Hi there! 👋🏻 Fancy seeing you here!
Disclaimer: This post is a little different from my other posts. Despite this, I hope you find value in it. 😊 Proceed at your own risk.
16 posts, 3 badges and almost 22K views later (at the time of this writing), here I am, celebrating my first month blogging! 🎉 I still can't believe how fast time has passed by! Time flies when you're having fun, right? 😁
In this post, I'll walk you through some of the things I learned in the past month and some points that I wish to improve on in the future.
Let's not waste more time and let us look back at my 1st month blogging! 🎉
I won't lie. The plan was for me to use Hashnode as my main blogging platform and then cross-post to DEV.to. Well, guess what?
I am now using DEV.to as my main blogging platform. The reason? I just find that I get more engagement here than on the other side (Hashnode), and that is, with almost no effort and self-promo. As a bonus, at least on two or three occasions, the DEV team shared my posts on Twitter. (I only created a Twitter account about a week ago or so, therefore I'm essentially a nobody there. Zero shame in admitting this whatsoever 😁).
With that being said, this made a HUGE difference in how much exposure my blogs got. So, a HUGE thank you goes to the DEV team for putting our work in the spotlight! 💖
Furthermore, since I'm already so comfortable here and it REALLY feels like a community, I'll be more active here than on Hashnode. That's my choice for the time being. (We can go in more details in the comment section, if you like 😉)
As I already hinted in the previous point: my social media presence is weak. Matter of fact; I'm not a fan of social platforms to begin with. (Has nothing to do with the fact that I'm an introvert by the way).
I have a LinkedIn account, but I don't post on LinkedIn. To me LinkedIn is arguably the LAMEST social media platform to ever exist. (Oops, I said it) The atmosphere there also feels...well...uh....uptight. I honestly don't think my posts would benefit from LinkedIn, though PLEASE prove me wrong in the comments if you strongly disagree with me! 😂
Then there is Twitter. Not gonna lie, I just can't seem to get the hang of Twitter yet. Lots of devs love being on there and I can understand why, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what to post yet. Any help is appreciated, so drop your tips in the comments! 👇🏻 Pretty please! 🥺
TL;DR: In this past month, my focus has been exclusively on blogging. I haven't really cared much about promoting my content. Which ain't catastrophic or anything, but I do realize that in order to get my content to reach more people, I'll have to promote it to some degree. For now, this point is a WIP (Work In Progress).
Oh boy, this one is frustrating! Let me tell you something: I don't lose sleep over this, but if anything, I'd love to hear from others how they feel about my blogs. I personally value comments more than likes. I like to engage in intellectual conversations and discussions whenever possible, but truth is, most people have an easier time dropping likes and moving on with their lives. Totally acceptable, though it leaves me wondering how they really feel about my post.
On that same note, I garnered almost 300 followers (at the time of this writing) here on DEV.to. In one month! 😲 WOW! Now, hold your horses... Before you go on and praise me (and while I'm thankful for their support), I can count on ONE hand, how many of them actively engage with my posts.
Nuff complaining! (I ain't, by the way) Allow me to show some gratitude to those of you who either dropped a comment on a post of mine, or threw some 💖s my way or even gave me the 🦄 reaction. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. 🙇🏻♀️ And especially thanks for letting me know in one way or another, that my content reached you safe and sound.
Like I said, for now, DEV.to is my main blogging platform of choice. In the future, however, I'll most probably self-host my blog. After all, I prefer being in control. -trust issues intensify- 😨.
Now, as you already may be aware off, there are MANY tags (read hashtags) you can follow on here. But beware: not all of these tags are as popular. So use them at your own discretion.
Here's a good example of one of my posts using the tag #datascience (among others):
That baby right there, got ZERO traction whatsoever. #datascience is dead as fudge. Prove me wrong!
But seriously: tags matter. Tags matter more than the time at which you post (at least here on DEV.to, dunno about other platforms). Here on DEV.to you can't see how many people are following a certain tag, but you can see the amount of posts published using that tag. Two things can happen when you choose a tag that is heavily used:
1) Your post gets traction
2) Your post does NOT get traction
(Excuse the lack of scientific proof here. This is just me making assumptions based on experience. My opinions are subject to change in the future 😂).
💡 PRO tip: Do NOT use tags you came up with, thus tags that are not baked into the DEV.to platform. You risk not being noticed at all if you do this. But who am I to stop you, right?
Here's an all time favorite:
As @jmdejager illustrates here, what makes a post great, is the amount of clickbaitiness in the title! 🤣 In all seriousness: title DOES matter. I have observed that for instance "listicles" are really popular (despite being allegedly despised by most 🧐). You know, these posts that go "50 (insert whatever here) you need in order to be a kick ass dev!".
Nothing wrong with these posts by the way. I'm NOT mocking or bashing them by any means. I'm just saying that these are pretty popular in general. Probably because most folks don't want to read a 6 min bulky post anyway. They probably prefer to scan through a list with bullet points and move on. Whatever floats your boat. 🤷🏻♀️
Moving forward, I'll pay more attention to my post titles. I want to make them more inviting and enticing to the potential reader. If I'm lucky, it may even help with SEO and discoverability on the net.
I'm looking at ya, lurker! Nothing wrong with being one though. I tend to be one myself, depending on the platform. Point is: my blogs, much to my surprise, got lots of views this month. At the time of this writing, I have a humble total of (almost) 22K views. (Again, thanks lovelies. I appreciate it 😊).
But, why am I surprised? Well, I got into blogging with near zero expectations. And remember: I did not promote my content on social media at all (or barely). Another thing I didn't see coming: #productivity gets a LOAD of attention. I really thought no one on here had any interest in productivity!
When I first started posting here, I thought: "Gee, no dev is gonna want to read this. They all expect hardcore technical blogs!" WRONG. Yep, I was wrong. I admit defeat. 🙇🏻♀️
P.S.: Does views == reads? Let me know in the comments. 🤔
Let me share some stats with you data nerds, not for the sake of bragging, but for the sake of analysis. 🤓 All stats presented here are for the period of February 8th, 2021 till today, 19th of April, 2021. Note that I didn't post anything else after my first post on the 8th of February, until the 17th of March. Now, drumroll please 🥁... (just kidding, hehe).
- Follower count: 293
- Total views: 22588
- Total reactions: 801 (and counting)
In the past month I also managed to get three badges:
- the Fab 5 badge,
- the 4-week-streak badge and most recently,
- the top 7 badge.
(Wasn't expecting the first one anyway, but I comment way too much 🤣. Current comment count: 300+).
P.S.: Do not be driven by numbers like follower count, amount of likes and views. Though they are nice metrics, they are by no means, at least in my opinion, a measure of success. Do what YOU love, and success will automagically follow! 😉💖
In case you missed 'em, find below links to my most popular posts of all time. Go on and binge-read them if you like.
That's it! Nothing else to add here. I might as well do another retrospective blog 3 months from now. 🤔 I'm curious to see how this experiment unfolds. Feel free to share your learnings from your blogging journey below! 👇🏻 I'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions, shoot 'em as well.
Until then, @technoglot
signing off ✌🏻
Still here? Catch me on Twitter or find me elsewhere! If you like my blogs and are feeling generous, kindly consider to 👇🏻