I previously wrote about 4 Reasons Why Developers or Designers Should Have a Blog. It provides tips and motivation for developers or designers to start blogging. The main question we ask ourselves is, should we create your own platform or use an existing platform like Medium or Dev.to?
I recently came across an interesting article Why you should NOT code your own blog when starting out blogging Take a quick read before you continue reading. The blog does provide valid points but still I'm not 100% convinced.
Learn a New Web Stack
In my situation I decided to redo my portfolio and blog based on Next.js. As I do have some React.js experience, Next.js provided a quick way to implement a blog using Markdown and generate static pages for SEO purposes. I discovered Astro later on but it seems more a flexiable frameowrk as you can choose a specific UI library like React, Lit-html etc
Speaking of SEO another great skill to learn. Once you have your site is deployed, you will have more flexibility for SEO technical requirements, which helps you rank your blog higher in search engines. This is a whole other topic which I won't get into.
Helps Build Your Creative Skills
You as a developer and we love creating things. We have the skill and power to create anything we want on the web. Designing and planning do occupy most of the developer's time. Planning your designs properly before you begin to code keeps you challenged and learn new designing skills for future projects.
In the meantime, you will probably learn a design tool like Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD. In my opinion, Figma is the best tool as it's free and easy to use. Adobe recently acquired them but we will see the future. I designed this blog and other various projects myself using Figma.
Invest Time & Technical Debt in Your Blog
If your serious about blogging invest in your own platform and make it unqiue. When landing on some common platform blog it doesn't seem unique. All Mediums blogs look the same which some of them haven't been updated. I find readers could get distracted, navigate to other related blogs and you may loose your audience.
If readers are not subscribers for a specific blogging platform like Medium, they provide a maximun of articles per month. If they reached the limit, your blog will be missed. Also, think about what happens if your articles increase traffic? What if blogging platforms decides to shutdown? How will you transfer all articles to another blog or eventually you decide you want your own platform?
Most of the well known developers or designers have their own unique blogging platform which actually inspired me to do the same. Here are some examples:
Overall it seems more work and it might discourage you from writing blogs right away until your platform is setup. In the meantime you can always write down some topics and objectives for these topics in google docs as your developing your blog. Once deployed, copy, paste the ideas, and begin your journey with blogging.