Writing doesn’t come naturally for many developers, unless it’s writing code of course. Blogging is a very different form of writing, you might think – I absolutely 100% agree. However you should still absolutely give it a go. 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 just 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 that haven’t learned your particular coding language at all. Explain your journey to them. Tell people what obstacles you’re coming up against and how you are addressing them. Share what you are learning.
The bonus: by writing about your craft and by explaining what you’re doing to others, you’re learning more about the subject yourself. By teaching your skills, you will 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. Many partnerships and collaborative projects have started this way. You might be invited to work together with them on a larger project, you never know.
Show off your developing skills
You might be particularly good at a specific 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 are 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 are 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 that you will have full control over your website and your own SEO.
- Stick to your topic
It is important to give your posts a theme. 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 are 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. Once you get your head round this, you’re not likely to run out of material easily.
- Be consistent
Once you have decided how often you’re going to blog, stick to that 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 do it every now and again, this won’t happen. Regular posting also makes it easier for you to make blogging part of your routine. Put blogging in your schedule, so that 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 next 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
You’re probably 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 news-feed. Make sure you post them into any software development groups you’re a member of. This is where your main audience hangs out, so 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
An old Chinese proverb states: “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.