Irrespective of whether you are a frontend, backend, or full-stack developer, blogging is one of the best approaches you can use to bolster your reputation.
With blogging, you can share skills you have gained over the years and become better at developing as you practice what you already know.
In this post, you will learn why you should blog and also come across some of the best platforms if you are just getting started.
The platforms listed here have been ranked based on the following:
- User Experience
- Reader Experience
- Ease of monetization
Why Should You Blog as a Developer?
You become better at writing
A typical organization will have project managers, designers, and developers. You can also be working for another end client. We also live in a digital world where most developers work and collaborate remotely.
Some of the projects you will be working on also need documentation. Writing comments on your code is also essential to help others understand your code.
As a developer, you need to learn how to communicate with other people effectively when working on your projects. Luckily, writing often improves your communication skills. Blogging will teach you how to write both detailed and short messages easily.
Get opinions from others
You may have created an application that will ‘change’ the world. You may also have created a new library and would not mind other people utilizing it.
When you blog about such an idea, you will likely get free feedback from various users. The best idea is by;
- State the Problem statement
- Explain the solution
- Explain the development process
- Explain the challenges
Once you have done all this, you can provide your deployed link/ source code for people to test your solution.
Remember to tell people to leave a comment and review your work. If it is a solo project, you can even welcome contributors.
You can create a community
It all starts somewhere, and blogging is an awesome approach. You can ensure that your blog at least 80% of the new things you learn and create a following steadily.
Encourage people to follow your handle and get updates whenever you publish a new post. Be consistent in blogging and always give people something to look up to.
Sell your services and create a portfolio
Being a good developer and winning clients are two different things. You need to learn how to market yourself, irrespective of whether you want to be an independent contractor or employed as a software engineer.
You can make money on your blog through the following;
- Affiliate marketing
- Subscriptions or paid newsletters
- Selling eBooks
- Selling your services
A good blog will act as a portfolio where potential clients will see what you can offer and what you are good at.
You may not make money during the first few months, but consistency will finally pay off. Just pick approaches that suit you best if you want to make money.
Now let’s explore some best blogging platforms to try.
Dev.to is an online community for software developers. The platform is suitable for both beginners and experienced developers.
DEV is a blogging platform, a forum, and a chat room for exchanging ideas.
The platform is built on open-source software known as Forem. Developers can thus inspect the code, contribute or even create similar communities using this code.
Joining DEV is straightforward;
- Visit dev.to and click on the create account button.
- There are several options to choose from to create your account. You can use your logins from Apple, Forem, GitHub, or Twitter.
- Once logged in, create a byline, select several hashtags to follow, and start writing.
The platform has an exhaustive FAQ section you can use if you get stuck. Ensure that you have a plan and determine the nature of content likely to trend and attract followers. Play around with different features.
The beauty of DEV is that you can sync it with your blog and increase reach. You can set up your site’s RSS feed, and DEV will import every post from your blog as a draft on DEV.
If the content you want to publish on DEV has been published elsewhere, make sure you indicate that, or else Google will treat it as copied content.
Medium is a social publishing platform where powerful conversations are sparked and ideas are shaped.
Anyone can join Medium, and there is no vetting to activate an account. You can opt for the free version or even the $5/month membership for unlimited access.
Even though it caters to all genres, it is also a great platform for developers as it has awesome features, such as code snippets that help them showcase their skills.
Even though you can blog on basically anything on Medium, you must always abide by the content guidelines on the platform. Content considered extreme or controversial is likely to be pulled down by the editorial team.
You can start blogging on Medium by following these simple steps:
- Create your account. On the Medium homepage, you see a ‘Get started’ button on the right-hand side.
- Choose your sign-up option. You can either signup using your existing Google account, Facebook or email.
- Select your username/pen name. The username you select here will the displayed as the author.
- Select your interests. You can select more than 3 interests in this step. Ideally, once you create content, Medium algorithm will start showing content based on the interests picked.
Hashnode is a free blogging platform for developers. This platform allows you to write your content in Markdown style for easy scanning. You can embed images, code snippets, and tweets. You can also enjoy live previews as you generate your content.
You can configure Hashnode to push a markdown version of your article to your GitHub as private repo every time you create a new post. It thus means you can easily migrate your content if need be.
How to get started on Hashnode;
- Sign up. Click on the blue “Write” button on the menu
- Select a signup option. You can use Google, LinkedIn, GitHub, Facebook, Apple, or your email through a magic link.
- Enter your details. Enter your full name, username, and a tagline
- Select your category. You can either be a writer or a reader (select writer for this case).
- Select your experience level. If you are a beginner, select “I’m new to blogging”
- Select your subdomain. This will be your pen name on all your posts.
- Select your tags. Pick your tags depending on what you are skilled at and click ‘finish’
HackerNoon is a tech blog where you can blog about coding, blockchain, and startups. The platform has 35,000+ contributing writers who love sharing all things tech and startups.
Unlike most platforms listed above, HackerNoon has human editors for fact-checking and improving your drafts. Your drafts can take up to four days to be reviewed. The post can be approved, or you receive feedback on the areas you should improve.
One of the areas that HackerNoon beats other platforms hands down is the promotion bit. Every article is tweeted 3 times on the official HackerNoon Twitter account for a bigger reach. If your post becomes a top story, it will be featured on the homepage and other places such as the newsletter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
You can use lead images, GIFs, and memes to increase the chances of your article being in the “Top Story” section. Your story should also be original and not published on any other platform.
This is how to get started on HackerNoon;
- Go through the HackerNoon Guide for writers. Familiarizing yourself with this guide and what is expected will reduce the chances of your development posts being rejected. You will also know how to select good topics and relevant tags.
- Sign-up. Click on the “Create an Account” button to begin the registration process and select your preferred sign-up option.
- Select your category. As a developer, the best option will be “Community Writer”.
- Select user handle. This will appear on all your posts.
- Select your interests.
- Start writing. There are 3 editors to choose from depending on your needs. Once you are through with the draft, proofread, submit and then wait for 3-5 days for the editorial team to get back to you.
- Install a web-monetization tag to receive micropayments.
Freecodecamp is a free platform where aspiring developers can learn to code. The platform has over 9000 tutorials on different programming languages, web design, and much more.
Learners can also get free certifications on the skills they learn for free. Freecodecamp is supported through donations, and the content is constantly updated.
How to write for Freecodecamp
Unlike Medium and DEV, which are straightforward to write for, Freecodecamp strictly ensures the content created is valuable to readers. This is how you can get started;
- Familiarize yourself with the guide style.
- Apply for a contributor account by filling out this form. Create 3 articles from scratch on platforms such as Medium or Hashnode following the Freecodecamp guide style and provide the links on the application form. The team just wants to learn about your writing style.
- If accepted, you can now start your first draft. Once you are confident that the draft is per the guidelines, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Wait for feedback. The editorial team will review your draft, make some improvements or recommend changes that you should make.
Indie Hackers is an online community where owners of successful side projects and profitable startups share their stories. The forum setting on this platform makes a good fit for developers as they can share knowledge, explore ideas, and offer support.
Indie Hackers will be most suitable if you are creating a product or you are a startup.
You can share your story as follows;
- You start by signing up or clicking on “Submit Story,” which will prompt you to sign up. Fill in all the necessary details as prompted.
- Check the writing guide sheet.
- Start writing.
There exist hundreds of blogging platforms out there. However, the above ones are the most suitable for developers. The highlighted platforms have unique features that will help you showcase your skills. Each platform has its strength, and you can choose one that suits you best.
You may also explore the best ways to earn money online through blogging.