Shout-out to John Sonmez
TL;DR There are no legit excuses for not starting your Tech blog today.
For a very long time, I’ve been thinking that extraordinary results inevitably require extraordinary ideas and talents. I’ve never felt capable of doing something beyond what the average person can (yes, it is the road to mediocrity). Everything has changed all of a sudden when I encountered John Sonmez’s simpleprogrammer.com. The main thing that I’ve taken from there is that consistency is all you need to succeed. In order to achieve any of your goals you just have to grind relentlessly and trust the process.
Blog? Another one?
One of the examples of such processes is starting out your blog. First thing I thought when I saw this John’s course was “meh, what am I gonna write about, I don’t have any cool coding experience to share. No one’s gonna read that BS”.
I was persuaded to change my view. Here are the main things that held me back and likely hold you as well if you haven’t started your blog yet.
1. Picking a topic
This is the first obstacle that one meets when trying to start any kind of creative activity. What’re you going to do in this highly developed world where everything is abundant? You can search Google for whatever the hell you can think of and still find the guys who’ve already implemented it.
However, as our society grows and develops, we naturally tend to specialize down in different directions. It can be clearly seen in science. For example, in Math, the last mathematician who objectively knew ALL the modern to date Math was David Hilbert (on the picture).
Not that later people became stupider, but the amount of theories just became overwhelming even for the most genius minds out there. As a result, mathematicians started to get into specific areas, learning deep, not wide. Nowadays, the widest you can meet is an Algebra expert, and even those people are usually more specialized: Abstract, Commutative Algebras, Order theory, Category theory, etc.
Sure thing we have the same tendency in Software Development. The knowledge becomes more detailed and directed, like the beam of a flashlight. In this situation everyone can find his or her credo, the area no one has ever touched. This is what John calls Specialization or Niching down. He mentions it a lot in his blog and even has a YouTube playlist on this very topic.
As he likes to say,
You want to be a big fish in a small pond.
so you can be recognizable for your very specific type of specialty. This is exactly what a professional blog could be about. After exploring initially picked small area, you can grow beyond and expand.
2. I’m not good enough
You’re never going to be good enough. Period. There’s always space to grow. But if you try teaching things you already know, you’ll learn yourself much faster. And that’s the only thing that matters in the end.
Here’s John’s take on this:
3. Who’ll ever read this?
This uncertainty in the success potential is extremely discouraging. How do I know if this is going to be useful, and if not, why bother?
Well, 2 things to consider in this regard:
- Tech blog is always useful as a Portfolio where clients can see your thoughts and code. It can be extremely valuable and open backdoors to most unexpected opportunities.
- According to John, If you blog every week for 3 years, you’re guaranteed to become popular. Now, this is something very interesting. Basically, it is a concrete metric that you can control, which makes it a perfect goal to reach.
After overcoming the hesitancy, it was time to delve into the course. And here I just want to say that starting it out is a really easy part. The instructions in emails are short, measurable and on-point. It makes them easy to follow and satisfying to complete.
The really hard part is, going back to the beginning, keeping it up. Day after day. Month after month. Year after year. Trusting the process of writing the posts and developing your brand. Not giving up or sliding down the laziness slope. And also keeping your mind fresh and open to new ideas.
So, the main thing, the bottom line, the meat and potatoes, the nuts and bolts, the … anyway, here it is:
If you’re still not convinced on beginning this journey yourself, there is also some solid reasoning about how many of us really blog consistently and how big is the potential audience.
Now, when the first step has been made, a new road of opportunities has opened. A technical blog is not just a “look at me” web page. It has a potential of highly valuable income generator if properly developed. And you know what? You don’t have a valid excuse not to start your own Software Development blog with such a material available.