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No one hates Mondays more than a techie. ‘An expert in the field of technology’, techies are the backbone of the IT revolution. So you’d think we’re some sort of superstars, right? Heroes in our own fields, surrounded by fortune 500 companies begging to fix their servers first? Nah. If anything, we techies are more overworked and frustrated than an inbuilt Intel graphics card trying to render GTA 5 (yes even our jokes are technical).
After 2 years of working erratic shifts, having a phone on each ear, fixing code bugs for languages I didn’t even know existed, I came home spent and exhausted, unbuckled my belt, switched on my laptop and did what every burnt guy does on the internet.
It started off as a simple portal for me to express my views and blow off steam in the process. My first post was an incoherent ramble, talking about how a missing asterisk in a script gave me an incomplete result that I very confidently passed over to my lead who threw it back at my face.
As time passed, the number of followers grew and I noticed a trend in my blog visitors. They were fellow techies! These people didn’t come to my blog to read about the problems in my life, they came to read about the technical methods I had used to solve the problems I had at work. They were on my blog for technical solutions.
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I suddenly had the responsibility of publishing articles that conveyed technically correct information. This meant hours of research and questions on forums for advice from experts. I loved every second of it. I quickly realized I was learning more, expanding my field of expertise and understanding concepts far better than I did at corporate workshops. I let my followers choose topics, they sent in emails with requests and posted comments about issues and I burnt the midnight oil studying and drafting articles that addressed each issue.
Another popular technical blogger, Srinivas Tamada talks about a similar experience. Engineer Srinivas Tamada is the founder of the blog 9lessons. His motto is ‘to explain complicated things in a simple way’, and that is what his blog is all about. His idea is to use simple scripts to get desired output. In an online interview. he talks about how he learned more from writing and researching for his blog than he did from university books. He is a self-taught coder who now has enough coding knowledge that he build a platform, Wallscript, that aids in building social networking websites.
My blog covered various technical fields, from coding to cloud computing to virtualization. I was a messaging engineer by profession, so at my day time job I learned a lot about mailing services and mobility, but back home working on my blog, my knowledge ventured into every field in IT.
This inadvertently helped me bag a major position at my next company and I was also able to change my domain from messaging to virtualization. Having spent hours researching for my blog, I had acquired enough knowledge on the subject to wow the interviewers and convince them although I had no professional backing, I was technically equipped.
Amit Agarwal is known as ‘the man who brought professional tech blogging to India’. Having quit his secure daytime job at ADP Inc. to move to his hometown Agra, Amit started a tech blog, labnol. It was a venture that was meant to be between jobs but quickly became his passion and ultimately his career. He now makes a very good income(more than $30000/month) from his blog alone. Another example of a techie whose tech blog shaped his career.
Starting a blog is easy, it is getting traffic to your blog that is hard. I worked hard on writing quality content and then spent a lot of time promoting on social media sites. While promoting my blog on social media sites and also on sites loaded with tech-savvy experts, like LinkedIn, I happened to connect with tech leads of major companies who praised the technicality of my articles and eventually offered me chances to interview at their companies.
Vishal Gaikar, a software engineer and owner of multiple blogs like beingandroid and thetravelmantra, but most popularly known for TricksMachine says his mantra is ‘get active, stay active and keep your business healthy’. He explains how he leveraged social networking to popularize his blog and that eventually led him to meet more clients and advertisers and that ultimately improved his business (source).
I never intended to make money off my blog. It was started as a hobby, and for a very long time remained just that, a hobby. I eventually signed up with Google’s AdSense and placed a few ads on my blog. Within a few days, owing to decent traffic, I had earned a few dollars.
It wasn’t big money like full-time bloggers make, but for a hobby it was great. Over time, by improving quality and generating more traffic, I was making a decent amount that added to my well-paying day time job. This wasn’t the plan but turned but to be an indirect benefit.
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One of top ten tech bloggers in India, Harsh Agrawal, was placed in Accenture from college. While waiting for his call letter, he joined Convergys as a call center employee, and it was about this time that he started a blog, just as a hobby. Surprised by the response it received in two months, he paid more attention to it and focused on improving it.
After four months, he was earning more from his blog than his call center job and when Accenture finally came calling, he took the scary yet rewarding decision of quitting the corporate life and turning into a full-fledged blogger. That’s is how ShoutMeLoud turned from a hobby to a source of steady income, and today is one of the top visited blogs.
Fine, I have rambled on for too long now. I want to leave you with this piece of advice. Blogging is a great way to have your thoughts heard by a large number of people. With the majority of the population turning tech-savvy, this is the best age for tech bloggers, and if you are a techie who is an expert in his or her field, you should definitely portray your skills through a blog. While you research for it, you will learn more. While you promote it, you will build your social circle. Every experience you gain from writing for it will aid in advancing your technical career.
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