Advice To Another Blogger

Recently I was approached by a friend of mine looking to start his own technical blog. I've been blogging here for some years, and he wrote to ask my advice. I replied to him, but thought that the ideas could be useful to others in the same position, so here's that email, published here for anyone else who wants to see it:

The first thing is that it does take time. To put it in context, I started blogging in January 2006!! My tips are to post on a given schedule, regardless of how frequent that is, work out what works for you and stick to it. When you have ideas, write them and save them as drafts.

When you have your "voice", and a bit of a back catalogue for people to see, then you can start getting syndicated - planet-php is the obvious one for PHP bloggers, they will require a php-only feed and you submit it for approval. You need to have a few posts on there over time though I think before they will want it.

In terms of promoting, you can submit your article to places where people might read it - reddit, dzone and phpcamp have worked well for me. Tweet it as well. Also make sure you keep an eye on the comments and reply to people, that helps build a community. If you are blogging on a particular topic, then mention your posts in relevant places on that community's messageboards or something. Be a bit careful with this as people don't always like blatant self-promotion.

Finally, keep going. Back to my initial point: it does take time. Write, and keep writing!

What advice would you give to new bloggers? Personally I started my own blog as a way of not forgetting things, and I still blog that way most of the time. However if you're trying to achieve something specific (recognition, followers, promoting a brand) there is probably more you should do. Suggestions in the comments please! Also if you are a new blogger, feel free to post your URL and what you are hoping to get out of blogging, I would love to see what people are writing about.

2 thoughts on “Advice To Another Blogger

  1. I have a 48 hour rule for draft blog posts - if it doesn't get published (or scheduled) within two days it's very unlikely to get finished at all. Any longer than that and I find posts go off topic easily so I prefer to schedule for a future date giving me time for last minute tweaks if I think of anything.

  2. Mike: That's a good idea. I actually blog anything from titles to half-baked ideas, to code snippets, and I have published them more than a year later on occasion!! Basically whenever I am checking the drafts folder for something to post, I delete anything that doesn't excite me - I don't use time as a criteria though

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