Starting Your Own Developer Blog With Gatsby - Part 1 (Reading Time: 4 Mins)
📅 December 23, 2018•
⏱️4 min read
I remember my first time starting a blog I had no idea where to start, what to do, how should I do it and I have no friends who are a developer and blogs.
Besides the famous bloggers, I had been reading one who is John Sonmez from Simple Programmer and Daniel Roy Greenfeld from PyDanny who wrote the book "2 Scoops of Django" who are quite successful in it.
If you are reading this article right now, you might be thinking of starting a blog for yourself or would like to know and take advantage of Gatsby to build websites for you.
So that it would allow you to use this technology to create websites or blogs very easily by using Gatsby.
Why a Developer Blog?
What are the reasons you should create a developer blog? Here a list of reasons for having a developer blog.
- Earning money from your blog
- Documenting your learning journey as a developer
- Sharing your views of the world
- Control of your narrative as a developer
To me, the main reason you should have a developer blog is to establish yourself as an expert.
The 3rd Door to Awesome Work
I am sure that you had gone through the pain of job hunting as a developer. It is a constant frustration to look for jobs through a job portal where the success rate is low.
What if, instead of you hunting for jobs without much success, how will it be like if your future employers would come knocking at your door and offering you jobs instead would that be great?
That is why you need to create a blog to differentiate yourself as a developer so that you could do work that you want and get to command a higher salary as an expert in a specific niche.
Selecting Your Niche
Selecting your niche can be hard work, since if your anything like me with a wide range of interests with a ton of specialisation that I would like to cover.
Therefore I would like you to spend some time to think of the type of niche you would like your blog to be.
So that you can better cater to the type of readers you would like to have. For me, I know that I will be covering about startups, web development and python for my blog.
You can look at a few developer blogs of individual developers for inspiration like API Evangelist, RealPython, Full Stack Python or Simple But Complex.
Buying a Domain
Once you had selected your niche for your blog, now is the time to think of the domain name for your blog which is the URL of your homepage.
You can use your name or a name that it would inform your readers on the niche and topics you will be publishing in your blog.
Once you had selected your domain name, head over to NameCheap or GoDaddy to register your domain.
Get the option where personal data is not displayed publically in the WHOIS database whenever you register a domain.
Setting Aside Time to Write
Finding time to write is hard work which despite writing for a while I still find it hard to write.
I suggest anyone who wants to start a blog start to set aside 3-4 hours to write a weekly blog post.
I split the time to write by setting aside the first 1.5 hours to create the first draft of the blog post and use the remaining time to edit the draft.
The key is posting your blog post consistently, pick a date that you like and strive to publish it on that date and time on a specific frequency.
To start go to the Gatsby website tutorial and spend some time to complete the tutorial for a general understanding of Gatsby to edit your blog in the future.
I would suggest that you skim through the chapter on plugins & using CSS as you will be using the Gatsby Starters for your blog which is a template with plugins for you to start on creating your blog.
Depending on the type of markdown editors you use, most editors will follow a specific format for you to publish your blog post.
To get started head over to Github for a guide called Mastering Markdown to get started.
Overall starting a blog can be a daunting task so I hope the above tips could point you to the direction in helping you to create a new blog.
For the next post, I shall start a step by step tutorial to create your blog to use Gatsby, Contentful, GraphQL and Netlify.
Useful Links & Tools
- Grammarly - Helps you in editing your blog post and prove reading it.
- Unsplash - Has awesome free photos for you to choose from as the cover of your blog post.
- Contentful - A place to manage and publish your blog content that provides a graphql endpoint for your Gatsby blog.
- Netlify - Provides free hosting, SSL and DNS services for your Gatsby blog.
- GitLab - A alternative to Github, this is where I store my source code for my blog project