Why start a blog as a Developer?

I started this blog in May 2020 after reading Flavio Copes's book "The Developer's guide to creating a successful blog". Since then, I try to post a couple of times a month.

My blog is mostly on web development topics, but I have a bunch of miscellaneous blog posts too. I don't want to confine myself to one topic, even if it might be better for SEO purposes. I want to write about what I want to write about.

Having said that, even from the low amount of traffic I currently get and from the relatively small amount of time I have been blogging for, I think every developer should have a blog. Let me explain why.

Job opportunities

If you are applying for jobs, having a blog where you write about topics related to your job field will be a huge benefit. Your potential employer will see you are active and that you have knowledge and interest in the field.

For example, I started applying for remote (part-time) jobs in November 2020. By December, I had a job. I was applying to jobs by sending an email with a short description of my background, how my experience is relevant to my job, and I would link to this blog. That's it. I applied to 3 jobs, heard back from 2, and accepted 1.

I honestly think my blog made all the difference.

Cool to reference your own notes

How often are you stuck on a problem - you google and find countless articles, and eventually, you find a solution? Then a few days later, you totally forget how you solved the issue? This has happened to me so many times. But now, whenever I encounter a situation like this or learn something new, I take notes and eventually turn those findings into blog posts.

I’ve now referenced my own blog posts many times, and every time I do, it feels great.

The other day I wanted to set up some redirects on this blog, and I remembered I had a blog post for that. I used my own post to solve the issue - feltgoodman.

Money making opportunities

If you are a freelancer, then you would benefit from writing blogs. Let's say you are a Chrome Extension developer, then start writing about common issues you face or ways you solved difficult problems. When someone googles those problems and finds your articles, they might just want to contact you so that you can work on their project.

In fact, this has already happened to me 5 times. I've had 5 people who found my Chrome Extension or Jekyll articles, and they send me a DM through Twitter to debug or write some code for them. My articles aren't even popular, but they were about specific problems, which led to clients.

Or, if you start seeing a lot of traffic, you can think of other ways of monetizing your blog. These include affiliate links to tools or books you recommend, ads, your own products, etc.

Position yourself as an expert

Similar to the above point. If you consistently write articles about a topic, people will start to see you as an "expert" about that topic.

I've written a few articles about Jekyll and Chrome extensions, and I get DMs on Twitter every once in a while from people who have questions (which can lead to freelance opportunities).

If you have enough of an audience, you can always launch a product, and you would have the credibility established from your blog posts. Also, what better place to advertise your own product on your popular blog posts ABOUT that topic?

Give writing blog posts a shot. It doesn't have to be difficult or boring. Write about the topics you want to write about. Use whatever platform you feel comfortable with - for me, that's Jekyll (but for other blogs I have, I use WordPress). Check out my How to set up a Jekyll Website from scratch article if you want to use Jekyll.

The one thing I do recommend is to be consistent, find something that works for you. For me, until January 2021, that was 2 blog posts a week. Now I write once every 1-2 weeks.

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