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On Expectation of Technical Blogging

hoangbkit profile image Hoang Nguyen Originally published at hoangbkit.com ・3 min read

People say every developer should have a technical blog, there are many benefits of blogging, you're convinced to have one, you buy a cool domain, you setup a static blog with popular Gatsby, you publish some random posts, then you abandon it for months to come.

There are very few blogs maintained more than a year!

Blogging in general can benefit your personal and professional life in many ways like share your passion, build professional network, build online portfolio, learn out loud, make money online, or become an authority in your industry.

Technical blogging is no different, it can be your most valuable asset after many years in tech. It's tempting to have one, it's easy to start, but there's one thing that not many developers can do: writing consistently in a long period of time.

Developer nowadays often has a blog with some random posts with very little value and left in dust for many years. Why is that? 🤔

Consistent writing is hard but the expectation is not right!


On learning out loud by writing — this is a good expectation for newbie developer who wants to build an online identity while shaping career path. Content quality is often low and inconsistent, easy to quit because reading only is far more easier than reading and writing.

On building an online portfolio — the main purpose of portfolio is to showcase your work, popular choice for every developer, writing some random thoughts here and there over the years will be just fine.

On making money online by writing — it's a dream to have passive income stream from technical blogging as a developer, but only a handful people can do this because it requires extreme consistent content writing for many years with reasonable quality and marketing strategy.

On becoming an authority in tech industry — this is a common choice for senior engineers who have many years in tech industry, contributing to high profile open source projects. The content they produce has very high quality and deep in thoughts (people expect so). These days it's easier to build authority on social networks and occasionally sharing some posts is enough.

On building personal brand for something bigger — popular choice for indie makers, book authors, startup founders. Your main purpose is to build a marketing channel for selling digital products or driving leads to landing pages. Consistent writing and high quality content is required, if not then just a waste of time.

On random combination of multiple purposes of writing — the most compelling and dangerous choice of all time. There will be a conflict between quantity and quality of content which will demotivate you. On temptation of doing many things - promoting to multiple social networks, running newsletter, writing daily, buffering content, noting ideas - will make you exhausted.


Picking the right purpose of technical blogging is not that hard, but keeping reasonable expectation with that purpose is very hard. It is very tempting to target multiple purposes because people told you so, but soon you'll get intimidated by low quality of writing.

Never forget that successful bloggers spending majority of time on writing content and successful developers spending majority of time on writing codes. If your purpose of life is to become a true competent software engineer then don't let writing oriented people tell you otherwise.


This post was originally published at hoangbkit.com

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Hoang Nguyen

@hoangbkit

I turn ☕ into {code} using #javascript

Discussion

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I think about it as a journey from newbie to an experienced engineer, you keep writing ✨

It's an amazing way of documenting your career journey. I started blogging as a hobby, during my first internship. Whenever I came across anything challenging, I'd write a blog immediately after finding a solution.
It might be of low quality and I was certainly a newbie, but my articles have helped a lot of people in their day to day professional life. All those articles I wrote that time have slowly gained traction over the year and generates a decent revenue for me every month (it ain't much. I don't expect any payout for the things I shared, but it keeps the servers running).

After my university, all those articles I wrote helped me a lot in landing a job as an engineer. I do have a personal blog along with my old blog. Still I share things I learned on my daily job in my personal blog and I still write beginner friendly articles in my old blog.

Over the years, I have had re written most of my previous blogs. It's not about how far you have reached, I strongly believe sharing knowledge that you think might help someone on the other side of the world is amazing!

 

Yeah, writing more, to write down some of what I've learned, mistakes I've made, to be able to help others has been a goal for a while, but it is hard. On the job burn out makes it difficult to want to even look a computer at the end of the day.

As part of my Flatiron bootcamp, we are required to write a technical post for each of our projects, which had made the process easier. Beyond that, I have many ideas for what I would like to write, but I often have to pick other priorities.

 

On making money online by writing — it's a dream to have passive income stream from technical blogging as a developer, but only a handful people can do this because it requires extreme consistent content writing for many years with reasonable quality and marketing strategy.

I just posted some ways to make money while blogging.

dev.to/aleccool213/how-to-make-mon...

 

You touched upon stages of blogger very well.
Reading your post I can correlate it with my journey.
I failed first time. Although succeeded second time. And writing since last 3 years consistently.

 

Amazing post!
Im in the beginning of the journey, and helped me to identify my objective.