Today I would like to dedicate this entire post to thank each of you who have visited, liked, commented and / or shared any of my articles. It is thanks to you that much has changed in my life for the last 2 years, especially on my blog, where I've been writing mostly about SQL Server since April 2015.
It is a great honor for me to be reminded by many of you on a day to day basis, to receive thank you messages on LinkedIn, Whatsapp and other social networks, especially when I go to other cities or states to lecture and people come talk to me, talk to follow my blog, etc .. This gives me a huge motivation to keep studying more and more to bring new content or new visions of a certain theme to you.
In May of 2018, I reached the mark of 500 thousand views and today, 1 year and 3 months later, I finally managed to reach the mark of 1 Million Blog Views with 372 Published Articles e 618 thousand people impacted for my articles !!
It may not sound like much, especially compared to Youtubers numbers, but getting to that number with an IT tech blog, talking pretty much just about databases, and without paying for Adwords, is pretty hard. So much so, that I just remember the Fabrício Lima have reached this number with database blog tech, so it's a big milestone in my opinion 🙂
My idea in this post is, besides thanking you all, to share my motivation to write technical articles, to try to make more people have this great habit (both for her and for the community) and help with some tips that I In my personal experience, I'd like to provide those who are just starting out and help these people get more relevance in their articles.
Why I write technical articles
A lot of people ask me why I “waste time” writing on the blog, since “I don't gain anything from it”. The answer to that is this:
- For each post I make, I usually invest between 30 mins to 4 hours studying more about the subject and specializing in what I'm going to write, and usually about 2 hours (there was a post that took a lot longer than that ... lol) between creating the content , tests (yes, I test each command and each query that I post here), organization of the information and “perfumeries” to make the posts pleasant to view. With all this effort, I keep myself updated and studying, always motivated to learn more and more.
- I often read and learn about something interesting on other blogs and I don't think it was well explained, because I had to read from several other sites to fully understand a feature or technology, so that's when I see an opportunity to write about something cool and maybe could have more didactic content for those who would like to learn as well.
- Teaching and teaching has always been a passion for me. It's very rewarding when you help someone get started in your career and then follow your growth and evolution by witnessing the birth of a great professional.
- Lectures are great for sharing knowledge, but the range is very low (on average, some 100 people attend a lecture .. There are articles from me that over 50 thousand people have read), the lecture only affects people there and often , 1 year after your presentation, the person doesn't even remember what you shared. When you blog, you arrive in every corner of Brazil and people can review your content whenever they want to remember something or study that content again.
- Writing on my blog has opened many doors for me. And in one of them, I started speaking here in the Holy Spirit. After that, I started speaking in several states of Brazil. And it allowed me to meet wonderful people on this journey, who, like me, has a passion for sharing content and helping technical communities.
- We must put individuality aside and live a philosophy of community and information sharing. Nowadays I can clearly see that about 80% of all the technical knowledge I have acquired throughout my career has been through forums, Stackoverflow, Blogs, etc. And that's exactly why IT has evolved over the last 15 years what other areas usually take 100, 200, 1.000 years to reach. The IT professional's profile is people who like to share knowledge, post innovative solutions to common problems, seek process improvements, try to create new ways to achieve a goal, innovate, create, improve. This is only possible because there are people who have this thought of sharing information.
- I remember like it was yesterday, when I started programming in mIRC with 12 years old, in 1999, and creating my own script (the older ones will understand .. rs), where you could create screens and various features using similar language with C ++ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIRC_scripting_language). At 15 I was already creating several applications in Visual Basic 6 and Delphi 7 for managing Windows settings, Multimedia Player (later I post about it .. lol) and several others. This was only possible because there were several people on the Internet teaching how to program.
Some tips to improve the relevance of your blog.
- Choose a platform to post to. A common mistake I see in starting out now, especially for developers, is wanting to develop their own blog, but what happens is that they spend so much time creating their own blog that they get discouraged from writing In articles, the platform probably won't be as easy as a WordPress or Medium and all that work will have been in vain. Why reinvent the wheel? Why spend days creating something that already exists, has themes, plugins for everything you imagine, frequent updates with new features and security enhancements?
- If you don't like writing, there are other ways to share knowledge, such as Podcasts, Lives, and recorded videos, which are also great tools for teaching.
- Avoid PayWall. Nothing worse than trying to read an article and having to pay to read, isn't it? With so much great content on the internet, your visitor will probably leave your site and look for other free sites. Unless you really want to work only on paid articles and make a living from it (which I find difficult), avoid platforms that use PayWall. I'm even recommending using WordPress instead of Medium because of it.
- Create interesting and unique articles. No replicating the Microsoft documentation. Understand well, a single article is not about writing about something that doesn't exist on the internet (that's almost impossible), but about writing in a different way than anything you have ever seen on this topic. I saw a video of the great Luciano Moreira (Luti) where he complained about the difficulty of finding original subjects to write in the blog.
Perhaps one way to do this, even with topics already covered, is by explaining it in more detail (and in your words), giving more examples or more complex examples than you have on the Internet, and sharing your personal experience with this technology. There are many ways to create something unique with a subject that already has a lot of content. Usually when I have difficulty with a problem, I read a lot of articles and still have a hard time, I end up writing an article about it as long as I have my experience and share my learning.
- Use email signature. It is very important that you make a form available so that people can subscribe to your blog and start receiving new posts by email. It is an excellent way to "retain" your readers and always have a captive audience for your new articles.
