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Technology Reviews

What to Do and What Not to Do in Content Creation

TL;DR: Follow these experience tips to improve your technical articles.

My name is Maxi Contieri. I am From Argentina.

I’ve been teaching and working in the software industry for almost 30 years.

I had written 0 Articles before the covid-19 pandemic.

Now, I’ve written 300 and counting…

Here are a couple of tips for blogging.

These are the pieces of advice I learned on my journey.


Find a Niche

Find something you are passionate about.

Ideally, you should be a bit out of your comfort zone.

Do your research and learn new things.

You can do some SEO research to maximize engagement, but I encourage you to write about your passions.

Find a Community

Follow the right people (takes time) on social networks, forums, blogs, Discord, etc.

Don’t mix personal social networks with professional ones since this favors procrastination.

I use Twitter, Linkedin, Discord, and RSS feeds for professional usage.

I have TikTok, Instagram, and other RSS feeds for personal/joy.

Create Article Templates

Use them as your signature.

Starting from an empty structure is much better than working from a blank canvas.

Here’s an example from my code smell series.


Use the Right Tools

Most writers use tools like these (especially if English is not your mother language, mine isn’t).

By the way, this article photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@ryansnaadt“>Ryan Snaadt</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/s/photos/writer“>Unsplash</a>

Create Your Own Tools

  • You can develop your own parsing or validating tools or use open-source ones.

Crossposting and Metadata

Use the right SEO and Canonical Tools.

Add some analytics to your blog (if available) and understand how people find your articles.

Use Series

Readers love to see short intertwined articles with cross-references to see how each article complements others.

Add a TL;DR:

TL;DRs are a nice way to tell your reader you value his/her time.

Use Emotive Titles and Images

We read all articles’ titles and images and decide which we will read.

Use emotional and catchy headlines.

Don’t lie or use click bait titles. Humans don’t like cheaters and liars.

This article’s first heading was:

Some tips to make good articles.

Now it is:

Many tips and tricks on how to make amazing content.

Be Consistent on Case Conventions

Choose some convention and stick with it.

I prefer Title Case over Sentence case.

Create Habits

Writing is a habit.

Read how to master them and Mod your brain.

Publish When it is Good Enough. Not Later

Don’t wait until the article is perfect.

Do some proofreeding. Wait a couple of days and read it again.

Correct the above word :).

Gardening

Keep your articles alive and fresh.

Be ready to update them with constructive feedback and ideas from other people.

Go revisit them often.

Use (code) Samples

People learn by examples, not by theoretical ideas.

No matter how interesting the theory, fundamentals, and evidence are, readers will go straight to the examples.

Productivity Hacks

Follow some productivity tips to stay focused.

You can set your own micro rewards, baby steps goals, disable all notifications, and many others.

Track Your Code Samples

Use a GIT tracker for your code samples and paste it on your articles.

Don’t use iframes since they are slower and might not load on every device

You can put your code using markdown comments to track hidden external references.

Check Your Articles on Mobile Devices

You probably write and test your articles on a personal computer.

Your readers won’t.

Be sure to use AMP/PWA pages and narrow code blocks.


Write draft Ideas

Don’t keep work-in-progress articles.

Enjoy the momentum.

Ride the wave!

Open Too Many Tabs

Don’t keep too many ideas or too many tabs.

Address them and close them.

Styling

Don’t abuse styling.

People get tired of trying to find their meaning.

Passive sentences are read slower than active ones.

You read active sentences faster than passive ones.

We talk and write using different structures and grammar.

You need to write very short sentences.

HemmingwayApp does the magic for you.

Fight the Impostor’s Syndrome

Be ready to fight impostor syndrome.

You are not the most suitable person to write nor will you ever be and no one is born an expert.

Fight Perfectionism

One not-perfect published article is better than 10.000 ideas

Don’t Feed the Troll

People have opinions.

Answer and discuss with nice people.

You can learn new points of view from them.

Don’t feed the trolls. Use available moderation tools.


Practice, Practice, Practice

If you build it, they will come.

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