Building Your Personal Brand with Your Developer Blog
Posted by Paweł Dąbrowski on August 12, 2019
Table of contents
Content creation is one of the most popular and efficient ways of building personal brands, accumulating an audience around a product, showing others your point of view, and sharing knowledge. When you are a developer, you can also use content on your developer blog to level up your skills as well as your career.
In this article, I’m going to show you why running a developer blog is a good thing and why you should not consider blogging as a way to gain attention but as a way to build your personal brand and position in the IT world. Surprisingly, you don’t have to be an expert in any technology to build your own blog from scratch and it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. If you are not yet convinced why you should run a blog as a developer, then let me show you how many benefits you can get from it. In the modern world, you really have to sell yourself, and writing content is one of the most efficient ways to sell anything.
Why a blog is important for every developer
The IT industry is growing each year, and there are more and more developers present these days. If you are not satisfied with mediocrity, you have to show up so that other people—your potential clients or employers in the first place—will be aware of your capabilities and skills. Running a blog is one of the best ways to increase your visibility among the crowded marketplace of other specialists and experts, and sharing your experiences and projects with others will increase your audience’s trust in you.
- You should be visible to clients / employers / recruiters - If you want to be noticed, then you have to show up. Many times, people are hired not because they had better skills than their opponents but because they showed up and presented well in front of the employer. Only around 1% of developers run their own blog frequently, so you are going to join an exclusive group that puts you above other developers who don’t share their knowledge online.
- You should constantly verify your knowledge - This idea is not comfortable but it’s so powerful—unless you want to verify your knowledge in the production environment and produce extra costs for your company. Knowledge is one of those resources that has to be up to date every day. Nobody is perfect, but the IT community is very friendly, so you can count on other, more experienced developers to let you know if they have a different point of view or think your approach is not right. You always validate your knowledge by confronting it with other people, and the more you do it, the better you become and the fewer mistakes you will make as you grow.
- Soft skills are as important as technical skills - You need soft skills if you work with the clients directly, collaborate with a team, or even just write documentation for your software. Blogging is one of the ways you can dramatically improve your soft skills. By writing, you practice how to form your thoughts and share your ideas with other people. Albert Einstein once said that if you are not able to explain something in simple words, you probably don’t know it well enough. In fact, many developers out there have incredible technical knowledge, but because of poor soft skills, they are not able to explain it clearly in front of another person. This makes them seem less great than they really are!
- CV does not matter anymore - When you show up and share your knowledge, it’s obvious what type of skills you have. Only the HR department might be interested in your Curriculum Vitae— it really won’t affect the way other people look at you.
Advantages of your developer blog
There are many indirect benefits from blogging, but there are also some specific ways you can use it to speed up your work and build extra income. Below are some advantages of blogging:
- Generate income from sponsored articles - If your blog becomes popular, you can start writing articles for partners on your blog or partners’ blogs. This is possible when you show up and other people notice your skills. Collaboration like this can leave both sides highly satisfied.
- Sell your own books, courses, etc .- When you give out your knowledge for free, you build an engaged community that is ready to buy something from you because they know you well and identify you with quality content.
- Build a strong personal brand - A strong personal brand attracts everything good in any career: proper people, chances, opportunities, money, and so much more. If you know someone well, you wish them the best and are ready to help them whenever there is a chance. If you build your brand by writing a blog for free, then you have many people around who know you and are grateful for the knowledge that you share.
- Do not solve the same problem twice - When you face problems that you’ve solved in the past, you don’t always remember exactly what the solution was. When you are blogging frequently, you can always search through your blog and find the answer—it’s as simple as that.
Six beliefs that shouldn't stop you from writing
Even if we feel that we are ready to start our writing journey, there might be some beliefs that will stop us from doing it. Be aware of those mentioned below and keep doing great work.
- A blog is useful only to teach other people for free - if you are not an altruist and teaching others is not your main objective, you can always treat your blog as a diary where you can track your progress. A blog is a great business card for your future employer because it will expose all the skills that you have gained through the years.
- You don’t have anything interesting to say - write about your daily challenges unless the code you want to post is company IP. If you still think that it won’t be interesting then try instead to gain some new skills and write about the process you are going through!
- You don’t want to write about something that has been described many times before - each of us has our own unique voice so even if you are going to write about a well-known topic, you are going to do it differently. Undoubtedly there are some people out there that will like your style of writing, eager to hear your unique point of view.
- Nobody is going to visit my blog - you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great. Remember about the greatest writers of our times? Their writings were rejected many times before they finally publish their work and now have thousands of readers. All you have to do is to keep creating and showing up every single day. Show your articles to your workmates, publish a link in the related websites and you will see that the visits counter will grow every day.
- I don’t have time for blogging - then you might have trouble selling yourself without a well-developed portfolio that you've put together over time in your blog. With every article created on the blog, your portfolio grows and you are able to show what you are capable of any time when there is a need for this.
How to start blogging
If I have convinced you by now that you should start a blog, don’t worry! It is not that hard to do. First, decide on your blogging engine. One approach could be to use WordPress. If you love PHP, great! But if you'd rather build a blog with a modern programming language to further strengthen your skills and also to show them off then I'd recommend using a headless CMS. You can even do so without building the whole blog system from scratch. Doesn't that sound great?
This is where ButterCMS can help you achieve your goals.. You can use a simple yet powerful API to build a blog with whatever technology you like, focusing on the content creation instead of wondering what database you should pick up for your project. You can even use the awesome Hugo framework for building fast websites and take advantage of the JAMStack to quickly build your blog. Headless CMS is a great alternative for monoliths because it gives you full flexibility, a lot of features, and ButterCMS is free for personal, developer blogs like yours.
You already know that blogging is a perfect way to build a personal brand and promote products, ideas, and businesses. And now you know what technology you can use to start your blog platform without wasting time and money. So, the next step is to jump into the creative process and begin writing some articles!
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