- Promote your work. There is no point in writing excellent articles if no one knows what you are writing. A key role for your blog to have relevance is that you help to promote your work! Be it in groups of Whatsapp, Telegram and on your social networks (always remembering SEO, tags, etc.). As the saying goes, “only those who are seen are remembered”. And don't be ashamed to publicize your work, because if your content doesn't reach people, it doesn't make sense to keep writing.
- Study SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Knowing how search engines work is very important so that you can properly index your site, stay in the top rankings of Google and thus attract more users and consequently more relevance to your blog.
- Think of all audiences. In any technical community, it is normal to find the most varied profiles, from the guy who started yesterday and doesn't know anything, to the guy who is a “legend” in that technology.
So it is very common to find blogs that only have basic articles, which have a high volume of views but as people learn more, they end up leaving and other blogs that only have highly advanced content, which usually have few views, seen few professionals really master the technologies they work with and understand these more complex articles.
What I try to do on my blog, and it's a tip for you, is to try to reach all audiences. Mix basic articles with complex articles, so you end up being a reference to who is just starting out, who is in the middle of the journey and who becomes a Senior Professional.
- Diversify your content. In addition to what I said in the previous tip, in addition to creating articles from basic to advanced, it is important to try not to focus on just one specific subject. If you only write about Backup, for example, you are greatly limiting the scope of your articles. Try talking about other features or technologies. This is even an incentive for you to study different things and become a more complete professional.
- Invest in the look of your site. Seriously, there is nothing worse than accessing a well-written article, but with a confusing or readable layout, such as bad color scheme (particularly, black background site I don't like), small or hard-to-read font. Another bad thing is when you have a Wide (or Ultrawide) monitor and the site is small in the center of the screen and a large space on the sides.
- No one likes slow sites. According to Google, one of the biggest reasons visitors stop visiting websites is the slow loading of the page. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you've probably lost a lot of visitors.
And how to improve it? If you use WordPress, there are several Cache plugins, such as W3 Total Cache, WP Rocker (the best), etc. Hiring a CDN also helps a lot, like CloudFlare, which is free. Avoid using unnecessary plugins. To measure your site performance and tips on how it can be faster, I recommend sites Google PageSpeed, GTMetrix e Pingdom
- Avoid WordPress.com. One thing I learned on this blog journey, is that the cheap is expensive. WordPress.com, which is where you can hire a blog for free like SaaS, is very limited, both in plugins, as in Performance, themes, etc. .. And then for you to migrate to a paid version, it ends up giving you a lot of work (and possibly TOTAL loss of relevance if the URL changes - which will usually happen if you don't use your own domain). Nowadays, you can rent accommodation for 8 reais a month and pay 50 reais a year on a personalized domain. The cost is not that expensive and you will have a lot more customization options and ways to improve your visitors' experience
- Make things easy for your reader. When someone is on your site, it's great if you can make it easier for them to stay longer and come back. Some ways to do this is to place a search right at the beginning of the site so that it searches for something in your articles.
Categorize your articles very well and build a category tree for your articles so that he can read more articles on that topic. If you are going to create a large article in several parts, create series by linking the articles so that in any article in the series, it can easily view all the other articles in that series.
- Create integrations between articles. A really cool way to make your reader's experience richer is to create relationships between articles. If he is reading an article about AlwaysOn and in the middle of the article he has a quote or note about Backup and you have an article that explains this in detail, instead of explaining everything again in your AlwaysOn article, just put a link “To know more, click here ”, linking this article with your backup article.
Many times I was writing an article and I realized that I was explaining so much about a subject that was not even the focus of the post, that was making the article very large. In this situation, I pause this article, create another article with just this explanation (where I can even go deeper) and then go back to the article I was writing and create this reference.
- Forget Ads (Advertisements). One of the things I don't like about technical sites is the presence of advertisements. This annoys anyone reading the article so much that it can be a barrier to returning to your site. You can use an adblock on your computer to avoid ads, but what about mobile? Will you have to root your phone just to avoid advertising?
- A lot of people read your articles on mobile. One concern that few technical article writers have is viewing their site on their mobile phone. Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone in hand and is looking for things to do at lunch, on the bus, on the train, on the subway, in a line, etc. And it's a good time to read a technical article. But if your site opens all wrong on mobile or is not well suited for mobile devices, you just lost a visitor.
- Use images in examples. One thing I particularly like about reading an article is when I can visualize the result of an example or a command visually, with a print or demo on the article itself.
Many times, through a print I can know if that solution is what I need or not and leaves its fuller explanation to those who are reading your articles. Believe me: A lot of people won't even try to compile your code or test your script if they don't have a clue what the result is.
- Use Syntax Highlighting. Another feature that greatly assists in visualizing code in technical articles is Sintax Highlighting, which is the identification and coloring of commands in a string. For those reading a code, it is much more readable and easier to understand. Point for those who use. I particularly use the Crayon Syntax Highlighter plugin for this.
- Be constant. If you want to have a relevant blog, you need to have consistency in your publications. You don't need to do 1 post per day, but you can't do 2 posts per year. This ends up alienating your audience, your site is seen as “abandoned” and ends up falling into oblivion and losing relevance, especially for people who are entering the community recently
- Your technical blog is technical. Another common mistake that drives many people away from your blog is when it only has event posts, advertisements, and off-topic articles. Nothing against posting such content, I have several articles myself, but the problem is when your reader opens your blog and only sees it on the homepage. Always try to merge your site between technical articles and off-topic topics so people won't lose interest in your site right away
Hope you enjoyed these tips that I shared with you and THANK YOU for everything!
Until the next article.