Having a blog is a big part of having an online presence. Yes, it’s a really big part and it stands out to you from a crowd. There are many reasons why you should start blogging. I honestly think one of the best possible things you can do for your software development career is to start a blog and regularly update it.
First, let’s talk about Giving back to the community. Let’s say you are a developer so far and whatever the expertise that you have, you eventually have learned so far through your community, StackOverflow, forums, person, groups. They had helped you on the journey and it’s time to give back to the community through your blog or any medium and help to build community furthermore. Even you are not involved in any community then, it will be an awesome opportunity to build your community and meet other people who have similar interests. This will help you to open many doors and opportunities. You are building your brand and standing out in the crowd. That’s the difference between you and a normal software developer. This will also help to get shortlisted in job interview processor maybe anything else. Not only that you are enhancing your skills. Isn’t it cool to help people who are learning the topic you are blogging about?
You are being able to reinforce your knowledge of topics. There is a saying that the best way to learn something in depth is to teach it to somebody else! and that’s what you are doing through your blog. You are demonstrating your knowledge and representing it to the world that you know a topic inside and out!. Challenging yourself is a big part to start a blog for your personal growth and professional one. Just remember: you will never become a good writer unless you practice writing every day for years. You will become a good writer, eventually. You will be able to generate your passive income too which I will talk about later on.
When you start a blog and start publishing articles on things that you know, it also becomes solid proof that you know about it. You can even add a line in your resume talking about your blog. It makes your resume stand out from the competition. The next time anyone looks at your resume or LinkedIn profile they will know you are good at what you do. also, it puts me in touch with so many fine folks (like you!). Starting your blog is a fantastic way to make friends with other developers around the world and to exchange ideas. That’s why I prefer every developer or tech enthusiast should start a blog and shared about your their knowledge and ideas.
# Brainstorm your niche
Probably one of the most important steps that you need to take before you even think about creating your blog is choosing a theme or niche. When you choose a theme for your blog, you are going to want your scope to be very narrow and focused. This is also called specialization or “niching down. The idea is that you shouldn’t create a general blog about software development, but instead, you should create a blog that is much more specific to a targeted area of software development, technology, or other smaller specialized topic.
The number one biggest mistake that most software developers I talk to make, is being afraid of being pigeon-holed. They try too hard to be generalists because they don’t realize the extreme value of being a specialist. let’s start with areas of expertise you either have or would like to acquire. Take your few minutes and list the 5 things that interest you the most or passionate about. Hope you got the idea for niching down your blog. Even if you didn’t get it. Let me give you a few ideas for it.
- You can write about something you’re excited about.
- You can document your coding journey.
- You can share your experience or things that you learned.
- You can pick something you learned recently.
A good post can build credibility and help companies find you online when they search for the topic. There are a lot of ways you can go with this, so don’t be afraid to be creative. If you are having trouble getting ideas, don’t worry you are not alone. We all have been gone through it. Let me share my story, after my ten grade, I wanted to start my blog and at that point, I don’t know about niching down for my blog and didn’t make it through it with my domain and hosting as there was a payment problem as well as I was not exposed to the whole tech world. That’s why I always prefer niching down your blog before starting it. My plan after high school was to start a tech blog and started with the idea of helping students in tech which I have been doing so far helping out 500+ high school students clear their doubts and solving their problems from all over Nepal and helping out the developer community too. The few lessons that I can share with you is there is no perfection. Your first blog or niche won’t be perfect, but you have to take action, and eventually, you can make it sooner.
The idea here is to stand out by choosing a very narrow focus that you can claim ownership. The key here is to be very, very specific at least at first. You can always expand later, but when you are starting, you must have a very specific and narrow specialty that will be the theme of your blog. And don’t worry if the specialty you want to pick isn’t something you are an expert at right now. If you pick a narrow focus, you’ll be able to become an expert in that area. Trust me. It will work. If you are having trouble deciding, send me a few ideas and I’ll pick one for you.
Also, one last thing before I close this out. You might be afraid of making a choice right now, but don’t be. Pick something, for now, you can always change it later. You probably will. But the only way you are going to know if your theme is going to work for you is if you try it. Once you’ve settled on a topic, don’t change direction. Ask yourself what kind of reader you want to attract with this post. What, When you’re writing your post, ask yourself who will be reading it. Also, don’t forget the conclusion on your blog. Plus, when you go deep into an area and become “the expert,” it’s a lot of fun. It’s interesting to be able to dig deep like this. And remember, over time you can eventually expand your expertise and become more broad, even tackle new expertise.
