My first year of blogging
A web developer's learning curve is endless and the main source of information are blogs created by other developers. The vast majority of good developers highlight the benefits of written content whenever they share some thoughts about their career path. I never understood this before I tried doing it myself. Exactly one year ago I published my first article and I couldn't be happier that I started. I won't be stopping here that's for sure! Let me share with you a few thoughts about my first year of blogging.
No boring stats
There is no place here for any boring stats, simply because I have no access to the numbers. During the early days I had a Google Analytics tracking script installed, but pretty soon after it was installed I got rid of it. I decided I would rather dedicate my time to writing content instead of investigating the numbers of visitors or bounce rates (I still barely know what that is). Even now I have no clue how many people read my articles.
My domain costs me £6 annually and this is the only cost that I spent on the website. As a hosting I use GitHub Pages - it is totally for free. I earned on my website £0. I have never thought about it as a source of income and I'm going to be stick by this.
I managed to publish 37 articles in total which averages at a serving of fresh content every 10 days. Compared to some other popular bloggers this score isn't impressive at all. Regardless, I'm really proud of the work that I have done taking into consideration the fact that I have a full time job (which is not related with my personal projects), run a small online business with my good friend who lives 2000km away, care about my lovely cat and recently split with my girlfriend after a 4 year relationship. Although I'd wish to write more, I can't keep that promise right now.
Jekyll, GitHub Pages and Cloudflare turned out to be a fantastic setup
My research about the technology that I wanted to use wasn't intense. I decided to use the same tools that the majority of the community recommends in the age of static website generators. A Jekyll website hosted on Github Pages supercharged by CloudFlare turned out to be a great setup. If you want to find out more about my setup, one of my first articles goes in depth about the subject. If you are planning to start your own website my advice is to not care about the platform too much. Stick to the toolkit that you are familiar with instead of spending time picking and choosing your setup - use this time to write content instead!
What went well
The main benefit of blogging is definitely increasing your knowledge through writing about topics of interest. Every article requires solid preparation and research. Taking care about the quality of the content makes sense because the payback (although not monetary) will soon follow. After just a few posts I noticed that people were sharing my articles with other web developers. The satisfaction of seeing your article exchanged by the community is priceless. Some of my web gurus that I follow recommended my posts on social media channels. Some of them even follow me back on Twitter! Wawawiwa! People like Chris Coyier, Wes Bos, Una Kravets, Rachel Andrew, Mattias P Johansson and Anselm Hannemann appreciated my efforts and shared articles on social media channels and periodic newsletters. Priceless! Thank you for your support guys!
Jobs! For the past year I have received tons of job offers from around the world. Some of them are completely unrelated with my skills, these are normally roles proposed by LinkedIn recruiters. Amongst this crap there are some really tempting roles from agencies who are referring to my personal website as a starting point.
What are my future plans
I'm planning to write more and share even more valuable stuff. I would like to be involved more in the progress of our community. But most importantly - I want to keep it fun! Now, let me sing with James Brown and Afrika Bambaataa. Bye bye :*
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Peace, Unity, Love and having Fun