Are you a programmer and desire to earn extra money blogging? Then you have to come to the right place. Starting a programming blog is a good idea because all odds are in your favor. Firstly, the demand for coding skills is high. The United States Department of Labor projects that demand for programmers will be 13% higher than other skills in the job market between 2020 and 2030. Therefore, it is easy to get a significant following with the increased demand for your skills. This article will provide you with actionable steps that will help you set up a profitable programming blog. So, let’s get down to it and unpack these infallible tips.
Why Start a Programming Blog?
Several benefits come with having a programming blog, and we have highlighted a few below.
Tracking Your Progress
A programming blog is a fantastic way to track your advancement as a developer. Sometimes, you may easily experience “imposter syndrome,” resulting in self-doubts. Growth occurs in stages, and you don’t feel the difference between who you are now from who you were the day before.
Nevertheless, if you have a good record of your activities, you can easily look back to solid proof that you’ve developed your area of specialization.
Creating a Personal Coding Repository
A programming blog’s advantage over a mere code repository is that it involves context and explanation. Blogging promotes discussion and a detailed explanation of something to someone else. Moreover, it is a great way to learn.
Becoming Part of a Community
It feels so good to receive comments about your blogs and the solutions they provide. Several readers will appreciate the content you publish if it provides straightforward answers to something they’ve struggled with. Through this, you can create an online community where like-minded people can interact, share ideas, and collaborate. It feels amazing to help a handful of users save some time by sharing your programming experience and knowledge.
Monetize your Writing
One of the major reasons you must have decided to start a programming blog is to generate a side or main income. Running a blog may not be easy along the line, and you may not see your expected returns. However, one important quality you need to be successful is consistency.
The steps we’ve provided in this post aren’t an easy and quick path to making passive income. Things like that simply don’t exist. Nevertheless, there are two significant benefits of following the steps below. First, you’ll have a solid foundation if you’ve decided to monetize your blog. Secondly, you’ll at least own a simple and supportive blogging system to keep writing and sharing if you are not interested in monetizing. Before the conclusive part of this post, we have provided some ideas on how to monetize your programming blog. But for now, let’s look at the early phases of starting a programming blog.
Choose Your Niche Wisely
- Guides to front-end or back-end web development
- Tips on database management
- Application of artificial intelligence (AI) to programming
- Development of mobile apps for Android and iOS devices
This list is not exhaustive. The idea is to identify a topic you know very well and enjoy writing about. Think of the tools you enjoy working with and your long-term goals in the coding world. This way, your programming blog will act as a strong foundation for your objectives. Please note that you may struggle to create content consistently if you choose a niche that you have little experience with or do not like.
It won’t take long for your audience to know that you are not an expert in the field and when this happens, you may lose your good standing. Also, when burnout strikes, you may be tempted to stop blogging. If you do not have passion for the niche you are writing about, it is easy to succumb to such temptations.
Pick a Catchy Name for Your Blog
When you pick a programming niche that works for you, the next step is to choose the name for your blog. While this step might sound simple, it is one of the most critical steps in setting up a successful blog. Remember that your blog name is the first thing your audience will interact with. It will give them an idea of what your blog is all about. A good blog name should therefore communicate your strategy’s core objective.
One of the best practices is to create a domain name out of your blog name. You will also need to keep it short, with two to three words being the sweet spot. To achieve these goals, you will need to do a lot of research. You might notice that most of the best domain names in your niche have been picked.
If you encounter such a problem or cannot find a suitable name for your site, it is advisable to use professional tools such as Business Name Generator. These tools will generate lots of options in seconds. The domain of your blog should match its name. This way, it is easy for your audience to locate your site on the web.
Select a Suitable Web Hosting Plan
Web hosting companies price their plans differently depending on the available feature. You can opt for a shared or dedicated web hosting plan. Shared web hosting plans are the cheapest in the market because you share server costs with co-hosted websites and blogs. In addition, you will not need to worry about having the skills to keep the host server up and running as the service provider takes care of this. On the flip side, shared hosting exposes your site to potential security threats as you are not the only one accessing the host server. Moreover, the shared bandwidth may slow your site and affect your user experience.
On the other hand, dedicated web hosting means that your blog will be hosted on its server. Such a service comes with its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, dedicated web hosting improves the loading speed of your site, especially when you have high traffic. The high speed improves your user experience, likely encouraging users to return to your site and become loyal audiences. Remember that 46% of your audience will not revisit your site if it’s slow. Dedicated hosting also enhances the security of your website because you are the only one accessing the host server. However, this service is expensive, and in some cases, it may be 40 times the cost of shared hosting.
