sharing.

You did an amazing job. Copywriting is hard and laborious but once the wheel starts spinning it gets easier.

From the developer side, as a newbie, I always feel that I don't have anything as interesting as anybody else. Or just that I do not have enough authority to write about something. But as you perfectly said, it is all in our heads.

Dev.to community is welcoming, patient and friendly :)

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Mike Ekkel

These are great insights! I've been wanting to get into blogging but wasn't sure how to get started or if I would be credible... I suppose credibility comes from just putting yourself out there and putting in the work.

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Ryland G Author

Just get yourself out there. That’s the hardest part and once it’s over it’s a bit exhilarating.

Credibility comes a lot easier from blogs than from twitter because of the average length of content.

Thanks so much for the positive feedback, glad I was able to provide value.

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Niko Heikkilä

Documenting a learning or growing process is an important skill for any developer. Having said that you just gained a new follower. 👍

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Ryland G Author

I appreciate the follow and the time you took to leave this positive and insightful comment.

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Greg Edelston

Great article, Ryland. I love the story-telling and the concrete advice.

You said that you don't enjoy the blogging/social media process. This makes me curious: why do you dedicate your time to it?

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Ryland G Author

What I enjoy/don't enjoy doesn't dictate my life. I didn't like or eat vegetables for most of my life, but I realized that was a shortsighted and irrational decision so I made myself change. I see this very similarly.

Sorry for the late reply, I hope that answered your question. Thanks for the great comment!

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Greg Edelston

Thanks Ryland! This explains why the non-enjoyment doesn't deter you from blogging. But I am still curious what drives you to write and to promote yourself as a writer.

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Ryland G Author

It's a skill I have, and others don't, and that's a strong differentiator in a capitalist economy. I definitely see myself writing for the rest of my life, just not as a full time thing.

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Mikhail Panichev

Thanks for a good article!

After looking over general statstics of content posted to Dev.to, I realized that Friday was practically a dead day

Can you share ways how you collected these statistics? Last time I checked there was no open data from dev.to

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Mindaugas Jacionis

Cool article! A lot of great insights! I loved that it is so much in depth with all the numbers and goals and everything 🤗
I was wondering about your personal blog, do you post twice(one on dev.to and one on personal blog) or have some sort of setup, tooling or maybe API integration to avoid double labor? 🤔🙂

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akashic seer

Excellent article. This follows basically the same path I am following. My last app failed because I am an extreme introvert and had no one to tell about it. I had only family and a few friends I grew up with and connected on facebook with. This time around I am working harder on making the internet presence. I am determined to work as hard to make a presence as I am to code the actual app.

I started a blog akashicseer.com where I have been writing articles for several months instead of using a platform. I use the blog as a personal place to keep resources about subjects I am interested in. One part of the plan is to use the resource links in articles within my blog because it raises your SEO apparently.

Another reason I create lists of resources is because the internet is full of bad information. I screen the resources. You will see lists of videos that I have watched and documented what is in them and at what point.

On twitter I started to follow and promote tweets of people in the Developer community, mostly indie game developers. The social platform I am building is meant to help people get found in a social way. But it also includes some seriously unique features. For one much of the admin work will be done by AI assisted by humans.

But I don't want to build something no one knows about again. This article has convinced me that writing articles on dev.to will probably be a rewarding event so I will probably try to write one soon. I can still link to my blog in the articles here. So maybe I write a long article on my blog and write a smaller one or related one here and link to it.

I am going to try this to see how well it works. Thanks for the article.

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Ben Sinclair

I'm curious as to why you did this. What are you hoping to achieve by getting a lot of followers?

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Ryland G Author

First and foremost, the last 1.5 months really helped me overcome some of my social anxiety.

Long term, I want to be very successful in business and a key component is having a large reach (followers). I could wait till when I need it to start the process, or I could get it over with now.

I also really believe that I have a unique and important view point to share with the world. More than that, if I can help others avoid making mistakes I had to, that would be really great. I really strongly believe that nobody has to lose for you to win. So if others can use my story to “win”, that would be wonderful.

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Jonathan P

Thanks for sharing!
It seems you focused on reddit, twitter, medium and dev.to. Did you also try linkedin?
If not, why?

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Henry Quinn

This is awesome. I'm starting a month of "learning in public" today and this will probably help a lot - similarly looking to create a small following.

Did you see any patterns associated about WHEN in the day you put posts up?

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Florian Rand

Wow this is an example of meticulously and strategically well planned work. Quite impressive 👏👏👏💪.

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Ryland G Author

Thank you. I did really work hard but it seems to have been worth it. Glad you enjoyed my work!

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Vitor Reis

Interesting insights, thanks for sharing it.

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Ryland G Author

Of course! Glad you liked it.

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Damjan Dimitrov

Great article! Just one question - what did you mean by "outlines" when you mentioned writing outlines as part of the conclusion?

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Ryland G Author

Great question. I might write another post about it.

The basics. Most people start writing a post by sitting down at the computer and typing out paragraph 1 and then 2 etc. Obviously it’s possible to do it this way, but what often happens is that without planning, halfway through you realize something isn’t going to work. Maybe the paragraphs don’t flow as well as you like.

In my experience, this uncertainty is actually a big time waster. To solve this, I start every post just by putting the titles of the sections. That way I no longer start from top to bottom and figure it out as I go, but instead sort of “connect the dots” between sections.

Depending on the size of the post, I sometimes even put a few high level bullet points in each section. When it comes time to write that section, I simply turn each bullet point into a stand-alone paragraph.

I hope that answered, if not please tell me. Glad you liked the article, thanks for asking a great question too!

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Amine Hammou

A lot of honesty over here, great post!

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Ryland G Author

Thanks :) Glad you liked it.

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Emmanuel Raymond

Really great article. Keep up the good work

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Ryland G Author

Thanks for reading!

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Vaibhav Namburi

This is probably one of the best posts I've read in a while!

Well written, to the point and articulate.

U sir are gifted

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Ryland G Author

So glad you liked it. Thank you for giving me specific feedback because it helps to know what part of the articles worked!

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Cara Margot

as someone who is similarly wary of social media, I really appreciate this write up!