How to Write a Technical Blog - 2

Friday, October 24, 2008

So we discussed some questions which needs to be answered before starting a technical blog, in this section, we will see simple tips on how to plan a technical blog and sustain it in the long run and other tips to make the blog look more professional.

For those of you who may want to read this from the beginning please visit How to Write a Technical Blog - 1.

3. Planning a blog

Its very easy to get started and blog enthusiastically for the initial months, but then one may suddenly find themselves wanting if they run out of stream, to avoid such cases one should not only choose a subject which they are so passionate about, but also think two months down the line ALWAYS, blog ideas strike the mind at anytime, therefore its better to note them as a probable entry, in my experience once you work on a technical subject chances are that you will encounter many technical challenges on a day-to-day job which are most likely to add value to some techie in one or other way, therefore noting them down would easily make a valuable blog entry and also ensures that the particular blog idea never gets lost.

But too much of ideas and plans lead nowhere, therefore take the top five blog entries in the to do list, write about them, give 100% on each, upon completing a single post, add an entry in the list of next five blogs from the to-do list and so on, if this process is followed with discipline coupled with the thought process of blogging mentioned above, one may NEVER find it hard to write about, also you don't need to think out of box to blog, simple day-to-day technical problems can lead to an useful tip, for example in the past I was virtually struggling to switch from Mircosoft JVM to Sun JVM in Internet Explorer and every time I did that, I never took the steps on how I did that, but now that has become an useful post, serving as a good reference for me as well as others.

Other useful ideas....

4. Follow comments from readers Sometimes comments from readers also serves as an useful idea to blog about, at least for me, if there is something that readers need which you think would be useful on that particular subject, that becomes a probable future post, also respond to user's comments and queries for the valuable time they spent on posting a comment on your blog.

5. Have a Search Box One can easily add a search box in a blog and keep track of user queries through Google analytics or the adsense tool from which you can research on user queries like what they expect from your blog, the query pattern, etc, which may very well lead to a new idea if you had never thought about that in the past.

6. Be upto the point Unless your blog has some useful code, keep the explanation of concepts very simple, precise and concise.

7. Make the blog look professional Syntax highlight code, have a consistent font (Verdana or Arial is recommended by most), choose the best layout for the blog, in most vases white background is the most preferred one especially if you have lots of text content, use images/pictures sparingly (unless you must include it in the blog, avoid), always remember that the first impression is the best impression.

I want to keep this really simple, useful, effective and refreshing, hope you got some insights on how to write a technical blog, the following resources may be useful for technical bloggers or in general for blogging of any kind.

1. www.problogger.net - Useful tips for bloggers, discusses come finer aspects of blogging, can be applied to blogging of any kind.

2. ThinkingRock - GTD (Getting Things Done) software - A very useful tool recommended by one of my friend, a must have for part-time/professional bloggers to plan to get things done in time.

3. Online Syntax Highlighters - Sometimes if you post code, as most programming blogs have, syntax highlighting code will improve the readability of the post.

4. Online spell checking - The most important quality of a blog and at times easily ignored, spelling mistakes in general may affect the reputation of a blog, so use this tool and crosscheck before posting any entry, thanks to Amit for recommending this tool.

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