The last time I wrote a blog post is over 4 years ago. Back then I was working for a couple of clients that used a web content management system named SDL Tridion. I wrote a couple of articles with how-to's and tips that made my life working with Tridion a little easier, better, and more efficient. But after a couple of posts the blog died. I'm sure some of you found yourself in a similar spot.
This summer I gave myself a goal: start blogging again. Not because I still had a bitter taste from my last attempt starting a blog, but because I thought about reasons not to blog and wrote down 4 counter arguments.
- I don't have anything interesting to tell.
Sharing knowledge and experiences, as little as they can be, can be valuable for other people. Last year I worked with front-end technologies such as React and GraphQL and learned a lot from other people's posts. They were valuable, even though those people probably didn't know everything themselves. They stood out and wrote down their experiences and newly gained knowledge to share with the world. This helped me understand and create new software. I'm sure you and I have interesting experiences as well that can help others.
- It will cost a lot of time.
It's true that putting together a blog post can take a (lot of) time. But it doesn't have to be. Ideally it will be something that you create or discover during your day to day work that can benefit other people as well. But one of the most important aspects of writing is that you yourself get a deeper understanding by explaining to others. From personal experience I can tell that when teaching other people, in more formal settings such as presentations for a group, but also in one-on-one conversations with a colleague, often questions arise that I don't have the answers to. Getting answers to those questions increases understanding of the topic, mainly for yourself.
- What if people don't like what I'm writing?
Then they're the wrong audience. You can't please everyone with your posts when you're targetting niche topics. Don't fool yourself by visitor statistics as your ideas can be valuable to a select group.
- It doesn't pay the bills.
It's true that most (personal) websites don't generate any direct income. If you're in it for the big bucks, go find yourself a new freelancing gig or work 80+ hours per week on a new start-up that may or may not be the next big thing. Sharing experiences can help you grow your career, create new opportunities to learn and meet new people. This intangible outcome might even be more valuable than money.
After thinking this through I didn't have anything left to withhold me from starting. This post can serve as proof, and I even dusted off my old posts about Tridion and put them online. If you find yourself in a similar spot where you have started sharing your experiences and stopped, or didn't start at all, I encourage you to do the same as I did: start, or start again, and help others and yourself grow.