So you’re a developer. Great! You’re having fun at the office coding from 9 to 5/6, maybe work on a few open source projects too. But do you have a blog? Blogs are really amazing tools for developers.
Not only you can become a better developer, you can also earn some extra money. Having an active and dynamic blog shows to the world that you have something to say. If you say it well, people will see you as an authority which can lead to a lot of interesting propositions.
Learn by teaching
Writing about programming and other technical stuff is an amazing way to learn and improve your skills. If you don’t want to end up looking like a fool, you need to do a proper research, write clean code and make your articles easy to understand. Basically, you’re learning in the best way: by doing.
Getting stuff done is hard though. Especially when it’s in your free time. Just writing a sample application to test this awesome new technology is cool but I find it boring. Plus, you don’t always understand what you’re doing.
Now, add the fact that you need to explain it to all the people who read your articles.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
I love this quote because it’s simply true. By trying to explain it to people, whatever the format (text, video, podcast), you will need to totally understand it.
Learn by sharing
After having finished an article, you will have a much better understanding about the subject. Now share it with a few smart folks and wait for the comments.
You will get tons of useful feedbacks from people who have more experience than you. And there’s always someone with more experience. This happens to me recently when I wrote my 10 Ruby Tricks article. The comments on the post and on Reddit improved the article by pointing out mistakes or misunderstanding I had. They also contain tons of valuable information.
Finding a job
Presenting yourself at a job interview and saying you have an active technical blog or website is a great plus. People can easily check your articles and your past work and see how you think. A GitHub account with at least a few repositories and a blog full of articles can make the difference between you and another candidate.
It also shows that you have experience writing technical articles. That means you can write for the company’s technical blog, produce amazing documentation and provide clear explanations.
It also shows initiative and recruiters love that.
People who liked your articles might contact you which could lead to landing a freelancing job. If you’re using platforms like Upwork (formally Odesk), you can include your blog in your profile. Your potential clients will be able to see what you’ve done, even if they don’t understand anything about coding! If they do, don’t forget to also have a nice GitHub account ;)
Obviously, you don’t always have to write about technical stuff. It’s your blog and you’re free to make it whatever you want! Want to give tips to other freelancers? Make video tutorials about getting higher rates? Totally up to you!
Make some extra income
By having a blog, you have an indirect relation with your readers. Those could become your clients if you offer them something they really need. Here are a few examples:
- Produce digital products, like books or screencasts
- Do 1 on 1 teaching with Airpair
- Start a podcast and find sponsor(s)
There are other ways that requires less work from you:
- Promote other people’s products
Just get started already. There are so many great platforms available to have a blog up and running in 5 minutes. Want to use static files? Go with Jekyll. Prefer to have an admin panel? Wordpress is your friend!