Blogging is useful for many reasons. For starters, it helps educate others, reinforce your knowledge, and build your brand. All these factors contribute significantly to why every developer should have a blog.
Sadly, most developers believe that blogging is no longer relevant. Many of the elite developers you see today take out time to post articles, Tweet about the latest developments, and post on their LinkedIn pages. Some go as far as recording YouTube videos and podcasts.
Creating content is one of the ways in which they develop and become better.
What Is The Connection Between Blogging And Developers?
Blogging is a great practice, and it holds unique benefits for every developer. Writing about your experiences as a developer plays a vital role in your journey to becoming a true professional. Blogging is like keeping a public journal. By writing down your experiences firsthand, it creates room for you to reflect on your experiences and fish out details you may have ignored.
Recently, there was a post on Instagram which showed that writing anything helps you store it longer in your memory. So by taking a few minutes each day to put your thoughts into writing, you get to reflect and refresh your memory on that topic.
As you write down your thoughts, you may notice how a line of code you've written can be applied to solve a problem that has been bogging you for so long. Or by writing down your thoughts, you may discover new things about how you learn and understand new information.
So blogging isn't just something you should do during your free time. Instead, you should create time to write down your thoughts.
What Are the Benefits of Blogging as a Developer?
You get to give back to the community.
We all started learning how to code from somewhere or someone. While learning, you most likely had to refer to a couple of tech articles to get over a hurdle or learn something new. Right now, you may not be as new to programming as you were when you started, but you can still read tech articles to stay updated on the latest developments in the programming world.
This shows that you have benefited from at least one blog article in the developer community, so writing one of your own isn't a bad idea.
Yes, this may not be a good enough reason to start blogging but imagine if all the articles you read throughout your career weren't written. Imagine if authors like yourself chose to keep their knowledge and experience to yourself, ask yourself if you will be where you are today.
Blogging is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community and help another newbie discover what that code means or the answer to the issues you faced up until this moment.
Improve your skills
A common misconception is that blogging only helps your audience. In reality, blogging is a two-way street. Blogging helps both the author and the audience.
Amazingly, most tech bloggers have to research and learn about the tech concept they hope to discuss days or even weeks before writing about it.
You may not realize that as a result of this research, tech bloggers expand their knowledge about every topic they write on. So, in the end, they become better developers and more knowledgeable.
So while blogging about any topic, you learn new communicating and developing skills and educate others.
Build your brand
Through blogging, you put your brand on the screens of thousands. At first, it may seem like no one is reading your content or noticing the knowledge you contribute to the developing industry. But this is a game of resilience. Over time, you will begin to get views on the articles you post, and they will associate your brand with a specific type of tech you focus on. This is where your brand takes root.
Blogging about a specific programming language or tech concept eventually makes your brand an authority in that programming community. Other bloggers, as well as readers, will begin to respect your opinion on matters surrounding that topic. Eventually, this can lead to job offers, recommendations, and so many other amazing opportunities.
When applying for a job, you can attach a link to your blog. When recruiters see how knowledgeable you are and your audience reaches, your chances of getting that job immediately skyrockets over other candidates. Having a blog of your own can serve as a form of a resume. By reading your blog, an employer can know how knowledgeable you are, your area of expertise, your ability to research and learn new things, how well you can relate with others, etc.
You will become more self-confident.
Producing something that the whole world can see and judge is not an easy task. Many tech bloggers were frightened about what people might say and how the world may react when they posted their first few articles. After a while, you begin to get more confident about your skills, and you will improve how well you handle criticism which will benefit other areas of your life.
There is hardly anything to worry about especially when your blog is new. Very few people will read it so you face Zero to few criticisms on your posts. As your blog develops so will your writing skills hopefully will be sharpened. You must have also developed thicker skin to handle even the harshest criticisms gracefully.
Stop finding excuses
Having a blog is amazing, but you may be hesitant to try it out. Here are two of the most common reasons why developers do not want to write blog posts.
