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I was recently contacted by Allan Hoffman (the "tech jobs expert" for about some quick thoughts and tips I had on how to have a successful technical blog (which alone is a shock to me as I wouldn't even start to think of my blog as "successful", but to each his own I suppose :)). I thought I would reprint my response here (with permission, of course). I hope you enjoy :).

Obviously, these are just my opinions so you can take them with a grain of salt if you wish (at your own peril, I might add :P). Feel free to add your own as well. I know many of other more capable bloggers have already talked about this, so I'm merely sharing my own experiences as a blog reader myself.


What are the ingredients for a good technical blog? In my opinion, the recipe is pretty simple: accurate technical information + personality + reliability (at least semi-frequent posts) = good technical blog. I have certainly suffered from time to time on the reliability aspect. And I believe that at certain points in the history of my blog, infrequent posting has actually caused me to lose readers. Personality is an aspect that I still am feeling my way through. At times I feel I become too personal and lack the amount of technical information that people desire. At other times, I had tried to be so technical that my personality had stopped showing through. It's definitely a balancing act.

Here are some quick tips that I could think of:

Tip A / B. Have Something To Say / Be Unique. It seems like nearly everyone has a blog these days. Even in the technical world there seems to be an over-abundance of blogs that exist now. There is an incredible amount of noise that exists that people have to sort through in order to get to the juicy stuff. Let's face it, you want to have one of the blogs that gets noticed. You don't want to simply be adding to the noise. In this vein, make sure that you have something to say. A quick way to get a reader to hit the "unsubscribe" button is to write many "check out this link" posts.  And whatever you do, don't simply post to apologize for not posting. With how much noise that exists out there in the "blogosphere", if you're not adding signal, you're out of my aggregator.

Another way to add signal? Be unique. Even if you're not always technical, there is a good reason that blogs like are becoming extremely popular (dare I say, near cult-like). If you are unique, you give your readers the opportunity to look past some of your shortcomings (and face it, we all have them). Not only that, but maybe you'll make people laugh in the process (which is always a good thing in my book).

Tip C. Blog About Something You Enjoy. You have to enjoy what you are blogging about, it's as simple as that. If you don't, it will feel forced and your readers will notice. If you would like people to enjoy reading your blog, you should enjoy writing it! When reading blogs I believe people don't want to feel like they are reading a text book. Which leads to Tip D.

Tip D. Let Your Personality Show. One of the major advantages of blogs is that they can be a uniquely personal communication medium. When reading your blog, let people know who you are. I've noticed recently that the majority of blogs in my RSS aggregator are from people who let their personality show. I enjoy the fact that while reading a person's blog I get the unique opportunity of getting to know them a little bit. So, remember to be yourself while blogging.

Posted on Friday, June 2, 2006 8:15 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Blogging Tips

# re: Blogging Tips
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Left by Vadivel on Jun 03, 2006 5:24 PM

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