So, you’re thinking about starting a programming blog? Are you eager to provide your fellow developers with valuable, informative and engaging content? Great! We sure need more coding writers in the tech world!
Before you take off to your blogging adventure though, make sure you know what awaits you there—don’t wander off unprepared!
Thus, work through these 5 questions that will help you evaluate the feasibility of your idea and may show you the way to more suitable alternatives.
Why do I want to blog?
Don’t start a programming blog because you feel like it right now. Even if you’ve been thinking about writing for quite some time, don’t underestimate the power of determining your Why.
Why do you want to start a programming blog? Do you want to teach others? Show potential clients or employers what you can do? Become an influencer? Give something back to the community? Make writing your hobby?
Those are all valid motivators to start blogging as a developer, though yours might be different. Of course, you can have multiple motivators, but make sure your reason can fuel your passion for blogging over a long period of time. You wouldn’t want to put 6 months of hard work into your site and then lose interest in it, would you?
The better you feel about your Why, the more passionate you will be. Writing will become more accessible and enjoyable which will also influence the style of your writing, and your readers are going to recognize this!
Am I patient enough to go through reader-desert for months?
Patience might be one of the most essential skills you must have as a future blogger. Especially if you’re new to this world, don’t have a big following on social media or are not a regular speaker/networker at meetups and conferences.
The first months are the hardest—you may not get a single comment, hardly any shares on social media and, say 50-page visitors per month. All you can do is live through that, keep on writing, promote your articles and do whatever it takes to get your desired results.
Here, your Why comes under the spotlight again: is your cause powerful enough to keep you excited throughout this phase?
If you merely want to earn some fame, you may have a hard time. But if your objective is to support others with their programming, you might feel satisfaction from helping out 10 people.
Am I prepared to spend time on writing and tending to my programming blog?
Don’t you dare to think having a blog is not time-consuming! Obviously, writing takes some time, as well as editing; above all you want to make sure, your content is explicit and likable. But there’s more!
- security and software updates
- searching and preparing images for your site or taking them yourself
- being active on your desired social media channel(s) to promote your posts
- being active on meetups and conferences
- creating graphics
- answering comments
- coming up with new article ideas
- editing and updating old posts
- preparing code for your tutorials
- formatting your article, so it looks appealing
- researching topics that interest your readers
- researching facts for your new article
- and so on
Are you prepared to spend parts of your free time to do the things above? Or at least some of them?
I don’t want to discourage you, but I’ve seen people underestimating the time it needs to have a programming blog (or any kind of blog) more than once.
Although, the good news is that you’ll get faster over time. You’ll learn what you can do in advance, have plans and templates at hand which let you do your blogging more efficient.
Will I be able to follow my own path as a blogger?
You know you’re not the only blogging developer out there. I’m sure you follow some devs who have a programming blog, a HUGE following on social media and the authority to get invited as a speaker to every tech conference in the universe.
You are not that person. Don’t compare yourself to somebody else if this isn’t motivating you.
You are doing fine at your own pace. Don’t get discouraged by looking at some numbers on Twitter, Google Analytics or Instagram.
Get inspired by others, ask them for advice but don’t give envy a chance!
IF comparing yourself to others peaks your performance—which is by no means uncommon—do it while keeping your eyes on your side of the road! If you’re looking at the other lane for too long, you may lose track of your own way, and at the time you want to focus ahead again, all you see are two big truck lights in front of you…
Thankfully, this is only an imaginary accident, so no drama here! Load your newly gained experiences in the trunk, get back into your own lane, and continue your blogging adventure.
You know yourself pretty well, and you know how you’re affected by other people and their doing. Can you handle the ‘competition’? Do you even care?
Have I considered alternatives to blogging?
Let’s squeeze another question in right here: Do I like writing?
You aren’t doing yourself a favor if you answer dishonestly.
You don’t need to be a blogger, nobody does. Depending on your goal and your Why you could think about some other format. Maybe you’re better off by creating a youtube channel or something similar and teach your folks about programming there.
If you’re not sure how to answer the writing question, play it safe first. Create an account on medium.com or dev.to and start writing on a known platform. It’s free, offers all the tools you need and already has an audience. Post a few articles and see if writing is the trade for you!
Finally, don’t forget about social media channels and forums! See if you can achieve your objective by being active on Twitter or Instagram. Join forums and answer-question based websites—you could become an active Stack Overflow or Quora user.
Our world offers endless possibilities for conveying your message to your fellow developers. If writing’s not for you, don’t be disappointed and keep your eyes open for alternatives.
The world is at your fingertips
I don’t need to tell you that I’m a big fan of writing 😉 To be able to set up a blog in no time, or register to a blogging platform in a few seconds is mindblowing! Every one of us has something to share, even when we’re not yet experts in our field. Also, knowing that many people can’t speak their mind freely should make us want to seize this opportunity to write even more.