Ever think that you should probably start a blog, but wanted to know the “why” before you actually got started?
Here are a few reasons I believe that every Ruby on Rails developer (actually web developers in general) should totally be keeping an at least somewhat active blog.
Although I’m writing this from my own experience and perspective, it wasn’t till I heard John Saddington talk about this very thing that it all kind of came together.
A Blog Helps You Get Found
If someone was to type your name in to a Google search engine, what would they find?
In fact, here is a link to Google. Go search for your name… don’t worry, I’ll wait for you. Take note of what shows up.
There is a fair chance that the first thing that pops up is your Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account. I don’t know about you, but there are definitely other things that I want people to know about me than who I am on social media. I actually don’t care too much if they check out my Twitter or Facebook profiles. I don’t do too many crazy things and those few crazy things I do don’t usually make it to Facebook or Twitter. (In my opinion that is just common sense.)
On the other hand if you’ve been writing semi regularly on your blog, there is a fair chance that Google will respect you enough to show your blog above your social media accounts.
If you are a developer and you write about development… chances are that when someone searches your name + whatever kind of development you do, they will get some post that you’ve written about development.
Imagine that you were going to try to hire a web developer. You’ve looked over their resume’s and have narrowed it down to three or four. What is the next thing you would do? I can almost guarantee that you’d head over to Google and see what you can find out about the couple you have left.
A Blog Shows What You Want
One of the big things that I love about having a personal blog is that I can control it.
I can control what people see when they visit my home page.
I can control the content that I write.
I can control whether there are advertisements in the sidebar.
The content is mine.
The images are mine.
My blog is my blog. It isn’t my profile on Facebook or Twitter. Social media can be an incredibly valuable asset, but they should never take the place of a personal blog, in my opinion.
A Blog Makes You an Expert
How many times have you done a search looking for “how to drink water” (or some other equally obscure thing) and been rewarded with a number of links to blog posts where the author took you step by step through how to do whatever it is that you are trying to do?
Isn’t that person, in your mind, a hero? Or an expert? Or something along those lines.
Creating your own blog posts, helping people do things that they can’t figure out. That makes you an expert. Even if it is just in their minds…
I can’t tell you the number of items I’ve been trying to figure out some piece of a Ruby on Rails app and a quick read over someones blog post cleared things right up.
I’ve learned a lot from other bloggers. In some ways I feel like it is my duty as a human to give back to others somehow.
Wrapping it all Up
That’s about all I have time to share with you today. There are a few other reasons that I think it is very important for web developers to have a personal presence on the web. These however are the “foundational” things, in my opinion.
Now… This is where I tell you that you should go start a blog.
There are so many platforms available for you to start with.
- WordPress provides two very powerful “flavors” for you; self hosted and WordPress.com.
- Medium is really beautiful.
- Blogger isn’t too bad. 🙂
- Just do a Google search how for start a blog… you’ll find something that will work for you.
Then all that is left is for you to get started and keep it up!