So you want to create your first programming blog?
This is an excellent idea. I believe that every developer should have a blog, and I will list the reasons why shortly.
In this article, I am going to assume that you are an absolute beginner who has never built a website before.
I will teach you exactly how to build your programming blog step-by-step, starting from choosing a web host, registering a domain name, choosing a good blogging platform for developers, all the way up to how you start writing and promoting your articles.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
- Why Every Programmer should have a Blog?
- How to Create a Programming Blog?
Why Every Programmer should have a Blog?
First things first, why should you create your coding blog in the first place?
I get it.
Software engineers hate writing.
It’s even hard to get us to comment our own code.
So why on Earth would you start a programming blog?
Well actually, starting a programming blog will benefit you in numerous ways.
Let’s discuss some of those benefits.
1. Improve your technical skills
There is a well known old Latin principle “The best way to learn something is to teach it”.
I find this principle first-hand to be very true.
For years, I used to teach Computer Science to undergrad students.
I kid you not, every time I taught a course, I also became better at what I am teaching.
Teaching pushes you to learn more about your topic which is good not only for your students but for your own self as well.
Starting a Programming blog is very similar to teaching because in your blog you will be teaching the world about programming and computer science.
And honestly, that’s one of the main reasons why I started afternerd.com
I just love teaching.
If you want to be a better programmer, teach programming through your blog
2. Make some nice side income
Having a blog allows you to have a nice side-income stream that you wouldn’t otherwise have.I make an extra $1500~$2000 per month from this blog. Not a ton, but it helps pay a big chunk of the expensive silicon valley rent.
3. Market yourself
Instead of me babbling about how you can use your blog to market yourself, let’s look at REAL a real case study.
Do you know who Jeff Atwood is?
If you are in the software industry and you don’t know who Jeff Atwood is, then you have been living under a rock.
Now I am damn sure you know what Stack Overflow is.
If not, then you are definitely not ready to start a programming blog 🙂
But you know what Jeff Atwood is actually known for?
His blog, Coding Horror, which he created in 2004 is one of the most popular programming blogs on the internet.
Not only that, but his blog was the reason how he met Spolsky in the first place!
Don’t take it from me, look at what Atwood himself says:
Your blog will open the doors for various networking and business opportunities that you might not find otherwise.
4. Learn how to write and present your ideas
Believe it or not but your software career heavily relies on how good you are at communicating and presenting your ideas.
Don’t get me wrong, If you are a rockstar programmer you will still do well but your career potential will definitely be limited by your ability to present and communicate your ideas.
One of the many ways you can improve your communication skills is through writing.
If you feel that you suck at writing in the beginning, this is more common than you think.
Just keep at it and over time you will improve and get better.
5. Be an authority in your field
Having a Programming blog helps you build authority in your field.
And being an authority helps you stand out among other software engineers and opens the doors for leadership roles.
6. Learn about online marketing
In order to have a successful blog, you will need to market it.
Marketing your blog is actually not an easy task and requires you to learn a lot about online marketing.
I find online marketing to be an extremely valuable skill that software engineers need to have in their repertoire.
This in itself makes starting a blog a worthy goal in my opinion.
OK, Now How Can You Create a Programming Blog?
Now let’s talk specifically about what you need to do to get your blog up and running fast.
The first course of action is choosing a web host.
Step One: Choose a Web Host
You are a programmer so I am going to assume you know what web hosting is and what purpose it serves.
But just in case you don’t, web hosting is essentially the computer (or computers) that will host the files that make your blog.
And this machine has to be on 24/7 or otherwise your users won’t be able to access your site all the time.
There are literally a ton of options out there for services that can host your website but I will narrow them down for you to the two options that I personally use and am extremely happy with.