Hi, I'm curious whether I should start my own blog or not.

I've been working as a programmer for 3 years and have some good and bad experience I can share. On the other hand I'm not sure I will be able to post very often (maybe even less then one time per week).

They say writing a blog will improve your writing skill and it seems appealing to me. I've to admit sometimes I've a problem to write down my ideas in a short clear way so people can understand them easily. But I don't want to write for the sake of writing. I think that blog helps me only if there will be some readers and therefore some comments. In order to have readers I've to put some interesting stuff there pretty regularly, haven't I?

So how can you tell when it's time for one to start blogging?

+5  A: 

Give it a try.

There's not much to lose, and a lot of potential for gains.

As far as frequency goes, I think it's important but overemphasized by the problogger types.

On my blog, I take my time and only write when I have something worth writing about and have time to do it well. I'm sure the blog would be doing better if I posted more often, but it's doing just fine with a post every couple weeks.

I suppose the point is that if you have something you want to contribute, go for it. Don't let anyone else tell you how to do it. They likely know a lot less than they think they do anyway (myself included!).

Dave Ward
+5  A: 

I've never tried to write a blog, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I'd suggest trying to write a few articles up in advance on a schedule that you think is sustainable.

If after a couple articles (a month or so, assuming you're updating once per week) you feel that this is still something you are interested in, then go ahead and get started. You even have a couple of reserve articles in case you can't keep to your schedule.

If you do try to start, though, I would definitely recommend setting a firm schedule for yourself, and try to keep to it.

+16  A: 

You don't. You just start doing it.

However I do think you're off to a good start because you're worried about the right thing, which is the frequency of your blogging. I advise that you read Jeff Atwood's How to Achieve Blog Success In One Easy Step on precisely that issue. :)

Jon Limjap
+2  A: 

You won't become ready to start blogging until you have been blogging for a while. Just start, and when you eventually feel you are ready to start blogging seriously start another one.

David Sykes
+4  A: 

Pick a schedule. Stick to it. If you can sustain it, you have what it takes.

So far, I do not. Which is why my blog languishes painfully.

+2  A: 

Just before pressing "Publish" for the first time in your life. ;)

+5  A: 

I was in the same boat as you a few weeks ago, so I quickly wrote my own blog and thanks to Jeff Atwood, I've decided to set myself a blogging schedule. It's only been a week so I'll have to see how well I stick to it, but it's something to aim for.

Try setting yourself a goal or schedule, and take it from there.

+2  A: 

If you have something to say, you should start a blog (or two or three). I have a personal blog that only friends would be interested in and a technical blog that only developer-types would find interesting. Having no readers is disheartening, but that's where the social part of the social web comes in. Maybe people will see your post here and click on a link in your profile. But if you never write, that can't happen.

+15  A: 

Steve Yegge has a pretty good post here about why you should write blogs. I hope it'll be helpful and answer most of your questions.

Nick Masao
+5  A: 

I'm a bit biased (my blogging is extremely sporadic), but I don't think it's important to blog regularly - unless you're doing it for some financial gain and trying to garner a regular readership.

If you're too concerned with regular/frequent posts then often you'll just end up churning out garbage - choose quality over quantity every time!

If you can get your feed aggregated by a service targeted at a relevant niche you'll have an audience for every post and you won't feel obliged to keep up any particular pace. Some weeks you'll have a lot to say, others, not so much...

Also, don't presume that it's ineveitable to blog - only do it if you enjoy it and think you'll get something out of it, otherwise your time (and effort) may be better spent elsewhere.

James Marshall
+61  A: 

I'd been programming professionally for six years when I started blogging, and I really wish I'd started much earlier. The temptation is to think that you've got to get your act together before you're ready to blog, but the truth is that the act of blogging (sharing your learning process) will teach you a lot more than books, classes, or work can.

Write as regularly as you can, but don't waste time with "not much to write about" or "I am happy today" posts - it's not a diary. Write about how you're solving problems, problems you're trying to solve, etc. If you're short on material, start contributing to one or more open source projects, as they'll give you a lot of experience quickly.

So at the start, write for the sake of writing - but keep it interesting, and the comments will follow. Good luck!

Jon Galloway
+1  A: 

It depends on the purpose of the blog. I've recently started a blog to organize my thoughts as I'm learning. It's mostly for my own benefit, I'm not updating it on a particular schedule, and I don't expect a large readership. But I've made it public because there's no real downside to getting input from others.

If you know why you want to blog, you're probably ready to start.

Bruce Alderman

All of your posts inspired a post of my own. I was about to start my own blog when I realized that none of them offered programmer/code formatting capabilities like the ones on stackoverflow.


If you are passionate about a technology or product, blog about it. If you consistently use the web to find info and can't find the answers, blog the answers when you do find them. Admittedly there are those that use blogs to generate cash, however my feeling is that you should do it as long as it remains fun. When it becomes a job, when it's not your main purpose with the blog, then take a break until it becomes fun again.

This is a complete personal opinion


If you're thinking about it, then chances are you're ready to start! A blogging schedule is important but make it realistic for you - once a week is a good place to start if you are worried about the pace you can sustain.

Don't expect readers will flock to your blog and then you will be pleasantly amazed if/when they do! Regular content updates will probably help build "reader loyalty" and if you post often enough, they will probably "forgive you" if you have an "off post".

Good luck!

+3  A: 

I think that blog helps me only if there will be some readers and therefore some comments.

One of the things I have learnt is that it will take a lot and quite a long time before you get comments, especially on informative blogs. Because of this it's important to also have a metric of readers, not just relying on comments. Something like FeedBurner can help keep track of RSS subscribers and a simple counting script can help keep track of those who come from elsewhere. When you see that even though noone is commenting you're still getting a few readers it's a bit of a boost.

+2  A: 

Read this post from Jay Fields: Be Your Startup. It will give you a few pointers and maybe inspire you.

+17  A: 

When you start yelling at things you read on the web.

:) that should make for an interesting blog.
Bless Yahu
+1  A: 

I think for there are two times you can tell when you're ready to start. (At least, this was true for me.)

  1. At that point you decide you want to better yourself in some technical field. Whether you know lots about the field or not you can start blogging about it, perhaps focusing on the learning curve and great resources, taking any criticsm, trying to answer questions and so on. In no time you'll know heaps and you'll be able to start contributing to the wider community that is interested.

  2. When you get to the stage when you learn something new and either want to keep that information somewhere readily accessible (like a "note to self"). This is something Scott Hanselman said at a Tech Ed meal I was once fortunate to attend. Great advice from a great blogger and great chap.

+2  A: 

Actually, I believe that you can start blogging NOW! It really doesn't matter how often you will update you blogs. The key is to dare to express what you think.

Morgan Cheng

The most important thing when blogging is the desire to take the time and write. If you don't like writing, don't like marketing, or think you'll get bored if you don't have readers after writing a few posts, blogging may not be for you. I've tried it a few times, but it's not for me.

Dan Goldstein
+1  A: 

I recommend reading 10 Tips for Writing Consistently Popular Programming Articles it will only help your writing.

+1  A: 

My idea was to start spending some time writing posts on a schedule before I would actually post anything online. So, if I was really ready, I'd see that through my regular writing. Also I would have something ready to go once I started. Alas, since I've not been able to keep to a schedule, I don't meet my own criteria for starting ... but I post this here as maybe it would be a starting place for someone else.


I have my own thoughts on the subject, having just done so recently in Starting a Programming Blog.