The key is starting with the biggest advantage you can, which is being the big fish in the small pond. The most important thing is to pick something and get started.
# Creating your blog
I don’t think I have to explain about the domain and hosting stuff. But if you are a new one, let me explain with a few paragraphs about it. A domain name is the address of your website on the internet. This is what your users type in their browser’s address bar to access your website (for example, csaju.com). Web hosting is your website’s house where all your website files are stored. I still recommend using Bluehost, you can use other cloud platforms too. They are one of the largest WordPress hosting companies in the world and an officially recommended WordPress hosting provider. WordPress is easy. That is very good when you are starting. Today is the day you create your blog.
# [Optional] Why WordPress
WordPress is open-source software. It means you are free to download, install, use, and modify it to match your needs. A few questions will cross your mind. Questions like. Why WordPress is so popular? Why people prefer it so much? Okay, Let’s figure it out.
Today, WordPress is more than a blog publishing platform. It has a lot of versatility and gives you full flexibility to create any type of website. The best part about WordPress is that it’s easy to use and flexible enough to make different types of websites. Nearly anything that you want to do with your website can be accomplished with WordPress. It’s too customizable with themes and plugins. WordPress plugins are apps that you can use to add advanced features like analytics, contact forms, membership area, and more. WordPress has a massive community of active users and developers. Its well-maintained support forum contains millions of queries and solutions to troubleshoot problems. That’s the main reason why WordPress has grown so much in popularity.
SEO can break the success of your website. So it’s something that you need to start focusing on from the inception of your site. WordPress makes this easy by having some built-in tools that tell you how SEO-friendly your content is. You can use WordPress SEO plugins to further optimize your website. WordPress has a high-security standard. Regular updates are being provided by WordPress strongly protect you from this vulnerability. Since WordPress is used by so many people all over the world, there are countless guides, tutorials, and resources that can be found online. There is no shortage of WordPress “how-to” resources on the Internet.
# [Optional] Let’s talk about hosting and theme
I see a few major mistakes when developers create their blogs. One of the biggest ones is cheaping out and going with a free option. You have to ask yourself if you aren’t willing to commit a few dollars a month for hosting, how much committed are you going to be to your blog.
Besides, once you get going, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to generate a few bucks a month of revenue from your blog, which will easily cover the hosting costs. So, yes, if you are completely cash strapped, or you live in a country where a few US dollars a month is a lot of money, I understand creating a free blog. But, if you can afford it, trust me, from my own experience—choose a paid hosting option. It’s well worth the initial investment—especially if you ever want to make money off of your blog.
If you want to get started writing your blog right away and you don’t want to spend your time doing some cool technical stuff then I highly recommend Bluehost. Bluehost will make the process of creating your website and your blog unbelievably easy because their main target is non-technical people. If you are from Nepal and have a payment problem you can choose hostingsewa.
# Getting ideas
Your blog is not about you. Readers don’t care about you. Readers come to your blog. They hope you are going to solve a problem for them because they think they will find useful information that will help them do something. There is a misconception that you have to be an excellent writer and an expert in a topic area to write a blog post. Use a Trello board or other list system to track all the ideas.
- how to stuff
- course review or resource
- interview with an expert
- top ten stuff
- sharing guideline Ask someone else to come up with a few blog post titles for you. You don’t need perfect titles, just ideas for your posts. Consistency and commitment are the two best tools that will lead to being successful. Why consistency is so important? Consistency over time builds a large collection of blog posts, each of which is like a little magnet that has the potential to draw potential customers, clients, employers, and fans to you. It will also improve your writing and communication skills in general. The more you write the better you get at it. If you write consistently, you will improve, no matter how bad you are, to begin with. If I can do it, you can do it—trust me.
If you are willing to stick in there and keep blogging, you are eventually going to become successful and start seeing the real benefits of doing it, but you have to be the person who sticks with it if you want to succeed. I can tell you that there will be times when you don’t want to blog. There will be times when you hate blogging and when you feel like you have absolutely nothing to say. Don’t worry you are not alone and don’t give up.
# SEO Tools
There are blogging tools designed to help start a blog, improve search engine SEO, and take things through any given social media channel. Blogging tools are necessary these days to work faster and land more readers and clients without sacrificing content quality. Without using time-saving blogging tools like these, you’ll be wasting hours and struggling to create content while leaving little or no time to promote it on search engines or social network channels. Creating a content calendar can help you keep track of what you want to write about and when it should be published.
