When I published my programming blog here at dbader.org for the first time in 2012 it felt great.
I was happy with the “programmer art” I had created for the website layout, and I was stoked about the two posts I launched with.
A week or two later that dreaded feeling of “Now what?” set in.
In order to build a readership and provide value for them I’d needed to publish more posts… Ideally on a continuing basis.
And while that strategy seemed pretty clear even back then, it took me several years to figure out a way to post new content regularly.
In a previous article I replied to Khchine’s question on how to pick topics to write about on his programming blog.
Khchine, who is a freelance Python developer, also had another question about how to make sure one keeps writing and publishing new blog content after the launch:
“I am a freelance python software engineer and I had already setup my own domain and my own personal website. […] How can I make sure to force myself to keep writing?”
Yeah… that’s a tough one :)
But maybe I can give some advice here.
One of my biggest struggles is getting over perfectionism.
It’s so easy for perfectionism to get in the way when I don’t have much time to spend on a project. And from conversations with other developers I know it’s a common problem.
A good way to deal with overt perfectionism is to train yourself to use another “definition of success” —
If I try to write the “perfect” blog post I’m going crazy.
But, if my goal is to just write and publish some blog post a week then chances are I’ll write something helpful once a month ;-)
I’m a strong believer now that “quantity trumps quality” in the long run—by being prolific you’ll increase the chances of striking gold every once in a while.
And the best way I found to execute on this idea is to build a writing habit.
I write 500 words in a morning journal every day after I get up. Just random thoughts, how my day went, things that irritated me, or made me happy. I dump it all out.
And it helps get my brain into writing mode.
I’d recommend you try the same but with blog posts. If you can write just 100-300 words every day on a random topic that comes to mind, I’m sure you’ll have enough material to publish a new post every week or so.
The magic is in the editing process.
I throw out maybe 60-70% of my writing (and I’m not saying the rest is great either) but this strategy really works.
Once you’ve got enough words in a text file somewhere there’s always a way to edit it down to something worth sharing.
If you’d like to learn more about starting your own programming blog or online portfolio as a software developer then check out my “developer marketing” tutorial videos on YouTube.
Looking forward to reading your blog posts!