There are many benefits to writing a technical blog and not only for the sole purpose of helping others. If you’re still on the fence, then here are five reasons why you should seriously consider creating one.
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- The best way to learn something is to teach others the knowledge that you have gained. Regurgitating that information will solidify it more firmly in your mind.
- You are providing value where you work while building your own. Your company will appreciate that you went out of your way to show others how to solve a particular problem that you came across.
- You are practicing your critical thinking skills. Doing research, collecting data, formulating that information into something comprehensible to others, all require you to use critical thinking. It’s like a muscle: when you exercise that part, you become much more efficient and quicker at figuring out problems.
- Part of being a valued employee entails being an effective communicator. Displaying this in a blog is an easy way to showcase this skill or improve on if you are lacking. It’s one thing to solve a problem on your own, but it’s quite an entirely different process when you have to convey an idea that is easily understood by a wide array of people.
- Last but not least, potential recruiters now more than ever go online to see what cool projects you have worked on in the past. This is a great opportunity to put some of your work out there to the public. They will be impressed that you actively took the time to research and then share that knowledge with an online audience.
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The first step is figuring out what it is you are going to be writing about. Think about all the past or recent projects you have worked on. Was there a time where you came across a difficult problem that you were unsure about how to handle and solve, but eventually figured out? If so, then this would be a great opportunity for you to share this bit of knowledge by writing an informative blog on how you went about solving that issue.
Usually, 9 times out of 10, if you have come across a problem, then someone else has too, so why not impart some of that useful knowledge to others?
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As with anything you will be sharing, you will need to do some groundwork ahead of time. Go on Google to look up what research has already been done on the subject you are wanting to address. Go to websites that you visited in the past and pull what you need. Doing this is not cheating, in fact, you are saving yourself precious time going this route. Why waste energy when someone else has done a lot of the initial work? All you are doing is collecting those useful pieces of information and consolidating them into one, easy resource for an individual to extract from.
From there you can put that information that you have collected into a Google doc or Evernote if you choose. When you are ready to write your blog, you can easily go back and reference those notes.
Medium can also provide a plethora of useful how-to blogs, so check out what has already been written on your topic of interest. This can be a great resource to explore, in regard to blog formatting. When I first started writing blogs I actually went through a lot of different ones related to my field and studied the various structures, cover photos, common topics, and writing styles. To get an idea of whether or not a blog was received well by the public, I would pay attention to how many claps it got and if there were any consistent correlations. Once you find a consistent pattern, try to mimic it and see what happens.
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Write as If You Are Talking to a High-Schooler
This is not a British novel and there is no need for extravagant language. Save the Jane Austen and Leo Tolstoy writing style for another day for when you are going to be writing something in that form.
The point of this technical blog is to make it easy for anyone to understand and grasp the concept with as little effort as possible. Think about when you last read a newspaper or an online article. Yes, I know I keep referring back to the whole newspaper idea, but it does provide an excellent example as to how you should write a technical blog. In the article you read, you might have noticed that they didn’t use any fancy or over the top writing. The reason being was because they wanted everyone to be able to comprehend, and that is exactly the type of writing style you should replicate.
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This is what I call the final goodbye part of your blog. It’s where you will summarize everything that you have talked about to your reader. I would suggest keeping this part to about 3–5 sentences in length. It’s just a nice way to wrap up a blog and will feel less like you left your reader just hanging there at the end.
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