5 Tips for successful blogging ( + 1 to build a solid personal brand)
5 min read
With every day more new people learning to code, and new developers starting a blog and with Blogging being so important for your professional growth and your personal brand, I decided to share some tips I realized to be a winning strategy over many years of blogging.
Here it goes, hope it helps:
1) write lists and use numbers in the title
- the 5 bestest UI frameworks to learn in 2021
- 20 tips to become a supadupa coder
- If only my mentor told me these 10 things when I started coding
- Become a Millionaire by doing these 3 things every day
- 100 quotes that saved my life (literally, I was suffering from depression)
Everybody loves lists, everybody goes crazy for tips, advice and secrets. Top 5s, top 10s, top 100s. Just pick a topic and make a list out of it: High traffic and high engagement guaranteed, you will have for sure forgot something that deserved mention!
2) ask questions and create polls
- What IDE do you use? Corporate-boring Webstorm or Hacker-cool VIM?
- What music boosts your productivity?
- How many times do you go to the bathroom when you code? ( I always forgot to pee when I am in the flow
- Have you ever felt like an Imposter, like you don't deserve your success?
These posts don´t even have to have any content. Drop that question and wait for commenters to flood your blog.
Devs are very opinionated in anything they do and can´t help telling the world that listening trance-ambient-black metal while sipping yerba mate let them code super fast ( provided they use their mechanical keyboard and software they use has a black theme)
3) write very simple technical posts
Unless you are a professional world-acclaimed blogger Yan Cui, Eric Elliot, David Walsh or Jeremy Daly why to bother spending countless hours investigating a topic, creating examples and tutorials and writing deeply technical stuff nobody will read and understand. Every day there are hundreds of newbies that started coding, much better to write yet another example of Array.reduce or about the benefits of Async Await, or why not React Hooks?
4) be present, everywhere, all the time
Just keep posting content: your own blog, Dev.to, Medium, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, you name it.
You have to be there. Every week, every day. Be there, high in the trending/latest/most recent. It does not matter what you post, just flood the internet with your content. Tweet a polarizing comment, cross-post, repost stuff, create articles that just summarize (other's) successful posts. Quantity will win over quality.
5) use titles that spark curiosity
- I wiped out a DB in production, you can't imagine what happened next!
- I tried to convince my boss serverless is a scam and I got fired.
How do you stand out in the midst of thousands of posts every day? Write titles that trigger curiosity, that as soon as you read them you can't help but clicking it. Maybe you'll stop reading after few lines because you realize it's bullshit and it was just a clickbait. But hey, that page view counts!
That's pretty much it. But if you really want to grow as a developer and build a personal brand that is honest, useful, and closer to reality, here is an extra tip, the most important one:
EXTRA TIP: forget all the above, just write for yourself
Write about what you are learning
It's perfectly ok to write about common stuff that you just learned or just found out.
If you didn't know it yesterday, there might be somebody else out there who doesn't know it today.
Writing an article about Promises, or React.hooks consolidates what you just learned, writing examples forces you to dig deeper and prove what you learned.
Learning in Public is the best way to learn.
Write about your successes and your failures
It's good to have a historical track of your progress, your career, your determination in personal and professional growth. It's good for you whenever you feel down, when Imposter Syndrome kicks in because you can look 6 months or 2 years back and realize where you were and where you are now.
Write about your coding life:
Blog about what triggers your curiosity, about what you learned or what still don't understand. Ask questions, or express your views, share opinions with other devs, and gain different perspectives. And why not, sometimes just write to steam out about what makes you angry at work.
Don't worry about numbers, stats, likes, page views.
Of course, I am not saying you should not care about writing style, SEO, and other tricks to make a post more interesting, appealing, or searchable, but that should not be the end goal.
If what you write is useful to you, that's already enough - but likely it will be useful for somebody else too, so readers will come.