As we approach our second blogging anniversary, we figured it was about time that we sat down and lifted the lid on blogging for developers by sharing advice on how to create compelling blog content.
➡️ Improves communication skills.
➡️ Demonstrates skills, knowledge & value.
➡️ Encourages you to stay up-to-date with the wider industry.
➡️ Promotes continual growth & education.
➡️ Reinforces lessons learned previously.
➡️ Builds confidence.
So, what are our tried-and-tested top blogging tips for developers?
Your audience, after all, informs what you produce and how you produce it - from the tone you need to use to the body of the content itself.
You need to know the following:
Who are they? e.g. Fellow developers, potential clients, or a mix of both?
What can you help them with? e.g. improving their work-life balance, keeping them abreast of the latest industry developments, simplifying complex features/platforms, etc.
How can you help them? e.g. step-by-step tutorials, downloadable guides, list-style articles, etc.
Why are you helping them? e.g. to reinforce your own learning, to build a community, to engage with prospective clients, etc.
Once you’ve figured all of that out, you then need to work out the logistics of sharing well-written content that is both original and relevant.
Keep your sentences simple, your ideas concise and don’t be afraid to explain more complex processes. Readers are more likely to return if they feel included and engaged.
If they need a PHD just to read your blog post, they're likely to click away!
Drop the burning desire to impress your potential clients with rich Dickensian vocabulary and intensely technical descriptions and you'll be all the better for it. Your posts will look far more impressive if they’re actually understandable and not too try-hard.
Technical textbooks and manuals are traditionally a little dry. This is where running a blog really comes into its own because it gives you the chance to inject each topic with a bit of personality.
Find the appropriate tone of voice for your readership. Do you want to be more concise and formal or would you prefer to be a little lighter and more conversational?
Don't base your tone of voice, however, on what other people are doing. What works for others may not work for you! Don't be a knockoff. Establish and nurture your own voice over time to avoid being drowned out.
As we settle into our businesses, our perspective tends to shift slightly and our tone often follows suit. Let your tone of voice evolve with you! What feels like the perfect fit in one quarter may feel totally alien in another.
View your blog as a written extension of your company/business.
Sometimes the most compelling content comes from reacting to real-life conversations and situations.
Did you learn a lesson from something that went horribly wrong? Tell us! Did you stumble across a new feature that has saved you time and energy? Share your findings with the class!
Got an opinion on an industry pivot? Share it.
React to industry news and conferences and share your informed opinions. By adding your voice to wider conversations, you’ll become your readers’ go-to person for information and you’ll be able to demonstrate your knowledge in a bigger way.
Don’t draw from the same pool of inspiration time and time again. Switch things up in order to stay informed.
Listen to talks from leading industry experts. Hold co-working days with local developers. Open Source a new project. Host a hackathon.
Engaging with the online developer community can also be a great way to open your mind up to a whole host of differing opinions, strengths and passions, which can then transform themselves into content ideas.
Schedule in some time each week to grow your inspiration pool and you’ll never struggle to find content ideas again.
The easiest way to write a blog post that is worth reading is to write about something you’re passionate about.
Read up on a brand new piece of tech that you can’t wait to get your hands on? Share your excitement. Big on being mindful of your own personal development? Offer some advice for like-minded individuals.
You could also draw upon your own lived experience along the way. Do you find that yoga helps you strike the perfect work/life balance? Do you subscribe to Agile methodologies?
Passion is both infectious and relatable so use it to your advantage. Sharing things that you’re invested in is a great way to boost your morale too!
There’s no set method when it comes to blogging so work out what works best for you.
Set aside a block of time each week to devote to blog writing. Mindmap everything you know about each subject matter before settling on a post title. Build your content around questions your readers send in. Write each post in tandem with a fellow developer. Outsource the editing if needs be.
In order to be consistent, you’re going to need to spend time figuring out a method that makes blogging a whole lot more manageable for you.
Blogging can open up a world of opportunities for developers, enriching both their personal and professional lives if done right. It’s arguably more important than ever, especially in this digital age, to write compelling content in order to capture the attention of prospective clients and fellow developers alike.
Follow the aforementioned advice and you’ll be closer to writing a technical blog that achieves everything that it sets out to do.
Do you have any further tips for blogging as a developer? Tweet us and we’ll be sure to retweet the responses!
We Are Mobile First is a digital product agency based in Barcelona helping to transform businesses in a mobile-first world. We share weekly content on everything from 6 Misconceptions About App Development to Atomic Design.
(image credit: Andrew Neel via Unsplash)