When I first started learning to code, I read and heard many reasons to why I should blog. Many of these reasons where similar to ones that I have mentioned recently, like helping one internalize what is being learned.
I started blogging on exactly the thing I was learning. This was difficult, as I felt I was learning faster than I could blog about it. I also found when I would get stuck on something, by the time I figured out the solution, I was ready to move on to the next problem and did not want to sit down and write about the problem. This lead to me usually not blogging much and also not feeling like blogging was any benefit at all.
This caused me to stop for a time. I knew is was beneficial, but it just seemed there was not enough time in a day/week to learn, work at my day job, and blog. However, I heard an interview with John Sonmez, where he talked about the benefits of blogging. These are many of the same things I had heard when I first started; building a reputation, talking about what I was learning, being able to process the new knowledge, and showing some of my personality in the posts.
Sonmez talked in the interview as well about a blogging course he was starting. It is an email course. I thought that even though I had already started a blog, it would not hurt to see any tips or tricks he had in the course.
The course ended up being very beneficial for me. One thing he talks about a lot is niching in your blog. Trust me this is really difficult. I am not sure I have still niched as far as I could possibly. Another thing the course talks about is that choosing a niche is important, but it is something that can always be changed or refined at a later time. This was huge for me. Knowing that I didn’t need to pick a topic I would be on for the rest of my life and I could change as time went on, made it so much easier to pick. Once I heard this, it made total sense to me, but I hadn’t felt like I could switch up till this point.
I have gone through a couple different permutations of my blog. When I first started the Sonmez email course, I decided to focus on a language I was looking into, Rust. I was doing screencasts and blog posts on the Rust language.
After several months, my position has changed in my company, which has left me with less time. As such, something which has always been important to me is how to build up and get involved in the developer communities. I believe community is extremely important, particularly as a developer is learning and growing. For now, I will continue focusing on this, in the future, I am sure I may switch again as new concepts are being learned.
I plan on doing a couple posts on blogging here in the next couple weeks.