How to Write a Technical Blog - 1

Friday, October 17, 2008

So I have written more than 30 entries in this blog, just want to do a little introspection on what went right and some useful lessons learned in this journey of technical blogging, yes you guessed it right, I want to share some of my views on "How to write a technical blog" from my blogging experience. If you are planning to become a tech geek and want the world to get benefited out of it, the following tips may be useful. Although I don't want to start a thread on "How to blog", "How to write", etc as that's not the the purpose of this blog (other than writing about technical subjects), but I just want to share something about technical blogging, at least to keep me off from code for a few days.

1. Why should I (or should you) blog?
Simple question, but I answered it well before keying in my first entry, the sole purpose is to share some of my technical views to others, in addition it serves as an useful reference for me whenever I needed some code snippet references (sometimes you may forget what you coded in the long run) and also to share some tricky technical answers.

The secondary reasons include writing interesting and useful stuff, learn more about blog design, coding, etc. In short this blogging experience has been quite fruitful for me in that it refeshes my technical skills and inevitably motivates me to write a lot and learn more to sharpen my technical skills.

So make your technical objectives clear before starting a tech blog, you may be a database expert, or a C++ guru or a script kiddie, everything you share with a purpose could make a difference to others.

2. What to write?

I was often hitting the walls with this because merely starting a blog with a purpose doesn't answer all questions, one of the important, mind boggling and at times a teasing question you can ask yourself is "What to write ?". From my entries I often found that the following topics were highly effective and well received by readers. So the ideal topics for a technical blog would be

2. 1. Troubleshooting tips:

Look for problems which gave you a good run for your money and if you solved it by your own like I did for this after futile attempts with Google Search, then that would make an interesting and a highly effective entry, also think about technical problems which you encountered in the past for which you badly needed an online reference which may save hours of effort for readers, then that solution would really make a difference to your blog.

2.2 Write about your passionate subject/programming language

This may well be your trump card whereby you can show your technical expertise in what you know and can attract targeted audience with similar interests. Sometimes it may even become the niche of your blog indirectly as is the case for me where I mostly use python language for illustrating some technical concepts and it goes without saying that it has become my niche ,although this blog is not only about python language, but it connects the dots in my blog entries in one or other way.

2.3 Write what you learn/use in day to day work

Its most likely that what you learn/use in your day to day work would be helpful for others as well, for example write about interesting or useful commands, how to's, algorithms, etc, you may be surprised to see yourself as an active reader of such entries over a period of time as is the case with me.

2.4 Focus on diverse topics you know:

Unless you are an expert in an area, trying to write a more specific technical subject would be futile and hard to sustain in the long run and you can easily run out of stream if your passion fades over a period of time or your skills change to meet the demands of the industry (unless you are so passionate on a topic and already have lots to share about it). Keep it simple, what matters is the value a blog entry makes to the readers than your personal goals, and for this reason its better to share what you know/learn rather than what you are willing to know (personal goals).

In other words you need to be absolutely sure if you want to use your blog as a platform to learn something over the years to come, else focus on diverse topics.

2.5 Research to improve the length and breadth of your blog:

If you came across a useful tool which you want to share with, that would make an interesting section, if you learn a new language, that would make another section if you want to tell more about that, in general your diverse skill can be handy to write effective blogs at different times, as the saying goes "Learn something about everything and everything about something", the same applies to blogs as well "Blog something about everything (you know) and everything about something (your expertise or you want to know)". This would ensure that you have something to blog about always.

In the next concluding section we will see how to plan blog entries, how to write more professionally and effectively and other aspects of technical blogging.

Continued here.

1 comment:

Uday said...

I am uday, I have gone through your blog. Its really interesting and very helpful for the beginners in Networking. I need the chat program in c which you have given in Python. If you are having the code can mail me..

Thank you.

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