Why Technical Blogging?

Given this is my fifth year of blogging I figured it would be worth while answering "Why bother with technical blogging?".

Get Writing

Write about anything. Just get started, providing it fits your core focus. This blog focuses on programming and software development related topics, so anything that falls within this category is fair game. Take a single idea and from this one blog post you can generate many more ideas. This is where my upcoming list comes from. A single post can spawn many others and the process will repeat itself.

Honest posts, that focus on your experiences tend to be the most well received. Quality over quantity also factors. I try to focus posts, rather than going for length or in depth topics. My early posts are very rough around the edges, they will continue to improve as time goes by. Ultimately the more you blog, the better you'll become at it.

Schedule

Finding the time to create posts is quite difficult. Making and sticking to a schedule can help immensely though. Since adopting a weekly schedule, this has lead to a steady stream of posts. In turn these posts lead to a steady stream of views. Being completely honest, getting started was hard. Following a schedule and using the advice in this post can help though. Initially you may spend a long time working on content, but overtime this will reduce.

Views

The best advice is to ignore view counts. High view counts make you feel great, but there is much more to writing content than simply generating stats. Your highest viewed posts may very well surprise you, likewise content you feel should be seen by everyone can struggle. Rather than views, interactions are much more rewarding. Any content that gets a retweet, reply or email is much more satisfying.

People

In the area of technical blogging the majority of interactions are good natured. People are overwhelmingly nice in most cases. Twitter tends to yield positive comments or retweets partly due to the use of real names in most cases. Article submission sites can be a mixed bag, but for any negativity the view count to comment ratio will balance out. A lot of interesting followers are discovered thanks to this blog.

Benefit Yourself

Regular posts allows you to practice writing, which is a surprisingly enjoyable activity when you enjoy the content.

I learn a lot from doing, but I also find writing down what I have learned or discovered is incredibly valuable. Having an archive of content that I find important is a huge help. If you've learned something new? Blog about it. If you've talked about something relevant? Blog about it. This helps with the generation of new content.

Having an archive of posts is great for reflection. Looking back over old posts and confirming whether or not I still agree helps with learning. Have I discovered anything new since? Just the act of re-reading and refreshing myself with a concept can be useful. This tactic combined with a developer diary has proved a powerful combination.

Career Benefits

Additionally to personal benefits, regularly blogging has had a big impact on my career. It has helped me during job interviews as it helps provide evidence for my claims. Most surprisingly eighteen months ago I was offered the chance to help write a book. Unfortunately due to a new house and job I was forced to decline the offer at the time, however without technical blogging and other writing there is no chance I would have had this opportunity.

Within the last couple of weeks I have received contacts from numerous recruiters. As part of these there was a personalised email, which not only detailed my blog but clearly saw other online contributions. This recruiter went above and beyond the norm. While I never worked with them, this polite and encouraging email is yet another benefit of technical blogging.


The book Techinical Blogging by @acangiano is a great starting place for more information and advice.