I don't have enough time.
The most common reason developers do not write is that they feel there isn't enough time to write. Or because they feel there are so many other important things they need to do. Yes, that may be true, but there is always time for writing. It may not be two hours or five; all that matters is that you start somewhere.
Writing a blog usually doesn't take long; you can be done with one post within 30 minutes. In the early stages of writing, committing up to 2 hours on one blog post is difficult so that you can start with something smaller. No rule says you must finish a blog post each day so you can spread out time and write at your pace.
I lack enough experience.
The second most common reason why new developers believe they can't have a blog is because of something we call "imposter syndrome." This is a feeling you get when you're so new to something that no one will care about what you write, or in the worst-case scenario, they make fun of what you write.
This concern may be difficult to overcome but simply put, you have very little to worry about. While we can't promise that nobody will ever ridicule you, you must understand that you are in control of what you write. How much you choose to express yourself and your experiences as a developer is solely your decision. And yes, you may come across obstacles, but that is all that they are, obstacles that you can surely overcome. It would be tragic if you let the fear of getting ridiculed or obscurity prevent you from expressing yourself freely as you grow in your career and skills as a developer.
Do Not Blog for Money
This isn't an excuse, but more of a warning because it usually ends up ruining the blogging experience.
Of course, you can make money off blogging, but it’s very difficult to make money blogging. If you choose to focus on blogging for money, you would likely try to create content with the highest likelihood of getting you money rather than focusing on topics you know and love.
Another reason why blogging from money isn’t the best mentality is that it often takes years to get people who will pay you money for your blog posts. So you may lose interest when the money isn’t flowing, which of course, isn’t something we would want to happen.
The best approach is to blog for the love of it and the understanding that you are saving a young coder from smashing his or her keyboard out of frustration. We’ve all been there, so you understand what your life hack or insight may change in someone’s life.
Getting started as a blogger
If you are new to creating your content, or if you've tried it before, but you're not consistent, you should start by taking little steps. While every developer must start blogging at some point in their career, you do not need to go full throttle at your first attempt.
The fun part about blogging is that it is simple and straightforward. Considering that blogging platforms such as WordPress make it extremely easy to create an SEO-friendly blog, there is almost no technical knowledge required.
However, here are five tips that will help you become an excellent blogger
Choose an interesting blogging name and get your blog hosting. Your blog's name is the first thing visitors will notice when visiting your blog. You must use a name that can be associated with your tech skills. You must also have your blog hosted to show up in searches, and internet users will be able to find it online. Note that you can use your own name for your blog. Check to see if your name is free on FirstNameLastName.com and register for it for $12/year. If your name has been used with.com, you can try other extensions. There are hundreds of top level domains available so getting one wouldn't be too difficult.
Another naming option is to use your own name. Check if your FirstNameLastName.com is available and register it for about $12/year on sites like namebright.com. If the .com is not available, try another domain extension like .net, .blog, .io. There are hundreds of top level domain extensions available (TLD).
Start your blog by adding WordPress. WordPress has many themes and tools that can help your blog be SEO and user-friendly. It has interesting themes and Yoast, which help you use your keywords wisely. Another great blogging platform we’ve discovered is Hashnode.com. Using that domain, you get to host your domain for free and it’s platform has been designed for tech bloggers specifically so you can blog strictly as a hobby without having to read several manuals or pay for a hosting service.
Add blogging plugins or create a Google analytics account which you can add to Hashnode. With this, you can track how many visitors your blog gets and where they come from. At this point, we should warn you not to obsess over these statistics. Regardless of how many visits you get, remember that you're blogging for the fun of it.
Write interesting and informative content to create a blog your readers look forward to visiting regularly.
Blogging is a combination of teaching and learning. At the end of the day, you learn more and improve your skills as a developer while impacting the lives of your audience.
Having a blog as a developer has great lifelong benefits. The more you blog, the better your researching skills become, and you end up becoming a lifelong expert in your area of specialty.