Reflecting on Five Years of Monthly Blogging
Just over five years ago, I decided to dive into the technical blogging sphere. Since then, I have consistently produced a blog post every month. There are a couple of reasons why I blog and why I wanted to keep the monthly cadence:
Over the last five years, I’ve:
In this post, I want to reflect on this journey – goals, challenges, rewards.
This is my biggest struggle with blogging. I procrastinate until the last possible moment and usually post within the last few days of the month.
The time commitment for each blog post varies depending on its content. The technical ones normally require a lot of upfront work (building the project and writing the code), while the non-technical posts are typically shorter to write.
Overall, I try to work on the posts in the evenings, but it sometimes bleeds into the weekend. Having a family makes it a bit challenging, but not impossible as my wife is a rockstar. A post can be chipped away at instead of just writing the whole thing in one go, which is something I want to do more consistently.
Early on, I put a decent amount of work into making the site. It still serves its purpose but isn’t aging well. I almost always hit some local development issue when I spin it up as the technology stack/dependencies are old.
I’m torn – I want a simple platform for writing, but I want customization capabilities. I’ll likely move to a new platform in the future, but it’s such a daunting task. I’ll also plan to investigate using an off-the-shelf solution for blogging. The idea is to spend less time on the platform and more time on creating content.
Getting traffic to my website is something I don’t really enjoy, and for the most part, I really depend on organic traffic and just the general SEO (Search Engine Optimization) that my website provides.
At one point, I decided to add a newsletter (which has just surpassed 100 subscribers). I’m currently using Mailchimp as it has an option to consume an RSS feed that pushes emails out to subscribers.
I’ve also done some posting here and there on Reddit. When the subreddit matches the blog post topic it can drive some traffic. I saw this best when I was writing Notion related posts.
I’ve occasionally promoted my posts on social media. Similar to the above point, do the benefits outweigh the time invested. I have seen some traction when tagging companies or topics to widen the reach.
The following image is a snapshot of the five years in Google Analytics. I take pride that so many people have seen my content. The growth is a nice nod as well in keeping the monthly cadence up.
It is nice to see where my content is reaching, and the following image shows how users are finding my content from a referral perspective. When drilling into specifics, it’s rewarding to see one of my blog posts ending up in a GitHub issue, StackOverflow answer, or blog post.
At times during my work, I am able to refer a colleague to a post of my own. I’ve had colleagues mention that they had found my posts when searching for a topic as well. I’ve even caught myself stumbling upon my own post when Googling.
By writing down some information as a post, I don’t have to reiterate it again if it is relevant – I can simply link to it.
I see myself continuing with my monthly blog post for the foreseeable future. It’s worth my time investment.
I’ve recently made posts that have a YouTube video embedded in them. Normally these are for demos from a side project. I’ll likely continue these tactics, and experiment how I can incorporate them into a variety of other post topics. My YouTube channel is very much in its infancy, and the quality of the videos could use some improvement.
As mentioned in the challenges section, I have dabbled in other services and platforms to broadcast my content. I would like to further explore this as it has the potential to drive more traffic to my content and improve the SEO.
My current blogging set up is aging, and I would really like to improve it. I plan to look into using a more modern Jamstack.
Thank you for reading my content over the past five years. I look forward to creating new content that sparks interest.