Programmers that don't blog should start right now. You're future self with thank you when your blog helps you getting a better job, earn more money and of course, have an easier time learning new concepts.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that a year ago, I didn't consider blogging a worthwhile venture, more like a waste of time for those who had too much of it. So what did I do with my own spare time, well I would just watch some Netflix, maybe play some games, and waste it away instead of investing it into my future.
Well, I decided to give Twitter a go, as I was stuck at home in lockdown. I got the chance to meet some really cool people on there who were in fact much more social than me, but I saw they all were putting out content and blogging consistently.
That's when I ran into my first surprise, I learned they actually made money from blogging.
Now I was interested.
Up to this point, I thought blogging was just something people do casually to talk about their feelings or day. However, I quickly learned that this isn't the case.
Through Twitter, I was able to make friends called Catalin Pit, and Danny Thomposon, and found that when it comes to development, there is so much more to blogging. You can write about languages you learn, or features you create, you're essentially teaching yourself and others about things you learn.
I started to feel like I had made a mistake not blogging earlier.
I'm not going to lie, it's not easy. I am not a wordsmith, and it's hard to come up with something to write about every day. But if you're a programmer, you should be blogging. You should be blogging because it helps you keep track of what you learn, it helps you stay up to date with the latest trends, it helps you get a better job, and it helps you earn more money.
2. How I started
With the lockdown being in effect and having more time on my hands then ever before, I wanted to know more about how I could blog in the software engineering space, and how people were actually using it to make money.
After lots of research in a montage format, I learn three valuable lessons.
1. Most successful developers blog
But it's not like they are writing up essays. They are just showcases snippets of that they have learned or interesting tips and tricks about NodeJS or other languages.
So why are they doing this, well that brings me to the second point.
2. Blogging is a way to teach learn and showcase your skills
I'm not saying you have to know everything, but blogging is a great way to help you remember what you've learned. It also helps others who are learning the same things as well.
For example, I started posting some of my tutorials on react and react native.
3. By showcasing their skills, they get opportunities for new jobs, affiliate marketing, and much more.
I'm not talking about money from ads like Google Adsense, but I am talking about how you can make money through blog sponsorships.
So what does this mean? Well, it means you can actually get paid to write about the things you are interested in.
For example, Catalin Pit has been doing a series of blog posts called "React Crash Course" where he has been getting paid to talk about ReactJS. It's really cool because he is able to learn more and share what he's learned with others at the same time.
This is one of the reasons why I decided that now was the time for me to start blogging as well!
So I started blogging, the first step was surprisingly easy but you need to make sure you find a good blogging platform. There were lots of options out there, like medium, which was already established for writing articles, but locked you into their platform and wasn't very coder friendly, especially for code snippets.
I also saw other places that let you post like devto, but those aren't really for blogging, and more akin to things like reddit.
The option I decided on was Hashnode
For those who haven't heard about it, it was one of the newer platforms, and this means that you get the opportunity to ride the wave of growth that comes along with that. If you want to get noticed, I would join in now because I can see this platform becoming as large as freeCodeCamp and other communities specifically for developers.
And the reason this was possible is because they combine of both your own personally blog, alongside a community of developer blogs that show up as a feed. This means that your articles will be recommended to others while also remaining your own. I wanted to give them a try.
Let's see what makes them different than other options.
Firstly they are free, so you don't have to worry about spending extra money, but they are also open, letting you own and even export all your data at any point, even if they were to shutdown in the future, which other places like devto or medium don't allow.
You get access to build your own newsletter collection, so each time you post, you grow your network which you could always use in the future to sell produces and services to!
You can also attach your own custom domain name to their and get your blog up and running in minutes. So, let's actually do that right now.
I registered the domain adriantwarog.com recently, and wanted to see how this works. The first step was to setup the DNS to point towards hashnode, and then, that's it!
This was a pretty quick and simple setup, faster than having to manually set something up in Wordpress or other providers where you don't actually own your own domain.
So let's write our first blog, which is why we should blog, this very article, inception so to speak! (and this blog, is that article!)
It took me about 2 hours to write this blog post, which is less than half of the time I spend on Netflix or wasting time daily.
I'll be posting the video for this article on Thursday where I'll go more into depth about my journey in content, blogging and why I think it's important, but hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!
If you haven't already, sign up to Hashnode and try writing your first article, your future self will definitely thank you!
Programmers That Don't Blog Should Start Right Now Check out the video where I go into more detail, as well as a quick how to get started guide to making your first blog!