Yeah, that’s right. You need one.
Maybe you already have one. If you do, you might be reading this
and thinking …
Crap I haven’t written anything in a long time.
Who knows. I was that way. Sometimes I still am. The last couple
of years my blog has been a desert riddled with occasional posts.
I got lazy.
I have a HUGE list of ideas I have written down in Evernote of
blog posts I want to write. Some of them are pure GOLD. Like, Why
Recruiters are your Secret Weapon – Utilize the tool everyone
ignores to dominate in consulting.
Sounds interesting, right? Who wouldn’t want to have a constant
flow of clients? Who wouldn’t want to eliminate that fear of “Oh
no, I don’t have a client and my bills are due, and my car
payment is late, and we’re having a kid in 6 weeks. GREAT. I’m
I’ve been there. So, yeah…. You need a blog. Why? From my
experience, I’ve found it to be very lucrative …
But again …
Why didn’t I do it? Yeah, I was lazy, but also ….
It wasn’t a priority. I’m working on it though. You may have
noticed that some of these posts that are on my email list end up
on my blog.
Again, why am I doing that?
The better question is – why not?
Reach is reach. Any movement forward is positive movement. I’ll
be talking about repurposing content in the near future, but
that’s what I’m doing here. I’ll talk about reach and marketing
more and more as we continue, but for now, this is about why you
need a blog, an active blog.
Which brings me back to what people often ask me:
Donn, how I can grow my exposure and get my name out in the
community so that people know me?
I usually say this:
You need a blog.
They usually look at me with eyes of bewilderment and I quickly
intercept that look with a question.
“Seems like you don’t believe me. Why?”
Usually, the retort is that “Blogs are dead” and “No one reads
Do you know who reads blogs?
Google. Bing. DuckDuckGo. etc.
Do you know who uses those search engines? All of us.
Do you know who reads your articles that the search engines find?
All of us.
Ah, makes sense right?
How many times have you searched for something online and ran
across an article that explained what you needed? Probably a
How many times has a friend sent you a link to something that was
interesting? Probably a lot.
How many times have you seen an article linked from another site
that led to a blog? Probably a lot.
See what I mean?
Blogs are everywhere. There are thousands upon thousands of
people making a crap-ton of money off their blogs.
I’m not, or am I?
I don’t sell anything on my blog. Sure, I have a few affiliate
links, but that generates enough revenue for a few Chipotle
burritos a month (no complaints there, feel free to send me all
your burritos – I’ll eat’m).
But yes, my blog does make money. In fact, it’s made me more
money than I can ever have fathomed. How?
That’s right. Exposure. The kind of exposure that I didn’t
When I started my blog I wrote about how to do things with given
languages. From C# to databases, to Rails, to Node/etc. I still
write about those things. However, at the time, my main focus was
on sharing what I learned with the world via my blog.
If I created a cool way to handle errors in a resilient way, I’d
blog about it and show people how I did it.
If I created a cool geo utility class to help perform geolocation
with one line of code, I’d share that implementation on the
… and then this one … this one is the hidden gem:
If I ran into an error in programming that had no results on any
of the search engines, I’d blog about how I finally fixed it.
Let’s say the error message was “CM00234 Not Found During
Processing”. I’d title my blog post: “How to Fix: CM00234 Found
During Processing” and then I’d show people how I fixed it in my
Do you know who ranked #1 on Google for “CM00234 Not Found During
Processing”? (This is not a real blog post, just an example).
If you want to see a real-world example, Google this “Syntax
Highlighting for .build and .msbuild”
Guess who’s #1 on Google?
That post is 12 years old. Yes, there is even a broken image that
is on that page and it’s super old, but this illustrates how you
can rank your content easily.
This is known as long tail keyword ranking.
Long tail keywords are very specific and you have a higher chance
of rating higher on Google.
Guess what happens when you rank higher on Google?
What happens when you get more exposure? More people know about
This is a fantastic way to start blogging. Simply share what
you’ve worked on, and how it worked for you or share a fix to an
error that was very tricky that you could not find an answer for
online. Most likely, others are running into this as well and
they can’t find a solution. Posting your solution on your blog
will help them out.
This will lead to more exposure, FOR YOU.
This is a good thing … let me tell you a quick story before I
wrap up …
In 2009, my first full-time independent contract was coming to a
close. I was getting paid $90 an hour as a web dev. I was
blogging one to two times a week using this method above (sharing
what I learned, how to fix errors, etc) and all of a sudden I got
a cold email from a guy named Jesse from the contact form on my
blog. Jesse worked as a contractor at GMAC (now known as Ally
Bank). He saw that I was writing about some of the stuff they
were dealing with at GMAC and asked if I had any capacity to help
A week later I had lunch with their team to see if it was a fit
(it was a mini interview for the team and to gauge my knowledge)
and I was a fit! In about 2-3 weeks I started working at GMAC for
$125 an hour. – a 28% raise … from a blog post. This contract
lasted almost two years and then I eventually wrote the Android
book and moved onto Android consulting.
I’ve seen this happen to MANY people over the years. MANY.
Long story short – this ONLY happened because of my blog. Jesse
was a reader of my blog and saw that I knew what I was talking
about. I was simply sharing the knowledge that I had learned from
coding and doing my day to day duties. This turned into an
opportunity – a very lucrative one.
So yeah … my blog does make money.
It exposed what I knew to Jesse, through some indirect way – he
found it online, perhaps through a search, someone sending a link
to him, who knows. I still don’t know to this day how he found
it. That led to him emailing me and then before I knew it, I was
working with him and his team.
If I had NOT been blogging, I would not be in the position I am
in now. I’m not saying this exact thing is going to happen to
you, but I do know a blog has helped my career immensely and I’ve
seen it help others in fantastic ways too.
Which brings me to …
The two best things I’ve ever done in my career has been to start
blogging and start speaking – I’m sure you’re starting to see why
If you don’t have a blog, there are many places you can set them
up. Some are great, others … not-so-much. I’ll talk about the
various options you have in the next email – stay tuned.
If you haven’t written anything for your blog in a while, or if
your not sure even what you’d talk about please hit the comment section below and let know. I’d love to learn how I can help you get it started.