Blogging is great, probably everybody I talk to for more than an hour knows this statement from my mouth and I want to elaborate a little on why I think so. Your blog is a vessel for your thoughts, so it becomes what ever you want it to be.
Your Blog is a Tool
It’s shaping your writing skills and probably gives you a better understanding of what you’re writing about, both in the process of writing and also when you receive feedback on your posts. That’s some cool benefits for you personally. The extended benefits, that mostly grows through time and consistent work are that you can showcase your professional skills and understanding of topics, by providing value to others.
When you publish about your field, may that be coding, teaching, photography or insert profession here, you show your level of understanding. This is a reference for who ever is in a position to hire you, which is a financially smart thing to do.
Through building a network through readers and also through being a little active on other peoples blogs or forums, you extend your circles and jump out of the bowl of physical boundaries. I live in Denmark and even in its third biggest city, I do not know many people in person, that I could talk about the deployment of Node.js apps about on an even weekly basis. Through the use of blogs and forums, this is no problem at all.
You have the Guts to Blog
With every word you publish, you show that you have the guts to put your full name, signature and date on a letter to the rest of the world. That means you have the guts to be quoted on it, you stand by it and you mean what you just wrote. That may sound scary, since of course we get better over time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have entries that honestly admit what challenge we were dealing with at a specific time or at least what knowledge it was worth our time communicating to others. For me, it honestly took a couple of failed attempts until I could boot a Raspberry PI from USB and what do you know, it was one of the most frequently read posts of that year, turns out I wasn’t the only one.
Throw away your pride while blogging, because some things are hard and a lot of other people probably have the same problem. There’s no shame in learning and trying. Admitting something is hard or that you spent a night on something is already a lot better than not writing at all.
“But nobody will care!”
For a lot of posts, that’s probably true. I don’t have a lot of loyal readers and certainly not a lot of comments, but some entries seem to pop up in search results a lot, others are referenced on stackoverflow or even raspberrypi.org. That’s cool and I hope I make somebody else’ day less frustrating with that.
In the beginning, literally nobody will care and domain age is still a SEO factor, so be prepared for feeling like talking to yourself for a while. When you’ve passed that point though, you will get reads, readers, feedback and opportunities you may not have dreamt of.
What’s a couple of houndred words to you? Haven’t you written more in your school essays or writting thousands of them for your university papers? If not: It’s still not that hard. Don’t try to get everything right the first time, but just get things done. It pays off, if you type your way through the sometimes lonely beginnings.