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The Benefits of Owning a Personal Blog

Gift Egwuenu
Frontend Engineer and Content Creator. I'm passionate about making the web accessible to everyone and also an advocate for building open-source software and developer communities.
・5 min read

As developers, We always tend to look up solutions to a bug or error on Google and half the time we do this we are redirected to a blog written by another developer or even yourself in some cases. This is one of the ultimate reasons for owning a personal blog - teaching other developers.
In this post, I'll outline the benefits of blogging and why it's important to start a blog as a developer and also share several ways you can get your blog up and running.

I became aware of the benefit of personal blogging in February 2018. This was when I started my own blog. I initially took a course on Pluralsight about personal branding and it was a goal to complete at least one of the steps outlined in the course. I went ahead to start with blogging by purchasing my domain name even though I had no clue what content I will write about.

Let's start with the good stuff I'll share the benefits of starting a personal blog and further explain how to get a blog up and running. Because I think it's important I share I'll also write about my process and share resources needed to move forward.

Benefits of Blogging

These are some of the reasons I feel it's really important to start your blog.

  • Sharing Knowledge: Most times you find yourself trapped trying to solve a specific problem and with all of Google's help you still can't find a solution. You are finally able to fix the bug and instead of hoarding that knowledge you decide to write an article on how you fixed the problem helping thousands of other developers. This is by far one of the importance of blogging you teach others and this is a very fulfilling experience especially when you get sent messages of how your article helps developers.

  • Develop your Brand: Blogging helps boost your brand. You become known for your work and this will improve your reputation in the community.I have met a lot of people because I started blogging consistently and also gotten opportunities to grow my network.

  • Learning New Tech: Blogging is a good way to learn about new technologies and concepts. As developers, learning never stops for us it's a continuous journey so how do you keep up and still stay sane? I've discovered one way to make the best out of this is to learn a new concept and teach it that way you end up teaching other people and also solidifying those concepts.

  • Introduce yourself to the Community: When you consistently create helpful content and share it with the community. You become known as a teacher in your field. An example is if you create content on web development you become known in the web development community and that's a great way to make friends and connect with people in the community. Some platforms that will enable this happen are Twitter and Dev.to.

How do you start?

Now that you know the benefits of blogging how do you start your blog? I always get asked how I created mine and where I host my blog. I'll share all the details here. Now there are several ways to go about this I'll recommend creating a blog and having a domain name that is closely related to your name. That way it is easy to find you on the internet.
But feel free to disregard my recommendation and do what fits your needs.

  • Pick a Domain or Field: This should always be your first thought before going on to publish your first post. Think about what you want to specialize in. Are you more interested in web, mobile, security, or career guides? This is the best time to pick a domain you can as well do as much as you want but make sure you are specific to get a target audience that will always return to your blog.
  • Create a Platform: This is the interesting part that I love. You get to choose a platform that best suits your needs. I'm going to outline some platform I think it's great and you make the choice.
    • Build your blog! You can either decide to use Wordpress or Wixx which are pre-generated CMS or pick a static site generator like Gatsby and Hugo and create a custom made blog for yourself.
    • Medium: You can create an account and post directly to medium the downside to this is you don't own your content.
    • Dev.to: This platform allows you to post your content and has a huge developer community and also allows you to cross-post your content more on that later.
    • Hashnode: Hashnode is also a great platform for blogging with a huge number of developer centered content.
  • Syndicate your content: I recently learned a concept called POSSE - Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. This means it's always great to have your content on your site and share on other platforms like Medium, Dev.to, and Hashnode and you keep ownership of your content.
  • Post on Social Media: Social media is a tool you can use to gain more readership. When you publish a new post remember to share across all your social media platforms to gain more audiences.
  • Stay Consistent: Remember to stay consistent when you start your blog. That way you can always learn, teach and connect with the community and you can measure your success over time.

My Process

I follow the same process I've outlined above but I'll go ahead and share in detail how I create my content.

  • My blog is built using Gridsome static site generator hosted on Netlify and I write my content in Markdown.
  • I have a Notion Page dedicated to collecting blog post ideas when I think of an idea I add it on there. Alt Text
  • I start an article by researching on the topic if it's new to me and coming up with an outline. After I complete the article I syndicate to Dev.to and share it on social media(Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin).
  • I also do this thing where I share after about 3 weeks on social media to gain more audience.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find this post helpful and if after reading this you decide to start blogging please share with me here or on Twitter.

