30 Articles in 30 Days — Start a React.js Career by Blogging
🎯 My personal challenge: daily technical blogging in pursuit of a remote work position as a Full-Stack Web Developer 🥳
💯 Why It Matters in 2019
⭐ Something To Network About: 30 Articles in 30 Days
Dr. Derek Austin 🥳 explains why ✍️✍️ writing Medium articles✍️✍️ is just like 🚶🐶 walking a dog 🚶🐶 but for your 💼💼 career 💼💼
My goal in writing a technical blog is to demonstrate hard skills to future employers & career connections in Software Engineering.
🎯 That’s why I challenged myself to write 30 Articles in 30 Days. 🎯
Today it takes only 30 seconds for someone reading my article to play with my React app, read its code & decide if they like my work.
A live demo in a Medium article will sell me better than I ever could:
But Blogging Doesn’t Pay, Why Waste a Month?
I’m sure there are a lot of people who would suggest that blogging is a waste of time. You make almost nothing from it until you do it regularly for years, and surely my time could be better spent job hunting!
But the reality is 85% of jobs are found via networking (LinkedIn).
So really, “updating and sending out my resume” won’t get me anywhere, unless I have already some connection — even a virtual connection — with someone who works at the company and knows the decision-maker.
Networking, Duh. Why Write 30 Articles in 30 Days?
Remote work is my goal — so I can align my working hours with my productive hours and still time for the gym in the middle of the day.
Using my Twitter (@derek_develops) to network and promote my technical blog published on Medium can put me in touch with Remote work. 🥳 That probably won’t happen just networking in my local RVA.js Meetup group.
And here’s my secret strategy for success networking in-person:
- Meet someone, write down their name 🧞♂️
- Find them on Slack / Twitter / LinkedIn 🤖
- Send a “Nice to meet you message” 💩
- Include a link to my technical blog on Medium🕺🏼
- Connect with 10% of people about my work 🥳
Sure, spamming people with a friendly “Nice to meet you message” is a thankless chore. But think about what it was like back in Mad Men era (in the late 1950’s) — you actually had to call someone! On the phone! 😱
Writing Articles✍️ = Walking a Dog 🚶🐶 At Work 💼
If you ever want to meet people while living in a city, just get a small dog and walk it around. Guaranteed that people who would never make eye contact or smile in your direction suddenly will now talk to you.
As I’m writing 30 Articles in 30 Days, now I have something to talk about when connecting via Twitter or Medium. For example:
Your blog is your dog. It’s your context to network about, and now you have something to talk about as you get to know someone. That makes conversations with real people, especially with shy people, a lot easier!
Why Networking Usually Fails: Interviewing
Have you ever had the feeling in trying to talk to someone you just met, especially a shy person, that you’re just interviewing them?
- “What did you think of the talk?”
- “Where do you work?”
- “What do you do there?”
That makes it feel just like work! Not fun at all.
The trick to networking is to establish shared interests about work and skills — so take your dog for a walk and show off something you made!
How to Network In Person in 2019: Use Medium
Wait, how can a website (Medium) possibly help me network better with people I meet in real life at Meetups and conferences? Try this:
- Hey my name’s Dr. Derek Austin 🥳. It’s good to meet you! 😊
- Want to see it right now on my phone? ← Sounds fun!
Or maybe this would work for you:
- Hi, I’m Dr. Derek Austin 🥳, a freelance full stack web developer 😊
- Where do you work, what do you do there, and using what tools?
- Wow, no way, I think I published a 2 minute article on that very subject, want to see it right now on my phone? ← Sounds fun!
Now you are free to see how they respond, what they are interested in, and whether they use that particular technology at work… Plus it’s fun!
Of course, an icebreaker like “Tell me one good thing personally & professionally that has happened to you recently” can help here too — just mention something good that has come from your Medium blog.
30 Articles in 30 Days: Something To Network About
My journey is only on day 3 of my challenge, but I already know enough to be dangerous. Now I can network to professionals on 3 subjects:
- Creating a Toggle Switch or Click Counter
- Implementing Dark Mode in React.js
- Creating a Website with CMS in 2 min
And each time, I’ve been able to reach out to someone after publishing to solicit feedback, learn something, correct my article & make a connection!
How to Network Online in 2019: Twitter + Medium
If I have someone like or share my Tweet, I will try to connect with them by sending a direct message like the following:
Thanks for liking my tweet about use-dark-mode!!!
I just published a Medium article demonstrating an implementation of use-dark-mode in React…
Dark Mode for ANY React App 2019 link.medium.com/B9rQehOd6Y
Hope you like it! 🥳
Of course, you might write something else to someone you know better, but the idea is to try to make a connection. If it’s someone in a local group or that I otherwise have some acquaintance with, I might ask for feedback.
But I don’t have time to publish every day?
Unfortunately, we can’t just Tweet our way to a job, because we all know “Content is King” (Medium) & “Content Will Always Be King”(Forbes). Your blog will never be noticed if it has no fresh content.
And really, there’s no fresher content than daily, so if you can’t publish 200–300 words (a 2–3 min read) on Medium everyday, here’s what to do:
Set yourself a 2–3 month publication schedule with a designated “Go Live” date, then just write when you can! Use Medium’s built-in feature to publish later, scheduling one article daily for 30 days.
This is also a great idea if you want extra time to share your posts & connect via social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium) once your blog goes live.
When Writing 30 Articles, 300 words > 2000 words
300 words is all you need. Keep it short — remember for a technical article you have actual code to write… Try this:
Your recipe for writing a technical article requires 3 simple ingredients:
1 Part — Live Demo️ 💯
❇︎️Make it fun to play with!
2 Shakes — Short ⏰
❇︎︎2–3 min read, 300 words
A Dash — Actual Code 💌
❇︎Don’t screenshot code
“You don’t have to write 2,000 word masterpieces every day. In fact, when I started I thought of Medium as a brain dump for my ideas. I wrote 300 words then hit publish EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY. It took me no longer than 20 minutes. I knew people loved long-form content, but I also knew some people just like to get little nuggets of information then go on with their day.” — Tom Kuegler
Call to Action: Can You Write 30 Articles in 30 Days?
My advice to myself is: Don’t be that annoying friend who is always asking others what they’re doing. Instead be that cool friend who is building cool stuff that makes others want to check it out! 😎
I will be writing some fun articles like this one about my journey while I complete my 30 Articles in 30 Days. So far, 3 days down & I love it! 💖