Python Training by Dan Bader

How to Write Regularly for Your Programming Blog

You finally launched your programming blog or portfolio and the big “And Now What?” is settling in? Here are some strategies you can use to keep publishing on a regular basis in order to grow your readership.

How to Write Regularly for Your Programming Blog

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.

Here’s a great article by Jeff Atwood (founder of StackOverflow) on that topic.

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!

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This article was filed under: career, and developer-marketing.

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