You’ve heard it before, I’m telling you now and you’re guaranteed to hear it again: If you’re a software developer and you want to truly reach your goals, you’re going to have to make a blog.
It’s one of those things that will give you an enormous leg up, no matter where in the software world you’re headed, and it doesn’t require all that much to do. It’s an investment, one that comes with virtually no risk but which yields mountain-high returns.
In fact, making a blog actually has such an incredible impact on your software development career that lots of very successful programmers will tell you it’s one of the most important decisions they made toward reaching their goals. John Sonmez, founder of Simple Programmer and author of bestseller The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide, says precisely this.
Now, if you haven’t yet created a blog and seen the results for yourself, you’re probably sitting there wondering why in the world something as simple as blogging is held in such high regard by the software community. And that is why I’ve compiled the following top five reasons a blog will undeniably boost your career:
(What’s that? You’re already convinced and want to start your own blog right now? Then do it the right way by heading over to The Build a Blog that Boosts Your Career course by John Sonmez, and get started! If you’re not quite ready, I’m sure you will be by the end of this list.)
1.) Your blog establishes your online presence.
If you’re in the software field, and it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for your first internship, working as a freelancer or directing a team as a senior engineer, having an online presence will work wonders for you.
First, it’s going to give you an unexpected amount of exposure. Nothing can show off who you are and what you do quite like a website that not only parades the projects you’ve worked on, but also contains loads of commentary from yourself and others (i.e. your blog).
People all around the world will see this, and you and your brand will naturally grow from pure exposure.
Further, and this ties in with exposure, having an online presence means you’re always passively networking. People in the industry will start recognizing you, even if you’ve never met them.
This can go a long way, say, when you go into an interview and the hiring manager immediately knows all about you just because he or she has read your blog. It can go even further if, say, you start freelancing and right off the bat clients come to you because they’ve read online how great your work is.
Your online presence, on top of all this, will chisel a place for you and your specific niche into the software community.
Let’s say you know a ton about creating personalized software for doctors and their patients to stay connected between checkups, and therefore you’re really great at that. Without an online presence, most people, if they know you, will probably just know you as somebody who makes medical software.
On the other hand, if you have an online presence you will establish yourself worldwide as the authority on your specific services.
An online presence, the direct result of your blog, is basically a no-cost, growing, dynamic billboard just for you. It’s your own personal door-to-door salesman who never sleeps. It’s your business card in the pocket of everybody who owns a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Your online presence is the number one most career-boosting aspect that comes from having a blog.
2.) A blog will earn you passive income.
The internet is a beautiful thing. In addition to connecting people around the globe in ways never before possible, it has also enabled countless ordinary folks, just like you and me, to accumulate wealth without constantly, actively working for it.
It’s called passive income. You just create some type of online content, such as an e-book or an online course or a blog, market it, then let the cash flow to you.
Of course, this has always been possible with methods like real estate and novel writing, but the internet makes it that much easier to start.
Also, this won’t directly make you a better software developer, but it’s certainly a strong enough bonus to earn the number two spot on my list. Besides, by earning more money (even when you’re sleeping) you’ll have more time and resources to go in the software direction you actually want to go.
Now, as with almost every other form of passive-earning route, it will take some time before you start earning money directly from blogging.
But, as I’ve just discussed in reason number one, your blog will already be working for you, making you sums of money in ways that don’t show up on your bank statement.
By the time your blog does start generating a physical income stream, you (and your wallet) will definitely have experienced its numerous other benefits.
And in case you don’t believe me about earning passive income online, do yourself a favor and search Google real quick for “passive income success stories.” I’m not pulling your leg. People make money this way, and lots of it.
Further, if you don’t think blogging will get you there, do another quick search for “how to earn passive income,” and see that blogging is on (and usually at the the top of) nearly every list you find.
I’m not saying that if you create a blog and write your first post you can expect to see a $100 check in the mail the next day, but if you start a blog and contribute to its success consistently ( I italicized that word there because it’s incredibly (I did it again) important), you will eventually cut a real, tangible profit.
3.) It will make you smarter.
Having a blog, creating content for it, marketing it: These undertakings will all make you a much smarter, well-rounded person. And a smarter developer is a better developer.
