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Cover image for 2 Months of blogging:  Why do you blog? How often? How long do you take?

2 Months of blogging: Why do you blog? How often? How long do you take?

dvddpl profile image Davide de Paolis ・2 min read

I was blogging a lot in the past for different topics: books, music, parenting and when I was younger, generic rants about the world.

But I never dared to blog about programming.

Actually, I tried once more than 10 years ago, but after choosing the name and the layout on WordPress I never wrote an article... I really did not feel like I was good enough to give anyone advice.

My perception was that if you are going to write about something - then you must know the shit! you must be the super expert on the topic, donating your immense knowledge to the ignorant masses...
let me hit you with some knowledge
Therefore I quit immediately.

Then I read about GaryVee's theory "Document - don't Create" by GaryVee and found, right here on Dev.To, this post: 5 reasons you should write that blog post
Even though over these years I definitely increased my experience and skills I still don't think I am an expert but I was convinced that

I should document my learnings and at the same time share my tricks and tips.

The fact that I had my Trello board full of new years-resolutions about sharing knowledge ( with public speaking, opensource and writing) gave me the jump start to open the blog on 28th of January.

So far I managed to write at least 1 post a week. My plan is to stick to this - not more not less than 1 post a week. Be it some kind of "philosophical" post about programming and career or some quick tip of code refactoring, I saw that writing a post take quite some time and I always feel I should do something more productive.

What i really like of blogging is, especially for more technical posts ( still too few) I noticed that organizing the post allows me to try out different options, reorganize my thoughts and definitely consolidate my knowledge.

What I found sometimes discouraging is seeing that after some hours spent writing a post, you receive just a handful of views.
nobody is reading this

How do you organize your writing? How long do you take to write your avarage post?
How do you deal with the frustration if your post does not have the deserved success? ;-)

Posted on Mar 28 '19 by:

dvddpl profile

Davide de Paolis

@dvddpl

Sport addicted, productivity obsessed, avid learner, travel enthusiast, expat, 2 kids. 🏂✈🚞🌍📷🖥🤘👨‍👩‍👦‍👦🚀 (Opinions are my own)

Discussion

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I used to keep up with 1 post a week for maybe half a year or so. But, for the last year or so I have been struggling with time to keep this up.

I think part of this is due to me not just documenting what I know, but rather going out to learn something and then writing about it. Therefore spending a long number of hours reading other guides, docs and debugging an app and then finally spending even more time writing.

That is something I suggest if you want to write something. Find something you want to learn. Learn it. Then write it up. If you're uncomfortable doing this, then try something small and work up from there.

You might struggle doing 1 a week if you follow my lead, but you will learn a lot yourself as well as writing posts that collate scattered information into a single place.

Hopefully this helps you out a bit 😄

 

yep. this is actually what I am planning to do. I have a pet project that i am building and i am trying to write some posts summarizing the stuff I learnt and explaining how I built it. but I noticed that that requires a huge amount of time.
working on a pet project is a good way to learn, but often is also consists in reading some tutorials - putting together some snippets and have something working in the end. Writing a post out of it means that you really must have cleaner code and structure and properly must have dug in the stuff you did. ( on the other end, this forces me to really learn out of the pet project - so probably who cares if i skip a week or two... :-)

 

Exactly. You have to dig into it to make sure someone doesn't tell you your wrong!!

Then the extra benefit is when you forget all this stuff, it's all there on your blog. Written in a way that you understand and with the information that you care about.

 

I can probably weigh in with a certain amount of perspective. I've personally published more than 1,000 blog posts, starting with my own blog and then lots of other sites.

I typically organize a blog post by creating the H2/H3s as an outline and then I just start writing. A 1,200-ish word post takes maybe 45 minutes.

But, if that seems efficient, it's really just due to lots and lots and LOTS of practice, same as anything else.

I think, personally, that the biggest key is just showing up. Virality/popularity is really hard to predict. I've had things that I thought everyone would love meet with crickets and things I debated not publishing go to the top of Hacker News.

FWIW, I'd suggest writing posts with the idea that you're building a body of work, and considering it a bonus if a post takes off.

 

wow, a 1200-word post in 45 minutes is very fast. but yes. I know and agree that is just a matter of practice.

thanx for sharing your opinion

 

Yup, I agree in focusing on documenting every week that is usually my aim whenever I write.

Like I have a rough topic I want to write but usually, it takes me about 3 - 4 hours to write a post and spit shine.

Weekly basis works best for me for now unless I ramp up my frequency or length of more than 500 words per article.

I just have a lot of stuff I want to do plus I think writing helps in to provide a ripple effect in what you do to brand yourself as an expert.

Like for me I just write on python, startup or web development so I don't really have a finite amount of stuff I could write about every week.

 

yes, I also have lots of topics I'd like to write about, and I have already a lot of drafts. still finding the time, and containing the time spent for each post to a reasonable amount is hard.

thanx for your opinion