5 Reasons you should write a blog about what you do.

So…

Having decided to venture out into the world of web-design, I thought it prudent to document my journey weekly with the thought that one day I can look back on this pivotal moment as I sign a copy of my autobiography for Elon Musk.

Well, we’ll see. But there are other reasons for writing about what you do, besides providing subject matter for Leo DiCaprio to research as he prepares to portray me in a Scorsese film of my life.

Seriously though, it’s something worthwhile doing.

Why? Well…

1. It helps consolidate what you’ve learned.

Going through the process of just writing something out, explaining it step by step, the why, the how, the processes, the pitfalls, the moments of joy, fervour and depression, they all help the knowledge sink in.

That’s because the more you process something in your mind, the stickier it gets.

Writing for other people also forces you to put together something concrete in your head, because the explanation you give yourself internally doesn’t always cut it with other people.

It also makes sure you really understand what you’re talking about. Writing about something forces you to think about things a little deeper than the first time round, re-arranging concepts so everybody at least has some inkling of what the hell you’re talking about.

Translating information into “layman” makes you brain process the same info again, in a slightly different way. If you can explain something in a simple manner you’ve got it nailed.

And this makes stuff get stickier.

As Einstein said :

if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough

And it’s true enough.

So if you write about something then you’re more likely to consolidate the info in your noggin? So if you’re writing about stuff all the time then…

2.You sound like you know what you’re talking about.

Well, this is the case for most people. Some people rattle on all night and…wait a minute…am I rattling on?

Anyway, the basic gist of this one is that if you’re writing in depth about something, people generally assume you must know what you’re talking about.

If you are a web developer and you’re talking about web-development, and it’s not a complete car crash, people will read what you write and take it on board. It makes you look good.

More importantly it gets you’re name out there.

The web is a competitive place, the more you’re out there the more people will see your name and maybe one, just one, will like what you write and hire you.

Or maybe not. Maybe people will pick fights and troll you and tell you how so wrong you are…

3. People will challenge you and this is good.

This kind of ties in with number one. It’s all very thinking you understand something, but there are too things you have to remember about the internet:

  1. There’s always someone who knows more than you.
  2. Haters gonna hate.

But both of these scenarios help you learn.

If someone does know more than you, and they tell you so and point out all the ridiculous flaws in your post, then you can ask them why. You’ll probably learn something.

And defending your views against the most vitriolic of haters helps to cement your knowledge.

People don’t pick holes, they just point them out. Then you fill in those holes.

Or abandon your post, crumple it up and throw in the bin screaming in agony and wallow in the knowledge that Scorsese will have a look at the script and it’ll “just not be what he’s looking for”.

Dust yourself off, go to the bin, pick up that post and start again.

You will come into contact with people through writing about a specific subject, some good some bad. You will learn things, perhaps how to hate. But of those people who aren’t just hating, the ones who provide solid valuable feedback…

4. You will make new friends and network with people.

Writing a blog starts a conversation. And part of being in a conversation is talking to people. Not just for job opportunities, but to be part of a community, a scene, a…eh…network.

There’s a huge number of extremely talented people out there working on the web and most of them just want to share their knowledge and make things. Getting involved helps you acquire knowledge and make things too.

And besides, as the old adage goes.

“it’s not what you know, but who you know, unless they’re all assholes, then it’s definitely what you know, unless you know jack, then well, you’re screwed”

Okay, obviously having some skills plays a part and being good at something helps get you hired, but networking with people certainly presents opportunities that may not present themselves otherwise, and blogging is part of being in a network.

Just now I’ve started out on a collaboration with a new media unit at a university here in the UK, and that only came about because I put myself out there. And knowing some Java, that helped too.

5. It can be a source of income.

Look, I’m not going to bullshit you and tell you I have a gold toilet paid for by cash from blogging, but I know people that do. There are plenty of sites out there looking for people to write technical articles. Some of them even pay. And you know what, that’s more exposure that once again might present opportunities you never new existed.

So I guess, in a way, it does pay, one way or another.

There are myriad more reasons why you should write about what you do on the interwebs, this was part one of a series of articles I hope to write on the subject.