Writing Feedback March 25, 2020

Starting my own blog. Would you help out and give feedback?

David Lasek @fogine

Hello there,

recently, I've been trying to come out of my shell and build more awareness of my open-source work.

First thing I did is I started blogging on https://fogine.dev

To anyone who decides to check it out, do you find something irritating or confusing about the design? Do you miss any information that you would expect to be seen right away? Or any other tips?

It's target audience are fellow developers. I've been working in IT industry for a while now but usually haven't focused on marketing side of things which I now understand, is a lot of missed opportunities.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

  1. 2

    Looks good to me. Like the idea of GitHub comments. Setting up a blog is one thing, blogging another... so good luck!

  2. 2

    I like it. It's simple and effective.

    Haven't checked it out on mobile yet.

    However, there's too much text all over the place.

    Maybe space things out a little? Write short paragraphs and use white space.

    That helps with hooking the users into reading.

    Other than that looks great.

    What's your plan for bringing people in?

    Cheers!

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback Arrigo!
      I wondered if people do not get discouraged by too much text, I'll put more images in between the paragraphs.
      In regards to marketing, other than regularly writing about stuff, I started using Twitter and Quora as channels that could potentially drive some traffic.

      What would you recommend that could help me promote the blog?

      1. 1

        For your type of blog I would go all in on Twitter. That's where devs love to spend their time the most. I wouldn't necessarily go for content marketing unless you want to write some long form articles. I'm not an expert with Twitter, I mostly work on more traditional SEO through content and backlinks but I'm also looking to build an audience so we can share some tips. You can add me on Twitter, I'm @ArrigoLupori. I also follow developers as I have an interest in your world so it's relevant to me :)

        1. 1

          Yes, lets keep in touch. I think I may be also interested what you have to say. I'm @david_lasek on Twitter.

  3. 2

    The color scheme and layout are very clearly dev focused. You might scare non-devs away but it seems like you're writing about fairly technical topics so probably not a concern.

    On the about page the text highlighting and spacing doesn't look great: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ET_FSw-WoAIgs8-?format=png&name=900x900

    1. 1

      Thank you for your helpful observation.

  4. 2

    I love this concept of having github issues integrated with the comments section. Especially because it will allow markdown language and I don't think I have seem many comments system have that kind of freedom. It's usually just text based. Communication I believe becomes 10x better for the fellow developers. Was it recently that you started writing a blog?

    1. 1

      Thanks. Yes, I started at the beginning of month. Previously I'd only wrote tutorials and documentation for open-source libraries I created or contributed to... but nothing personal like a blog.

  5. 1

    haven't focused on marketing side of things which I now understand, is a lot of missed opportunities.

    How are you coming up with the blog posts?

    1. 1

      I'm still trying to figure that out to be honest. Currently I'm blogging about topics that I know developers might be interested about or provide value to them. However I haven't figured out how and to what degree I will balance between content there is large market demand for and topics that are unique but do not capture large audience.

      How about you?

      1. 2

        do you find something irritating or confusing about the design?

        Nope. It's fine, and in all honesty something you shouldn't even worry too much about at this stage (you're just starting) IMO.

        It's target audience are fellow developers.

        Since you've been working in the IT industry for awhile, the topics you're writing about should be simple & intuitive (to you) freeing you up to put the majority of your time/effort into things that are not simple & intuitive (to you). So you're audience sounds like a good place to start.

        haven't focused on marketing side of things

        Sounds like you already have a clear understanding of what direction to move in :-)

        How about you?

        Here's my $0.02....

        Scour forums for very specific problems people in your audience are having. Things they are banging their heads against the wall on.

        • "Using GitHub Issues for Blog Comments"
        • "My working environment"
        • "Serviser framework - introduction"

        Those aren't problems I'd assume people in your audience are banging their heads against the wall to try and solve ;-)

        • "WTF - I cannot set server side cookies in my http post request with express.js!"
        • "How to replace a character by a newline in Vim!? Why is Vim so hard..."
        • "S3 Static Website Hosting Routes All Paths to Index.html, help!"

        These sound more like problems that need solving :-)

        Maybe someone's already chimed in with help, maybe not, no matter... Your job is to whip up a blog post that answers their question from your unique perspective. Backed by your years of experience. Add an email signup form to the bottom of that blog post.

        Go to the forum, answer that persons question, fully, on the forum. Don't leave anything out. At the bottom link to your post (should they want more).

        Do this on repeat, over and over and over and over again until he get ~100 email subscribers.

        Now you've got an audience of people with problems, and they need solutions.

        1. 2

          Thank you so much for your honest feedback @Coffee
          You eloquently raised some valid points and potential issues and gave tips for improvement. Love you! :)

  6. 1

    Hey, you should really check out the Ahref's "Blogging for Business" course. I just finished it and it's super valuable for understanding how to make a successful blog as someone starting out. The downside of it is that everything they show you is through Ahref's service, which is minimally $99/month. But, I'd argue that if you're serious about getting that blog up to size, that is money well spent.

    Here's the link: https://ahrefs.com/academy/blogging-for-business

    It's free by the way!

    1. 2

      From a more 'site feedback' perspective, the design looks great. I'd recommend adding more images, paragraphs, and such to break up the content a bit better. You're also writing about what interests you, instead of what people are looking for, which the course I mentioned above will help you fix.

      1. 1

        Thank you for the recommendation! I'll check it out.
        Hearing from ppl that more images and paragraphs would help is also valuable to me, thanks again.