My personal journey in tech blogging has been a roller coaster ride. I have been blogging ever since I entered the IT industry as a new entrant in 2008. It was driven by the passion for learning new technology and exploring stuff that is contrary to my regular day-to-day job.
So when I was working as an Android application developer, in my personal time I was trying to learn J2EE and Apache Struts. And, I love taking notes along the way while doing small and simple POCs.
At that time there was no application like Notion, so I decided to create a website using Google Blogspot and started capturing all my notes there. Those notes mainly served as a bookmark, so I could refresh my memory whenever I wanted.
Slowly, I started to like writing detailed tutorials and sharing my knowledge which some of my friends, and colleagues loved to read.
And that is how I was introduced to blogging.
But, I never wanted to be a full-time blogger. I never believed I had that spark, which would make my livelihood out of it. That made me a passive blogger.
Now I am running this blog stacktips.com. It is a custom-built site, using Python, Django, and VueJS.
Over the years, I've had my fair share of experiences as a passive blogger, and through trial and error, I've learned valuable lessons that I wish I had known earlier.
In this blog post, I'll share these insights with you, in the hope that they'll help you on your own blogging journey.
This post is probably too long for you. You don't need to spend all your time reading this unless you really want to hear my story.
- Content is the king, but consistency is the key to success!
- Building a distribution channel is more important than building a great site.
- You don't need a perfect domain or perfect site design. No one gives a shit about your domain name or site design as long as you have the X factor in your content.
- Understand your niche. Don't try to be a jack of all, you may appear as a jackass.
- SEO is the secret weapon. The earlier you realize the better for your site growth.
- Engagements are more important than having a larger number of subscribers/followers.
- Social media can help you to create the hype but a simple mistake can fuck up your whole strategy. So use it cautiously.
Nothing new here, but I expand on these above topics.
Great content is essential for any successful blog, this is a must-have. However, consistency is equally important. You need to strike the right balance between quality and quantity.
As a lone worrier, I used to dedicate a few hours over a weekend to produce 2/3 articles for my blog. But I never realized that we need to be consistent in publishing stories. I used to publish 3/4 articles in a day and then nothing for the rest of the month.
Publishing many articles a day, makes your readers overwhelmed with content so it is very unlikely that all your stories will be read by everyone. But publishing a story on a regular interval, let’s say every Sunday, will definitely drive more engagement, and your readers will love to spend a few minutes reading a story per week.
Great content is like a hidden treasure, it is worth only when discovered by your readers. Without having an effective distribution strategy no one will ever find what you write.
You need to plan your distribution strategy including content syndication, building email lists, social media groups, etc.
Many aspiring bloggers get caught up in the quest for the perfect domain name or website design. While these factors are important, they are not as critical as the quality and uniqueness of your content.
Trying to cover too many topics can dilute your blog's identity and make you appear unfocused. Find out why it's crucial to understand your niche and become an authority in it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be a game-changer for your blog's growth and to drive organic traffic to your blog. While SEO strategy might sound easy when you Google these topics, there is a vast amount of science behind it.
Some of these include:
- Having a catchy page title (not clickbait) and page description.
- Maintain a structural hierarchy of your content on the page
- Canonical and SEO-friendly page links
- Backlinks and building trustworthiness
- Page loading speed
- Image and video annotations and structured content markup
- Submit the site to search engines
These are just a few of these SEO strategies to start with.
It's not just about the numbers. Don't always throw your stuff, expand your social posts to other stuff including a photo from your pub night or day out with your kids. People love to connect with humans more than a BOT🤖.
Engaging with your audience, building a community, and nurturing relationships can be more valuable than having a massive but passive following.
Social media can be a double-edged sword. Learn how to leverage its potential to create excitement around your blog while avoiding common pitfalls that can harm your strategy.
I am not a very successful blogger. I never made direct money out of my blogging. However, blogging enabled me to expand my horizons and build connections. Using my blogging connections I have published books, built projects, and earned sufficient money to call out “My Blogging Journey has been Worthwhile!”.