As a technical specialist who enjoys blogging and has many tech friends that would like to let their internal bloggers go out into the world — I created a list of advice on how to get started with blogging for tech people.
This guide although, with some logical adjustments, is easily suitable for non technical topics as well.
Step 0. What and with whom do you want to share
There are three main tech blogpost formats:
1) sharing knowledge and guided instructions,
2) discussing certain problematic topics, solutions, opinions,
3) presenting achievements on how you or your company is progressing.
Stick to one of the formats and do not mix philosophical discussions which technology to use with an instruction on how to implement certain technology.
- It may seems obvious but before starting to write think about your goals, what exactly do you want to achieve by sharing your thoughts and ideas.
- Other important point is to define the audience you want to reach. It is easier to write when you have concrete people in your mind. Imagine you speak to your colleges from a different department or new joiners who are less experienced in what you do. Developers, designers, data scientists or project / product managers, top managers or executives, maybe journalists and influencers? Depending on the audience you mainly want to talk to — adjust your vocabulary, terminology and even a tone of your post.
- Create a list of points you want to make that helps structuring your content. The structured content is always better and easier to consume.
- Add call to action. ALWAYS. Based on the goals defined and readers portraits find the words to connect with your audience. You can add your call to action in the end of your article or where it fits the most. When you have nothing to ask for — at least suggest your readers other blogposts or projects that they may find interesting.
Step 1. Optimize for SEO
It is important to be technical not only in your job but while writing too. Google loves structured content:
- Paragraphs in between must be in place and properly tagged
- Use H1, H2 and H3
- Bold and italic text
- Tag your blogpost, images and graphs
- Select important keywords and add them to the title, the first and the last paragraphs of your post
- Use the same keywords to name your images and graphs
- Mention your company, project, team or your own name at least twice as among your goals must be a self-promotion
- Ideally URL address should repeat title (on the SEO-specialists language that are ‘human readable URLs’).
Do not overdo with keywords and feel free to use synonyms. Actually it is better to have different variations of your key words and play rathe long-tail than short-tail game (that is also SEO-specialists slang but it’s basic that everyone sharing content online needs to know).
Step 2. Optimize your content for sharing
- If you run a blog on Medium social sharing buttons are a default feature, otherwise make sure to put them in place.
- Add at least one picture (a screenshot works too) so that when people share you post it attracts more attention.
NB posts with pictures do attract more attention than plain text ones.
- Make sure that open graph tags do not look broken when you share your post, for that test it through sharing on your own social media accounts.
Develop your approach on how to deal with visualization
TIP 1: If you buy stock images try to apply a filter on them to make them look more personal and less screaming “we were bought for a few cents and look so familiar because you saw us thousands of times before”.
TIP 2: Consistently use the same filters, two or three at maximum through your whole blog.
TIP 3: Add a small company’s logo or signature on each picture so that when people share them — they still refer to you or your company.
Step 3. Share among your network
- Make your blogpost look popular from the very beginning. Share it on your and your company’s social media accounts. Do not be ashamed when your mom is the first who likes and comments your post. Actually be grateful!
- Explicitly ask your colleagues, friends and family members to share your post.
Have you noticed that posts with links on Facebook always get less likes and shares than those with pictures and videos? It is because Facebook likes contents that keep users inside of their platform. They simply show less posts that contain external links — so if you want your Facebook post with a link to a piece of a content you have been working on for hours or most likely even days and weeks — you need likes and shares from your colleagues, friends and family to achieve a visibility level your work deserves.
- Use all main social media to share your content and be registered there! This is especially true for tech people born in 80s and earlier who keep thinking they can ignore the social media world.
Guys, register and be active at lease once a month on these platforms:
4. Include your fresh blog post into your bio descriptions on each main social network you use.
Step 4. Share outside of your network: in groups and communities
There are topic related groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, lists on Twitter and communities on Slack. Investigate these groups and join them, ask your colleges to join them too as you will need their support in these communities.
Tech communities in addition to general social media groups:
- Quora en / de / sp (answer on questions related to the topics you wrote or want to write about and share a link to the your post)
- Reddit: a little bit of everything but if you can find your topic presented, you will certainly get some traffic from there
- BizSugar: small business, management, technology, and startups,
- Boxnutt: a little bit of everything
- Product Hunt: new products
- Hacker News: broadly about tech, startups and computer science
- DataTau: data science stuff
- Lobsters: technology content
- Triberr: blogging
- Growth Hackers: startup stuff and disruptive marketing.
Step 5. Submit your blog to platforms that have their own audience of readers
- Submit your blog on digg.com
- Easy Tools for Bloggers to Bring Content to Flipboard
- Guide to Get More Traffic to Your Blog from Flipboard
- Submit your blog on alltop.com
- and on feedly.com
- and here: stumbleupon.com
Step 6. Reach out to influencers and collaborate with similar-minded people and companies
- identify top 20–100 influencers (depends on the topic); BuzzSumo and Moz Open Site Explore can make this task easier
- subscribe and read these influencers personally and from your company’s accounts
- find a good reason to get in touch
- help them promote their content and let them know when you do
- propose to collaborate
- ask for an interview, it can be with one or several people
- look for content roundups
- consider guest posts on other resources
Step 7. Re-share
Re-share your content with different messages after:
- a few days
- few weeks
- a year
- several years
Remember your struggle to create a short description for your post to share it?! Save several options and next time while sharing, highlight other points you initially wanted to.
Under headlines “most read”, “most commented” etc. re-share your content again, no matter when you wrote it, even if it is a decade ago.