There are dozens of great developer blogs out there, we wrote about five of the best in this article. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for one more. No two developers are the same, which means you have a unique perspective on the industry. Where better to share your personal point of view than your own blog?

In this article, we’re going to look in more depth at why, as a talented, ambitious software developer, you should have a blog. Then, we’ll look at how to get started.

What's the deal with developer blogs?

Blogging has become so popular over the last decade because it brings so many benefits, particularly for specialist subject that developer blogs cover.

Firstly, it’s a great way to build your personal brand. There are a lot of developers in the world, so having a platform where you eloquently share your views can help you stand out. You can use your blog to build your network, which can help you as you progress in your career. If you ever choose to go freelance, your blog can be a way to win clients.

Writing a blog is also an effective way to build your skills. Obviously, the more you write, the more your writing skills will improve. However, blogging is a great way to develop your technical skills too, as it encourages you to research, to weigh up both sides of an argument and to explain complex concepts in a clear way.

Finally, blogging is great fun. It’s an opportunity to express yourself and the aspects of your personality that may not get to come out much when you’re working. Plus, when you press ‘publish’ on a post, you never know what is going to happen next.

Getting started

Now you know why you need a blog, here’s how you get one. The first thing you need to do is cast your doubts aside. You may not believe you’re an expert on any subject, you may not think you’re a good writer, and you don’t want to put yourself out there and possibly face criticism. All these may be true, but you can overcome them. You don’t need to be an expert – just offer something unique. Your writing skills will improve the more you write. As for negative feedback – hey, at least they’re talking about you!

Next, make a site. You’re a software developer, so I won’t dwell too much on this. But you have the choice of building your own blogging site, or you can use a ready-made platform like Medium.

Now, you have to think about what your blog is going to be about. The best piece of advice, to begin with, is to write about what you know. So, if you’re a front-end developer working primarily in JavaScript, make that your topic. As you get more settled into your blog, you can broaden your scope. It’s fun sometimes to write about the lifestyle aspect of being a developer, especially in today’s work from home environment. Make a list of the first ten or twenty possible titles you are going to write about.

Finally, it’s time to overcome your fear of the blank page and get writing! Do as much research as you can before you write, and make a plan of your blog before you start. Making a plan gives your blog structure, so you can guide your reader from beginning to end, clearly stating the points you want to make. No one wants to read a random stream of consciousness! As you go, you’ll develop your own style.

More blogging tips

Here are some more tips on running and maintaining your developer blogs:

  • Be consistent – if you plan to publish a blog every week, make sure you do it. Your readers expect it, and they will go somewhere else if they don’t get it
  • Keep an ideas file – you never know when inspiration for a new blog will appear, so have a notepad or file on your phone where you can jot down ideas. Look for inspiration in the news, social media, podcasts, as well as other developer blogs
  • Share your work – you want people to read your blog, don’t you? It’s hard for a new blog to get discovered, so you need to do the work. Share your posts on LinkedIn and your other social channels. Get your network to help spread the word.

Finally, you may experience hard times with your blog. It can take time to build an audience. Get used to seeing very low engagement numbers on your blog, especially at the start. Be patient, however, keep posting consistently, and you will see those numbers rise.

Write something that offers the reader something new and valuable, and you will reap the rewards.

Find out more from Haystack

If you’re an ambitious developer, another place you need to visit is Haystack app.

Haystack brings you smart job matching that actually works. Instead of getting bombarded by recruiters on email and LinkedIn, why not let the best employers in the industry come to you?

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