Are you afraid to blog because you’re worried no one will read it?
It doesn’t matter.
Write a blog because months or years from now, someone is going to Google your name. You want them to find things – things you’re proud of writing, things that convey your knowledge and personality.
It doesn’t matter whether your blog posts have comments or subscribers. You’re going to instantly impress managers because you’ve taken the time to document what you know and share it with the community.
Do it now. The future job-seeking you will thank me.
Go to WordPress.com and start with the Premium plan. It’s $99 per year, and that tier lets you use your own custom domain name. (I don’t make a cut of your signup fees or anything – I just recommend WordPress.com because it’s the easiest way to get started with a platform that can grow, and you can move out to your own self-hosted WordPress blog later.)
For the domain, just pick your name – firstnamelastname.com, or include your middle initial, or whatever it takes to be unique. Don’t put a technology or product as part of your domain name, because your technology interests will change over time.
Don’t worry about how it looks. It’s really tempting to futz with themes, pictures, and plugins to get it to perfectly reflect your personality. Don’t bother – you can always change that stuff easily later. What you can’t change is the dates on your posts, and you need to start building up a history today.
Next up, here’s what you should blog about, and here’s who you’re writing for.
Personally I skipped the WordPress.com Premium Plan and jumped straight to the self hosted option, but I do have a history with WordPress and self hosted sites. Overall excellent advice, and I admit that I did fall into the glitz and glamour trap when I first launched my blog. As a result of blogging, I will be giving my first presentation at a SQL PASS user group on 6/1, so it does work. I am looking forward to the day when I host a one day pre-con and have 5-10 people sign up for it 🙂
Awesome, that’s great! I do like the self-hosted option myself of course too – as a geek, it’s fun to do that sort of thing.
That is awesome! Reaffirms what I’ve been telling my friends the last year. If I did it for visits/metrics I’d be really disappointed. I figured it’s an investment as a online resume as well as fulfilling to work through the problem and share the fix. Additionally, if i compared to folks like your team, Paul Randall, Aaron Bertrand, and others then I’d not blog due to the technical expertise ya’ll obviously have. I got rid of that mentality and figured everyone starts somewhere so blog what I worked through and researched and go from there!
Thanks again for the great material
Another reason to blog is for your best reader – yourself! A complicated code or a piece of design which you blog and discuss with yourself. I have Googled a problem and reached my own blog (or go to my blog to find out how did I do…)
Indeed!! A great great advise!! I remember reading http://www.brentozar.com/twitter/how-to-start-a-blog/ and advise people to read this carefully before start off with blogging. I myself follow and practice those advises wherever I can. And, really, it pays off, a big time.
When I started writing blog, I was like, heh!! Who is going to read my blog and blah blah!! But later, I realized there are few people who reads my blog despite my not-so-good writing skills. And, then, I was introduced to SQLServerPedia where I wanted to syndicate my blog, and it was you, who have introduced me to Jeremiah Peschka, Lori Edwards who have helped me with proof reading my blogs, in addition to some of your advise on how to write.
I am great fan of your writing skills and advise, keep coming them.
[…] you Brent Ozar for the encouragement to start blogging. Like many, I know Brent from his years of giving back […]
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That’s absolutely true, I did start my blog for 2 reasons,
– One was the title of this post, to grow my resume
– And the other, which was also very important it’s to give back some of the “free” knowledge I got from the community.
Pd. I’m also about to give my first presentation at my local SQL user group, which is awesome!
I have enjoyed read your blog and it’s true, when you are writing a blog this time is an invaluable opportunity to share our adventures in the marvelous world of software development. I have been writing in my blog almost one year, the traffic in my website has increased but the most important is the testimony that it leave about my work.
Allegedly, at least on self hosted WordPress, it’s trivial to set the post date.
Beej – that’s true, but the Wayback Machine makes it trivially easy to catch those folks. (And yes, I’ve used it for that.)
[…] want a DBA or developer to know about SQL Server. These are exactly the types of posts that you write for your next resume (or next hiring […]
Very interesing information, very helpful, good job, Thanks!