You have been in the business for many years. You know so much about the technologies that you have worked with, and you're ready to share your expertise with the world. But as with any project, it's a good idea to stop and think about it before plunging in. What would you like to accomplish with your blog? If you're looking for quick money, this may not be it. Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to get your name out there? There are many things to think about before starting a tech blog.
The Good and the Bad
Anyone can blog. That's the good news. The bad news is that anyone can blog, and they are doing a lot of it. The number of blog posts written in a day may astound you. You will be happy to know that blogging is pretty easy. Antonio Cangiano writes that blogging is “still one of the most accessible ways to continually publish new content online at little to no (financial) cost to yourself.”
Cangiano also tells us in “Why Every Professional Should Consider Blogging” that there are significant benefits to blogging, especially for technology bloggers. Among them are opportunities to improve communication and technical skills, the potential to make powerful connections, the chance to become known as an authority in your field, and of course, blogging can be a way to make money.
But none of this is without some effort and sacrifice. Tech blogs require frequent update. If you want to gain any credibility, you must know your subject well, and that may require a large amount of research. You may find that is easier to start than maintain. Once the novelty wears off, you will still have to provide content if you want to stay relevant. Persistence and dedication are key ingredients.
Another challenge will be dealing with the spammers, hackers, trolls and naysayers that are drawn to new sites as they gain more traffic. Sometimes you may wonder if any real readers are out there. Protecting your site and moderating comments may take up more time than you have patience.
Once you have decided that the positives outweigh the negatives, putting up your own site can be fairly easy. The Minimalists have laid out a simple process for starting a WordPress blog in a short video. You may find it easier to get started on a site that already hosts many other bloggers, like geekswithblogs.net. If blogging is not enough, you may want to show off your in-depth knowledge and excellent writing skills by writing articles for us at Techopedia.
The Tech Blog Niche
Technology is a niche in blogging. But that's probably not narrow enough. There are plenty of blogs about blogging that advise you to do your homework and find your specific niche. Some even talk about finding a micro-niche. You may know a little about everything, but so does everyone else. It may be best to select a rather narrow topic or technology to write about. Technology is a popular niche in the blogosphere, and you will have to find your place in it.
Some people divide tech blogs into three main types. You may want to choose one of these exclusively, or use some combination of the three.
This is for the early news breakers. It may help to have contacts in the industry. The idea is to get the scoop and put the story out as soon as possible. If you sit on it for two days, the story may be stale by then. Just doing a copy and paste of company news releases is not the best way to distinguish yourself as a tech news blogger. This type of blog is best for tech news junkies.
Tutorials and Tech Advice
There are plenty of these sites out there as well. The challenge here is that it may take some time to put these together. But if you are into the nuts and bolts of tech support or development, this may be for you.
One side benefit here is that you may get some freebies along the way. Otherwise, you may find yourself buying and trying various gadgets or software just to do research. These blog posts can be of great benefit to technology consumers. You will need to keep the consumer in mind at all times.
Blogging as Promotion
They say that content is king. These days search engine algorithms seem to favor content over sneaky SEO tricks. If you are writing fresh content for your website, you will increase your chances of gaining traffic and driving sales of any products or services that you are promoting. Rather than starting a new website, why not start your tech blog on your existing business website? Focus on topics that relate to your company and its mission. (For more on this, see Build Your Business with Content Marketing.)
Another goal of your blog may be to establish yourself as an authority in your field. You may eventually use your platform to sell your own e-book or to demonstrate to book publishers that you are worthy of a contract. Many of the advances in technical knowledge, particularly in the open source movement, have been because of a willingness to share with the broader community. (To learn more about sharing in the computer industry, see Open Source and the Spirit of Unrestrained Participation.)
Blogging for Others
If you are not ready to deal with the challenge of creating and promoting your own website, you may want to look for other platforms. There are plenty of them out there. Monster lists the “10 Best Tech Blogs.” A cursory internet search will show you many more. You can also blog on Quora or a myriad other websites. If you want to find a platform for your writings, there is no end to the opportunities.
You may also want to consider providing a blogging service for tech businesses. Considering the need for fresh content, as we discussed earlier, many technology companies would benefit from outsourcing their tech blogging rather than assigning it to someone in house. And just imagine getting paid for blog posts rather than writing them for your own limited website audience!
The path forward is up to you. If you are looking for an opportunity to give voice to your technical knowledge and interests, you will find a way. Watch out for all those on the internet who are looking to draw you in, offering e-books and paid services to help you become a blogger. Of course, they are trying to monetize their writing on the web like everyone else. But writing a blog should be more than just fleecing people and hocking your wares. It should be about writing great web content.