My first blog post was ten years ago! After blogging for ten years it is a good time to reflect on what blogging has meant to me.
I think we could do a quick test if you would help me out. If you see this post within a week (by June 29th, 2015) leave a comment. It can just be ‘I was here’ or something similar. I’m guessing I get 0 comments, but maybe as many as 3.
The first thing that says to me is that you can blog for ten years and not have any followers. I didn’t expect that when I started, but it hasn’t stopped me either. I blog to entertain and to teach, but also mostly its selfish so that I can develop my ideas more fully or find a reference to how I did some complicated code just by searching my own blog. Even without any followers I expect to be around ten years from now, too. Blogging is like jogging – it’s exercise for my brain – and like jogging, people aren’t very interested in watching me exercise –). Unlike jogging, some of my blogging content is actually useful to people who’ve encountered a similar problem that I’ve solved in a blog post.
My most popular post in these 10 years is How to encrypt a password reset email link in asp.Net mvc with around 7,000 views and the runner up is No One Knows They Want Visible Solids in Their Spaghetti Sauce with about 5,000 views.. Ok, that second one really surprised me. It looks like almost all of the traffic is from Tuesday May 27, 2014, and the main referrer is from the second bullet point on this Sweedish blog post, I kinda wonder if the author intended to link to my post?? The top-viewed post gets a lot of search traffic and I think it’s the accepted answer on a stack overflow question, or at least someone references the article for how to do it.
Have I made any money? Yes! I made about $2.50 when my good friend actually clicked on the Buy me a beer button on the sidebar. I have not received a single check from Google or any other advertisement. I also have not been given any free books or software to review, although if someone does read this I would totally do that!
Every time I interview for a job I do mention that I blog, and that generally gets a positive reaction even if the company never goes to check it out. It’s just like saying, “I care enough about my craft to write about it.” I would recommend blogging to any software developer just for that bonus.
What could I be doing better? I like to look to role models like Scott Hanselman and Scott Adams who do really well at teaching others by clearly explaining ideas and being multi-dimensional by blogging about lots of life experiences. Hanselman does a great job trying out cutting edge technologies and giving people quick guides with screen shots to how he got that technology to work. Adams has his systems philosophy where you throw goals out the window and just follow a process every day until one day you reach and surpass any goals you would have set. I could be doing more like Hanselman to show what I know, and I could be doing more like Adams to set up a consistent blogging schedule so that I have some content that followers would stay engaged with.