What Can an IT Guy Blog About?
If you work in certain job areas like marketing, business development or product management then you need to be able to express yourself well. There are many people working in the IT industry who are good at their job but rather poor when it comes to “market it”: they can’t write about what they do in an exciting manner compared to marketing or product people. This is one reason why it’s not the best good idea to have a cofounder team consisting only of tech people when you are founding a startup.
It doesn’t matter if you are a programmer, frontend developer, backend developer, software engineer, IT architect or DevOps engineer: there is so much stuff you can blog about as someone working in IT. Platforms like Medium have made it incredibly easy to start blogging.
Currently, I am a Software Engineer at a German SaaS startup. I started to publish posts on Medium in 2018 and I am still doing (obviously). I enjoy writing about software engineering related topics. Sometimes, I get ideas for interesting posts while being at work or waiting for the bus on my way home. In that case, I just quickly write the headline and when I have some free time I keep adding more content.
In this post, I want to talk about:
- why blog
- what to blog about
- where to blog
- how to blog
as someone working in IT.
Why should I blog as an IT person? What do I gain by blogging?
- Getting your name out there (maybe a recruiter will find your articles and contact you): I once googled a problem, clicked on one of the best search results and realized that I wrote this article myself.
- Spreading your knowledge and helping others: I like when others thank me for writing a particular article. It also confirms that I have some knowledge in this area.
- Remembering what you learned so you don’t forget it: I want to blog about stuff that I have learned to preserve that knowledge
- Writing is a valuable skill to have in life: being able to express your thoughts in an understandable and enjoyable manner is necessary for a lot of things in both job and life (e.g. writing code documentation, applying for a new job)
- You can earn some money by writing good articles without being a full-time writer. For example: Medium has a partner program which allows you to get paid for your articles. There are also publications which accept articles from external people: they offer you money to publish articles for them. As long as you are not a full-time writer, money shouldn’t be your best reason, though.
What can an IT person blog about?
- New learnings (e.g. about a rather unknown programming language feature)
- Achievements in your company (e.g. how you improved the time to release your software by 30% by doing X). Remember not to publish any sensitive company data!
- Interesting side projects you have worked on. A good example would be an open-source library which you published on GitHub. By sharing you can get valuable feedback from others.
- Spark a discussion about a topic: this is a good way to get feedback and knowledge from other people.
Where can I blog as an IT person?
- Established blogging platforms like Medium have lot’s of visitors, a good general SEO ranking and they provide you with the necessary tools to get started quickly. However, you have little customization options and you rely on a third party service to host your blogs.
- Host your own blog by using solutions like WordPress or Gatsby.js which you give more control, customization and flexibility. However, there is usually more work involved in setting up and maintaining your own blog.
In the end, it depends on what you want. There are convincing advantages and disadvantages for both approaches.
What do I need to do to blog as an IT person?
- Blog about things you are actually interested in. It is quite difficult to blog about things you don’t like. If you are passionate about React then that’s a good topic to blog about.
- Don’t get frustrated if not everyone likes what you write. Sometimes, you’ll notice there are people who have more knowledge in this area. Besides, some topics may be more controversial and debatable which means discussions can get more heated (e.g. there is no best programming language but that doesn’t stop people from arguing).
- Don’t get frustrated if in the beginning only few people read your posts. Whether it is on Medium, some other website or your own blog, it is always difficult to get more people to read your articles. Getting some credibility and followers takes time: it is a marathon, not a sprint.
- Don’t expect to publish good articles every day. Sometimes, you need to do research. There are times when you don’t have enough time to focus. There are times when you cannot properly express your thoughts. Good things take time. Take the time you need: it’s quality you should be aiming for, not quantity.
- Just do it and start writing. You can only get better if you keep doing it.
Thanks for reading this post. Did this post help you? Do you have other tips for IT people to get started with blogging? Let me know in the comments.