Develop a Business Plan
If you want a blog that will grow into a profitable brand, you need to think through your idea and package it as a business. For instance, developing a business plan for your site will help you quantify the startup and running costs such as equipment purchase, domain registration, and hosting charges.
A business plan will also help you project your income and estimate how long it might take to break even. This way, it is easy to develop structures that will help you start monetizing your site from day one. Another factor to consider is fulfilling legal requirements such as copyrighting your content and brand. Doing so will deter intellectual property thieves from claiming part of your success in the future.
Pick a Suitable Blogging Platform
You will need a great content management system (CMS) to run a successful blog. WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS, with over 60% market share. Most users prefer WordPress to other platforms because it is easy to use. You can redesign the user interface to suit your style. There are also hundreds of plugins and templates available to help you set up your site without the need to build every feature from scratch.
Other blogging platforms you might consider using include Drupal and Joomla. The beauty of using content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal is that they are free. If you have the right coding skills, you can build your site without spending a penny on the software.
Setup Your Blogging Site
Once you have settled on the cms to use, you will need to set up your site on your host server. Most of the leading web hosting companies will provide open-source cms software. Start by installing the cms of your choice on your server account. Some service providers will install this software in the background during the signup process.
If you opt to use existing templates for your blog, choose a theme that will enhance the visibility of your content. The best blog themes have optimized CSS and do not need to load too many external and internal resources to operate. Therefore, choose a simple blog theme that will get your content to rank high on SERP. It is crucial to mention that some site themes are free while others are paid. Choose an option that you can afford and one that will give your site the best performance.
Bring Your Site to Life With CMS Themes
A cms theme gives you a rough idea of what your site will look like. Once you settle for a theme, take time to customize it to feature your brand colors and logo. Customize the site menu to incorporate key sections such as the Home, About Us, and Contact US pages. You will also need to edit the footer section to include the Terms and Conditions and links to other site sections.
Link each page by creating compelling content. For instance, the Home page is your landing page. Make sure you link all other blog sections to this page. Moreover, make it appealing to your audience and easy to navigate to other pages. Additionally, you need to briefly describe yourself, your qualifications, and what you intend to achieve with your blog on the About Us page.
Let the World Know About Your Blog
It is good to start publicizing your blog once you publish your first blog. A good place to start is on your social media accounts. These include Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The links to your social media accounts will drive traffic to your blog. Expand your network and create more links by accepting guest posts from credible contributors. Similarly, scout for guest posting opportunities on authority blogs with high viewership. Link your profile to your blog and attract more traffic to your site. Another way to make your blog visible is by answering tech questions on Quora and StackExchange, especially if you have blog posts that offer real solutions. Link your responses to your blog posts to drive traffic to your site.
Monetizing Your Programming Blog
Now that you have a functional blog with valuable content, the missing link is making money from the site. If you have a sizable following, you can make good use of your numbers and earn from running Google Ads. To achieve this, you will need a Google AdSense account. You can opt to sell products such as programming courses, website templates, and plugins. Consider promoting tech products through affiliate marketing. Alternatively, you can sell your skills, such as technical writing or app development. These avenues can help you turn your blog into an income earner.
Top #3 Programming Bloggers
#1 Six Revisions
#2 David Walsh
#3 The Crazy Programmer
Founded by Niraj Mishra in 2012, this blog has grown remarkably fast. Namely, more than 200,000 people from all over the world read this blog every month. It offers lots of useful resources like books and articles covering the following topics: Java, dotNet, Android, PHP, SQL, C, C++, etc.
If you are a seasoned programmer and are interested in blogging, setting up a profitable site in your niche is easy. It all starts with choosing a programming niche that you are comfortable with. See it as an opportunity to showcase your expertise and win over your audience. Come up with the name and domain of your site. In addition, choose an affordable web hosting service and content management system that will help you set up a fast and easy-to-use site.
Now choose a site theme that will help your content rank high on SERP without compromising performance. Customize the blog theme to match your brand colors and include your logo. Enhance navigation from one section of the blog to another by creating a link to the Home page. Create valuable content and drive traffic to your blog by linking it to authority sites and social media platforms. Lastly, monetize the site through affiliate marketing, advertising, or selling courses, software, and technical writing/coding services.
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