The Indie Hackers Podcast August 23, 2019

Quick Chat with Jessica Chan of Coder Coder

Episode #111

Jessica Chan (@thecodercoder) is the founder of Coder Coder, a collection of resources that help self-taught web developers learn to code the same way that she did. Jessica joined the show to share how she came up with her idea and got her first users, how she grew her Instagram account to 30k followers and her website to over 60k visits per month, and how she plans to make a living from her business as an indie hacker.

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    Thanks so much! Happy to answer any questions about Instagram, coding, or anything else 😊

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      Enjoyed the interview and you have a cool website 😊. Congrats on getting so many followers.

      Is there anything you've changed about your writing style since you started? Any recommendations on what to avoid when writing a post?

      I have trouble deciding on what information to omit when writing a post. Balancing too much information (lose sight of the goal) vs too little (can't follow along).

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        Learning how to write a post that is both informative and engaging to the reader is definitely a skill-- one that I'm still very much in the process of developing. There are a few guidelines that I try to follow when writing:

        Write for humans, not for Google. I think people tend to get caught up in how to please the Google gods with various tactics. But if you have your reader in mind and write for them-- solving their search as efficiently and thoroughly as possible, you'll be fine. It does help to understand some guidelines for copywriting (I binged through a lot of Copyblogger.com when I started out, and it definitely helped)

        As far as length, just make the article as long as it needs to be. People say that Google is ranking longer posts higher, but if you have a long crappy post it's obviously not going to do as well as a really well-written shorter one. Again, try to keep your reader in mind-- mainly try to prevent "pogo-sticking," where someone clicks to your page from Google, doesn't like it or you haven't helped them, and then they click back to Google. Google can track that and that will definitely de-rank you in the results pages.

        It's tough to know what to include vs what to take out. I wrote a huge beginner's guide 2 years ago that was a monster article and was almost 8000 words. I just rewrote and republished it this past week, and it's been cut in half to ~4000 words. And in my mind the shorter version is way better. So just keep writing and trying to improve, and you'll definitely get better over time.

        Hope this helps!

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          Thanks for the reply! I had never heard of the "pogo-sticking" de-rank concept but that makes sense. I'll also give copyblogger a look.

          I haven't put much thought into the google ranking, but I find it tricky to guess what the person viewing the post already knows. As you say, that will come with experience.

          That's great that you were able to cut down an article by half and feel like it was better!

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            I've found the blog at Backlinko.com pretty helpful for SEO tips. It does get a bit market-y at times, but has a lot of really in-depth case studies and guides.

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    I am going back and listening to old pod episodes. Definitely found this relevant to my work right now and took notes. Thanks for sharing your story @thecodercoder!

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    Thanks Jessica! and congrats on the cool story :)

    Any resources/tools that you would recommend to grow an IG account? Thx in advance!!

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      I don't personally use any tools, just the straight up Instagram app. But I did write a guide on how to grow organically on Instagram: https://dev.to/thecodercoder/how-to-grow-your-instagram-following-organically-4gbe

      Hope this helps 😊