The technical snippets are the reason that I began to blog. I changed jobs often in those days, and every time I moved jobs, I’d lose the folder of useful scripts that I had squirrelled away somewhere. Putting those scripts somewhere that a search engine could find them, and forcing myself to articulate what I was trying to do and what problem the snippet solved, was the beginning of me finding my voice as a writer. After a couple of years, I started to see my own blog showing up in search results … and about six months later, it started showing up in search results with posts that were exactly what I needed! Perhaps I’m just forgetful, but it is not unusual for me to find answers to problems on my own blog with no recollection of having had the problem in the past. The posts are written in simple language, so that even I can understand what to do – and the paths are always correct for my system!
In 2008 the very first post of mine was picked up by phpdeveloper.org, and I was convinced that the traffic spike I saw was some kind of malicious attack (thankyou to all the people who rescued me from myself that day, and so many other days along the way!). I was working at a new and interesting job that year and until recently, a very large number of the most popular posts on this site were written in 2008 (which is awkward as technology does move pretty quickly, I’ve had to update a few of those).
Fast forward a few more years and in 2013 I’m still here, still blogging – but with two published books and countless in-depth articles in other publications also to my name. I encourage people to begin to blog and often I hear “but I’ll never write like you”. Perhaps you’d like to visit the 2006 post archives and see how things looked at the start? Those posts are a mess and I’m cringing because I am bringing attention to something that, on one level, I’m not proud of. However we all started somewhere, and learning to express myself has not only helped me to become a professional writer, but also to express myself better in all areas of business and life.
If you want to write 800 blog posts, you have to show up, and write. Write the first one today (even if your theme isn’t finished, your English isn’t perfect, or there’s some other stumbling block), because the sooner you begin, the sooner you begin to improve. (Please share your links in the comments, I’d love to see!)