Writing doesn’t come naturally for many developers, writing code, of course, does. A very different form of writing, you may add. I absolutely 100% agree. But – that doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t write, especially blog posts. On the contrary. Writing and publishing regular blog posts can do wonders for your career as a developer and for your business. Here’s why blogging for developers can really help you out.
Learning by teaching
If you’re only starting out, you might think that you don’t have that much to contribute to the world of software development. You’re only a newbie yourself and you’re learning. Stop right there. Chances are there are other developers who are even greener than you or haven’t learned your particular coding language at all. Explain your journey to them. Tell people what obstacles you’re coming up against and what you’re doing about that. Let them in on your learning.
The bonus: by writing about your craft, by explaining what you’re doing to others you’re learning more about the subject yourself. By teaching your skills you deepen them at the same time.
Your posts will not only get found by potential clients (or employers) but also by other software developers who are on a similar journey. Chances are, they will start to comment on your posts, asking questions and offering solutions. By engaging with them you can start to build relationships. You never know where that might lead. Partnerships and co-operations have started this way. You might be invited to work together on a larger project, you never know.
Show off your developing skills
You might be particularly good at a particular niche coding technique. Talk about it. This might be exactly what a potential client, employer or business partner is looking for. People won’t know what you can do until you tell them. Through blogging you’re effectively marketing yourself as a software developer.
How to do blogging for developers right
There are a few rules that are worth following when you’re starting a blog.
- Have your own domain name:
If you have a business, blog directly on your website. With a website built on WordPress this will be very straightforward.
If you’re starting out, invest in a domain name rather than using WordPress.com or Blogger.com. This ensures that your blog will rank independently, and you have full control over your website and your own SEO.
- Stick to your topic
The important thing for a blog is that it’s themed. What do you want to be known for? Are you a Java expert? Then that’s your topic. Stick to it. Especially at the beginning when you’re trying to make a name for yourself.
Think laterally about what you can include that’s related to your topic. This could be industry news, interviews with other experts, hints and tips, how-to posts, tutorials, trouble shooting tips, link roundups, resources and tools, pros and cons posts, etc. You’re not likely to run out easily once you get your head around it.
- Be consistent
Once you’ve decided how often you’re going to blog, stick to a rhythm. Weekly or twice a month is probably best. Consistency is important for SEO but also for reader retention. You want people to come back week after week to read your latest post. If you only post now and again, this won’t happen.
Regular posting also makes it easier for you to make blogging part of your routine. Timetable it into your schedule, so you know when you’re going to write.
- Avoid the dreaded blank page with an editorial calendar
Have a list of ideas ready. Add publishing dates to each idea and you have a basic editorial calendar. It’s much easier to start writing if you know in advance what you’re going to write about. It’s also a great tool to avoid procrastination.
- Share your posts on social media
Chances are fairly high you’re on Facebook and as a developer you’re probably on LinkedIn as well. Both are great platforms to share your blog posts. But don’t just share them in the regular newsfeed.
Make sure you post them into any software development groups you’re a member of. This is where your main audience hang out so this this where you need to share your work.
Social sharing will give your posts that initial boost of traffic. Natural search traffic will then follow.
Over to you
A Chinese proverb states that the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is now. The same goes for blogging. Just because you haven’t started yet, doesn’t mean it’s too late. Start this week; better still, start right now.
If you need help, you can download my complimentary 10 Step Guide on starting a blog. Make sure you also join my email list, so I can send you my weekly blogging tips.