Bloggers June 28, 2020

What is the best platform to start writing tech blogs?

Nilesh Mahajan @nileshm

I have quit my job and started on my new indie life.

I would like to start writing tech blogs weekly to share my knowledge and build my identity. There are just so many blogging platforms. So I am wondering what is the easiest, especially for engineering blogs. I wish that the blog should be super optimized for SEO so that the discoverability of content is great. I don't want to host my own site.

I know medium but I somewhat hate their policies.

  1. 2

    Hi Nilesh,

    The best platform to start is one that you own. You can (and should!) cross-post or write original pieces in other platforms (like DEV Community, freeCodeCamp, and even tech publications) to leverage their reach and get your content in front of new audiences. But the benefit of having your own blog is that your site will benefit from the SEO, and if a platform shuts down, your content doesn't disappear with it.

    Here's what I would do:

    • Create your blog on a domain you own on whichever hosting platform of your choosing.
    • Add side analytics to your blog to measure performance (I'm using a Google Analytics alternative called Matomo Analytics. Other GA alternatives include Fathom, Plausible, and Simple Analytics).
    • Learn about blog post syndication and apply a syndication strategy. I syndicate my posts on DEV Community after a few days or weeks of publication to get the content in front of a wider audience. ALWAYS use canonical tags when cross-posting on a different platform.
    • If you publish an original article on a publication (meaning, not on your personal blog first), save a copy of the published version on your machine. I speak from experience when I say that content I've written years ago disappeared when a publication folded, and at that point, you may want to re-publish that on your blog.

    I was the content manager of two company blogs and applied these tactics to those blogs also. :)

    Hope this helps,
    Stephanie

  2. 2

    Hey Nilesh! When I first starting writing in tech, I chose to publish on other people's platforms. Eventually, I built my own site so I could own my content. Sounds like you're in the first phase. Here's a few I recommend checking out:

    • freeCodeCamp Developer News
    • DEV
    • Hacker Noon

    Ones that will pay you for your articles:

    • Auth0
    • Contentful
    • Honeypot
    • LogRocket
    • SitePoint
    • Twilio

    Eventually though, I recommend publishing on your own platform, but this will help you get started. Good luck!

  3. 1

    Hi @nileshm, congratulations on starting your tech blog.

    If you want to write great content and get more traffic, then my website SplashPad can help. SplashPad helps you attract attention for your blog and engage your readers more effectively by suggesting language while you write. Check it out here: https://getsplashpad.com.

  4. 1

    Might not be the best place for dev blogs, but if you want to write, you can hop on https://midnight.pub

  5. 1

    If you don't want to build it yourself, check out Hashnode: https://hashnode.com/

    It's important for your SEO to publish on your own domain name, so you can build up the authority of the domain and pick up backlinks.

    I would not go for something like dev.to for that reason, even if you syndicate. You always run the risk of having an article pick up traction and links to a domain you don't own.

  6. 1

    Just published an article about this topic that might help you out: https://learn.draft.dev/posts/blogging-platforms

    I'm also against using Medium personally. Dev.to is a great alternative.

    If you want to host on your own domain (I strongly encourage this) use Jekyll or Gatsby.

    Ghost is nice if you don't mind paying.

    Good luck!

  7. 1

    100% get something with your own domain at least. You can still repost your articles in other places if the canonical URL matches so people know where the content originated from.

    I really like the combination of Hugo + Netlify (free, no self hosting involved) if you are up for a static site generator.

  8. 1

    If you can write in AI, GPU computing or supercomputing space then you can write on our website: https://www.qblocks.cloud/creators

    You can send me a direct note. We are accepting good tech focused content :)

    1. 1

      Thanks. Sorry, I am no expert in that. My skillset is primarily high scale gateways, distributed systems and reliability engineering.

  9. 1

    Medium also doesn't have a good way to embed code. (That's why you see so many screenshot/images of code.)

    1. 1

      Yeah, but you can embed a Github paste I think. That's what I did for one of my blogs

      https://medium.com/@nilesh_mahajan/java-concurrency-pitfalls-of-scheduledexecutorservice-d7298b66e59f

  10. 1

    I strongly recommend your own. Otherwise I would go with Dev.to.

    1. 1

      I think I have settled to Dev.to. :) Thanks.

  11. 1

    If your goal is to start writing and gaining an audience, start writing immediately.

    I have spent months trying out different platforms and thinking about technical advantages for choosing a blogging platform and that is a mistake.

    Just use some of the existing solutions such as medium or dev.to to get quickly running. If you want to own your content, you can consider Gatsby if you know react. I have settled on Jekyll and have been using it for 2 years now. What matters is get your words out there as quick as possible.

    These technical decisions are often not necessary.

  12. 1

    You can use the ghost CMS publishing platform, open source under the MIT license which can be hosted for you at ghost.org.
    It comes with seo baked in, and other awesome features out of the box like membership site features with stripe and is integrated with useful services like zapier.
    As for the speed, it's said to be up to 20 times faster than WordPress. If you want even more speed, its powerfull API make it usable as a headless CMS to be coupled with a static site generator like hugo, gatsby, gridsome or whatever you prefer.
    I just learned about it yesterday and that's what I want to use for my future projects and I hope you'll like it as much as I do.

    1. 1

      Looks great, but it seems very costly. Thanks for sharing.

      1. 1

        ghost is free if you self-host it. (basically npm install ghost-cli[@latest](/latest) -g and ghost install local.)

        Source: https://ghost.org/docs/install/local/

        1. 1

          Self-hosting seems more expensive actually. A medium EC2 instance with 2 cores and 8GB RAM (t2.large) seems to be $0.09/hr. That would come out to be around $64 a month.

          What do you use for hosting?

          1. 1

            That is exactly why I built site2static.com (shameless plug) because I don't want to spend big money for hosting. Eventually, I create my personal blog at some cheap Wordpress hosting ($5/year), but I "clone" it and deploy to Netlify to gain the benefits of static sites (it's hella fast), I can set up custom domain, and I get 100GB bandwidth per month, all of those are just for free. I just buy the custom domain though.

          2. 1

            If you just want to try it out, you can run it on a nano instance at linode for $5 USD/month. But I agree, if you don't want to setup /maintain a server, and just use their service, the $39/month seems like a pretty good deal.

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