More Resources

You should make a blog!
Why Blogging is Awesome
How to do technical blogging
10 Killer Tips: How to Format a Perfect Blog Post
Thoughts on blogging after six months on dev.to

Originally posted on my blog

Discussion (23)

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roylarsen profile image
Roy Larsen

Blogging is super important, and not just stuff about tech either.

We all need practice with our writing and personal blogging is a good way to practice.

The POSSE thing is something that I've liked. I run a blog in a small DO droplet, running a Ghost container - but I cross-post to dev.to. I like that they make it easy to import your published posts (just find your blog's RSS feed and add it to your profile).

tl;dr: Blog more. It's good for you.

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Yes totally agree!

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davidsonsousa profile image
Davidson Sousa

The whole "Sharing Knowledge" part is what I tell my colleagues when they ask me why do I blog. Not to mention the times I found my own articles on Google... 😁

Also, there are endless advantages of creating your own blogging platform. I'm gonna list 3:

  1. You are building your own blogging tool the way you want and go crazy with it using your technology of choice.
  2. Granted you made the code public, you can skip some steps in interviews. That's good especially for people who don't really contribute to open source.
  3. You can always refactor the code and write about it.
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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks for the additional points! I agree with all your points :)

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chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard

Learning New Tech

Definitely agree - and I think this is often missed when people think about blogging. Some of my best learning experiences have come from learning about a topic so that I could write about it.

Nothing shows you the gaps in your knowledge quite like trying to teach a topic!

Great post, thanks :)

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks Chris!

I learn new technologies every time through blogging and It has really helped my career.

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cjustinobi profile image
Justin

Talking about platforms, I found JAMstack approach adorable. It could be super helpful when one is considering having one's content consumed on diverse devices, needless to do the "dirty works" in setting a blog.

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mooreds profile image
Dan Moore

Love the post. It's important to share things, especially early, as it seems to help Google (and others) find you.

I have been blogging for years and find that it sharpens my thoughts and makes it easier to point to accomplishments (it's one thing to say "I've worked with terraform", it's another to say "Ah, I posted about Terraform and multiple environments in Aug of 2019, you should check it out").

I wrote my own perspective on starting blogging here: letterstoanewdeveloper.com/2019/10...

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anjankant profile image
Anjan Kant

Beautifully bold everyone :) !!!

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lfosgett profile image
Lauren Fosgett

Thank you for sharing, your post actually inspired me to revamp my personal site and start a technical blog. I can't wait to put this into practice and start sharing my experience on dev.to :)

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Awesome! I'm so happy to hear that :)

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tracycss profile image
Jane Tracy πŸ‘©πŸ½β€πŸ’»

This is amazing. Blogging can be great especially for newbies like me. I get to understand the topic I am writing about deeper. Which improves my knowledge as I learn.

Great post :)

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nedyudombat profile image
Nedy Udombat

A lot of ideas from what I have learnt here, Thank you so much.

For me, it helps solidify what I already know, or what I just learnt. I just write it out in the simplest form and way possible.

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks Nedy! I'm glad this post resonates with you :)

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shadid12 profile image
Shadid Haque

I must say this is inspiring. :)

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thank you Shadid :)

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a1300 profile image
a1300

Nice article!

Your link to gridsome seems to be wrong.

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks! Fixed it

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xarala221 profile image
Ousseynou Diop

Thanks for sharing this amazing tips -:)

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stidiovip profile image
Tidiane SIDIBE

After reading this, I will finally start my personal blog about #erp and #architecture. I Know I do love sharing things but always wondering about the time !

Thank you for that great post

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Awesome! I'm glad this post was helpful.

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kethmars profile image
kethmars

Thanks for the motivation :D!
I just started writing content in Dev.to and the next goal is to create my own domain. Definitely will put your tips to use.

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amrelmohamady profile image
Amr Elmohamady

What about when sharing the article on a Facebook group should I share my personal blog link or dev.to link?