Writing, which you’ll be doing a lot of when you make blog posts, requires you to not only come up with an idea and research it (or at least know already know something about it), but it also requires you to organize that information, as well as your thoughts and opinions on it, into a way which you think would actually add value to your readers’ lives.
It’s certainly not overwhelmingly difficult — in fact it’s actually really fun — but it will absolutely grow your mind and its faculties in a way that nothing else can.
This growth in the logical and organizational areas of your brain will make you a stronger programmer. After all, logic and organization are huge parts of programming.
Further, researching a topic will at the very least make you a more knowledgeable person. Chances are, even if you already know a certain topic like the back of your hand, when you start to write a blog post on it you’ll realize there’s something you don’t know about it that you want to share with your readers. So you’ll research it!
To illustrate this, I literally just researched “blogging benefits study” to provide evidence for my case, and I learned that blogging is actually therapeutic and has become a focus of study among professionals.
This information not only helps prove that blogging will indeed make you smarter and more well rounded, but I learned something today as well. How cool is that?
The process of making your blog popular will also make you smarter by forcing you to analyze your actions and figure out what works best.
That means you should find out what methods work best for reaching your readers, then apply almost exclusively these methods and forget about the rest.
Applying the Pareto Principle to your blog will naturally cause you to start applying it in other areas of your life, and I guarantee you could be using it more in your software projects. Blogging will force you to become a master of figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and this will help you tremendously in creating better software.
4.) Your blog will help you figure out what you want to do, and it will push you in that direction.
Having a blog, and doing it right, will without a doubt make you consider what it is your currently doing, where you’re going and what you actually want to do. And that’s extremely important because it’s quite impossible to achieve anything in life if you don’t know what it is you want to achieve.
For example, before I started this blog I had a fleeting wish to someday travel, and I knew I liked math and software.
Now, after specializing so that I could write to a specific audience (namely other college students who want to become digital nomads), I have very thinly narrowed down my direction: I’m going to travel North America in a van as a software developing digital nomad.
And the more I contribute to the blog, not only do I get closer to my goal, but my goal gets more and more specific and clear to me.
Now let’s say you’re already completely situated in your software development career, and you know exactly what it is you want.
First, I highly recommend you blog about that because chances are you already know a great deal and have a strong interest for it. Second, having a blog will at a minimum be an exercise in helping you reach your goals.
Every post you write, every connection you make, every network you join with your blog will only add fire to your internal burning desires.
So start a blog, do it right, and you’ll feel wind in your sails like never before.
5.) Your blog is an outlet for you to express yourself.
Expressing yourself is undeniably an essential ingredient to success.
You have to follow proven methods, of course, but without injecting your own story and personality into your projects and endeavors it’s impossible to create the connections that enable you to achieve what you want in life.
Even more, as a developer it’s required that you bring to the table your own thoughts, opinions and solutions in order to create the best products. And on top of all this, self expression is plain and simple good for you.
It naturally follows, then, that positively expressing yourself, like most other life-enhancing skills, takes experience and practice. And unfortunately for most of us, there just aren’t that many opportunities in day-to-day life to gain that valuable self-expression experience.
In steps your blog. Now it doesn’t matter if you work in the most restricting, micro-managed development department in the world because your blog is an open realm to share your very own ideas, opinions and solutions with the entire world. Your blog is positive self expression.
Whether you’re already a master at expressing yourself or you’ve never shared your own thoughts and opinions a day in your life, blogging will most definitely make you more in tune with who you are and better at communicating that to others in a constructive way.
Blogging is truly a gateway to success as a software developer, and there’s good reason for that:
- it establishes your online presence,
- earns you money while you sleep,
- makes you a better thinker,
- motivates you in the direction you want to go and
- gives you a way to express yourself.
Now, if you haven’t already left this page to go create your blog, I’m sure you’re ready to do so now. If you’re really going to do this, though, and you’re actually serious about it, I want you to do it the right way.
Too many people in the software world will read a list like mine and go haphazardly create a blog. They’ll make mistakes along the way, and they might even ditch the blogosphere altogether.
I don’t want you to be in that group. Neither does John Sonmez.
That’s why he offers a 100% free email course that will take you from zero to hero with your blog in hardly any time at all. If you’re really serious about earning all the blogging benefits in this list — and more — then click that link and put in the work.
Good luck with your new blog; it’s going to be a great thing. Now go share yourself with the world.
Until Next Week,