Your blog title or headline is the most important element of your page. If you fail to captivate the readers with it, you’ll struggle to grow your leads and sales.
Trello is a time-saving blogging tool that provides a free visual way of organizing projects with your team. With Trello, you can see everything about your project in a single glance, collaborate with your team members, and easily execute a successful project while carrying everyone along. Evernote is one of the best note-taking apps around. I have yet to see any note-taking app that can effectively rival Evernote. Any creative blogger needs to have the ability to save time and get more work done to grow their income. You can only work so hard for so long. The reality is that you can’t achieve significant results without using the right tools. Some of them are free, while others require an upgrade to a pro or premium account before you can access all the robust features.
Tools to brainstorm blogging ideas
Tools to create well-optimized content
- google trends
- keyword planner
Tools to help you write easier and faster
- google docs
- egg timer
- Google search console
- Headline analyzer
- Focus me
- Optin Monster
- Add this
- Seo web page analyzer
- Tiny Png
# Promote your blog
When you first start with your blog, don’t worry about traffic. When you are first starting, the easiest way to get some traffic to your blog is to start commenting on other software development blogs. Always seek to add value When you comment on other people’s blogs—especially if you post links to your blog. make sure you are not just trying to promote yourself and your blog. Add some real value to the conversation. Be consistent and write good quality posts that people will link to. The goal should be that people click on your blog because when they read the insightful comment you posted, they were interested in what else you had to say.
Share your posts on social media so people can read them and link to them. If you start collecting email addresses to build a list of subscribers, you can email them whenever you create a new post and you’ll gain additional traffic. I recommend building an email list of subscribers for you. Submitting your posts to link-sharing sites like HN, Reddit, Medium can grow your audience and increase your organic traffic too.
# Making money through your blog
Can you make money from blogging? The answer is yes! But how much money you can make from blogging is variable. It’s not an easy job and it’s not something that will generate results in a few months or even years, it will take time and it needs a LOT of patience. One of the best ways of monetizing a blog is through offering sponsored content opportunities (or advertorials). These are essentially adverts in the form of a paid-for article or blog post.
Monetising a blog takes time and relies on you having some traffic. The more readers you have, the more attractive you are to advertisers. If you have skills or advice to offer, another option is to charge a fee for your service or product. To make this option work, you need to be able to show you’re extremely good at what you do, or that your content has proven to be incredibly valuable. Offering services not only help you to make money but also gives you more use cases which help you hone your skills.
Doing a bit of coaching or consulting is an online job that can earn you a surprisingly nice living, even when your audience is small.
Using your blog to promote your own business or even land yourself a job is another way to make more cash with your blog. Affiliate marketing is a natural fit for many bloggers. The key is to be authentic and genuine with affiliate marketing. You don’t want to lose your user’s trust. Write reviews and articles with your honest opinions and only encourage your readers to buy something if you think it’s a good product or service for them.
All you need to do is, share your unique affiliate link of the product you are recommending, and when someone makes a purchase, you will end up earning a huge commission of the sale amount. Affiliate marketing is the way, how a lot of bloggers are making millions of dollars every year from their blog. Adsense is very easy to use and reliable. All you need is a blog with great content and lots of traffic. You add AdSense to your blog and when people click on one of your ads you get the 68% of the money paid by the advertiser (the remaining 32% goes to Google for proving this service). How much money can you make from AdSense? The amount of money you can make from Adsense depends on three things:
- Your organic traffic levels
- Placement of your ads
- The number of available advertisers for your niche.
To make money from Adsense, you need people to click on your ads and the position of your ads on the page is a very important factor.
When is it best tO use Adsense?
- Use AdSense on websites that cover a lot of topics (news portals, magazines, newspapers, forums, etc).
- Use AdSense on websites that have lots of page views.
- Don’t use Adsense when you can make and sell your products or services.
- Don’t use Adsense when you can make money through affiliate marketing.
There are various methods that you can use to monetize your blog. There are ad networks that are the simplest and widely used method for monetizing a blog.
The two most popular Ad networks are:
- Google AdSense (Offered by Google)
You need to have a blog to get approval on these ad networks. They show ads automatically based on the context of your article and also based on user interest
- advertising or sponsored posts
- affiliate marketing
- sell a product & service
- take donations
- create a membership
- sell a newsletter
- turn it into a book
- create a job board
- sell a swag
I hope you get the overall ideas about how you can get started with your blog and scaling with more number of users. I would highly be recommended every tech enthusiast to have a tech blog that can help to open up many doors and opportunities for them.