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Shawn McElroy for Space Rock Media

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What are your best tips for writing technical blog posts?

Especially targeted at those new to writing technical blog posts, but any tips are welcome. Exactly as the title implies:

What are your best tips for writing technical blog posts?

Ranging from just talking about tech, to programming tutorials, to code-heavy posts.

For me, the main tip is to just write. If you are stuck on a part of a post, write a note stating what you may want there and write the next part. The other is to write an outline.

What helps you write well and get them done?

Discussion (7)

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danielplust profile image
Daniel

One tip I read from someone on Hacker News goes like this, to paraphrase:

If you find yourself googling a problem and it takes multiple searches/Stack Overflow posts to come up with a solution, this is great candidate for a "How To" blog post.

You can write a post that synthesizes your multiple searches/Stack Overflow posts into a one-stop shop for someone else (or yourself after you've forgotten how to do what you just did).

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shostarsson profile image
Rémi Lavedrine

From time to time, I am writing for the future me and actual you exactly for that.
I solved a problem and just want to be able to rely on it later.
My last post is absolutely for that purpose. 😄

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ssimontis profile image
Scott Simontis

Whenever I write something, I set a timer I feel is appropriate. For example, I try to respond to all e-mails in under five minutes. If I cannot do that, I'm overthinking things and not conveying my ideas clearly enough.

I think that attitude of staying out of the weeds is very important...no one is going to take about the issues you are presently overthinking for hours. And sometimes if I am slowly struggling along and failing to make satisfactory progress, I just delete everything and start over.

Sometimes I outline things. When inspiration hits me, I record the idea as an outline, and if detailed enough, I basically end up with an article minus some glue sentences by the time I am finished.

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danielplust profile image
Daniel

Sometimes I outline things. When inspiration hits me, I record the idea as an outline, and if detailed enough, I basically end up with an article minus some glue sentences by the time I am finished.

This articulates the process I've come to use almost exactly. Except I don't outline things just "sometimes"—I have to all the time.

Thanks for sharing.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Write with one person or archetype in mind, don't write for everyone. It can really help you overcome paralysis.

I recall writing this post in about five minutes specifically as a response to a DM I thought others would appreciate

And it wound up getting a few thousand reads and being really well received.

It wasn't a technical post per se, but I think this logic applies in general.

@pbeekums touches on some of this well here:

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autoferrit profile image
Shawn McElroy Author

Great points. Basically, MVP your blog post. We don't start by writing apps by creating what will be released in a year, we just make it work first, even if it's fragile. Then we [code|editorial] review and fix it.

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aswathm78 profile image
Aswath KNM

Here's the one I actually recommend to everyone.

Quincy Larson's guide to write blogs