2019 was a tough year. I had been laid off in the year prior. I was clinging to the few work contracts I had to bring in money to pay for rent. My wife and I planned on going through a round of IVF which added to the stress. One thing I knew though, I had to take myself out of the equation of making money.
Running a consulting business is tough. Plus if you don't build value in some other way, you are the value.
So what's a guy to do?
I was ruminating this same question when attending Microconf this past year. I got some of the same advice I had heard before:
"Build an audience."
To some extent I had no idea how to go about that. People said "join a community". I didn't think myself of much a "community" guy. Nevertheless you figure things out as you go.
Earlier in the year Particle had launched their Mesh boards. (https://www.particle.io/mesh) These boards are able to connect with each other which opens the possibilities for interesting IoT deployments.
I had found their community forum and I started surveying who was there and what questions they were asking. I started answering the questions I could. In the process I started creating content and examples which I shared across Dev.to, FreeCodeCamp and my personal site. (https://www.jaredwolff.com)
Over the past 6 months and more I started posting as much content that I could. With one caveat though, it had to add value and help. Creating with no purpose may be cool but who are you helping? Likely no one but yourself.