Why Start a Developer Blog?
You should start a blog. It will benefit you professionally and personally. You’ll be writing for future employers, future clients, and future customers, and for people in the same position as you are or once were. Write about what you’re learning and what you already know. You’ll be helping yourself and helping your readers.
If you’re learning and building in public blogging will help you think about your projects. It will keep you accountable to continue making progress. Writing will encourage your own growth and learning because you’ll need fresh topics and projects to write about.
You’ll also be building authority and expertise in your topics. As you develop a library of writing on you’ll be more knowledgeable and you’ll be showing people demonstrable evidence of that knowledge. Finally, you’ll be developing a point of view that will inform your writing and work.
Having a blog with a deep archive of articles and a few great pieces of pillar content (like an in depth project write up) is great marketing when you’re looking for new full time positions. You can refer your potential employers to evidence of your expertise. For a freelancer or entrepreneur it will build credibility with clients/customers and serve as a pipeline for new leads.
If you’re offering a product or service having a blog will help with your discoverability through content marketing, SEO and building your email list.
Check out these articles that inspired me to start my own dev blog:
swyx' article is incredible. Not only is the main article inspiring and detailed - there's also a deep list of more resources. I checked out a few and the Patio11 (Patrick Mackenzie) essay Do not end the week with nothing really resonated with me. It emphasized how important it is to make sure you're producing value for yourself in your day job that you can use in future work. I also really liked the links from Chris Coyier - Working in Public, Cory House - 7 Pillar Developer.
swyx metaphor of 'learning gears' is helpful and encouraging - start by exploring, then connecting, and finally going deeper. His article on interacting with mentors and leaders in your field is also really powerful.
swyx is also writing a book on this same topic available at learninpublic.org/
David Parrel writes with a warm inspirational style. Highlights of the article:
- Return on Investment - your creative output keeps working for you.
- Content Pyramid - a step by step process to develop ideas and get feedback.
- Site Structure - show visitors your best work and suggest other things they'd like.
- Writing Style - learn from copywriters to keep your writing dynamic and compelling.
At first glance Philip Morgan might seem link he's only writing for people in a very specific niche - experienced freelancer developers looking to increase their earning power by specializing. If you read the two articles I linked above he's describing a process of learning in public by writing every day that will benefit almost anyone. I like his emphasis on getting something published even when you feel awkward or like it's not good enough. The beginning is always frustrating but you'll improve quickly.
Goes in depth on all the ways a blog can benefit you're career, business, and personal growth.