Blog by Daniel Hauck. Sysadmin, Developer, Blogger.

I often get asked, which theme or plugins I use on my blog. What do you use to write? How much to spend on a theme. How to this, how to that. But is this crucial?

In short

If you got nothing to say or write about, there is no magic WordPress or other blog setup that will help you produce content rapidly without sitting on your ass and start typing. As guitarists say ‘the tone is in your fingers’.

Throw money at your blog

You can spend hundreds of dollar each year for your blog. Subscriptions for plugins, themes, little helpers and so on. If you are a professional writer, which I am far away from, that can make sense. If you make a living from writing and publish multiple articles a day or a week, if it saves you let’s say 20 % of the time for writing, this totally makes sense. But if you just start out, or just doing this for fun or to give something back, you should focus elsewhere.

Don’t waste your time and creativity

When I started blogging I spend (days|weeks|months) searching for ‘the perfect theme’.  Instead of putting my ass on the chair and write articles I searched around and installed hundreds of themes. Now I know this is wasted time.

So when you just start your blog, don’t waste your time searching for a theme that is perfect. Take a simple one. That hasn’t too many options. Focus on producing content. Make a list of articles you want to write. When you got enough articles, you will know, what’s missing in your blogging system.

Maybe you’re having a lot of photos in your posts, then get a photo gallery plugin.

Maybe you have a lot of code samples in your posts, get a code highlighter.

Maybe you produce a video for every post, get a featured video plugin.

And so on.

Endurance is necessary

Many starters (I did it myself) happily start their blog and write their first article and don’t write anything for months, or even a year. That’s what you need to think about. If someone is visiting your site and recognizes there has been no post for a month or a year and you shout at him to follow you on twitter, how big is the chance he will do this?

So, set up a schedule and stick to it. For example, as a beginner commit to at least one article each two weeks. Make an appointment in your calendar, every Sunday or so to write an article.

You will get better and faster at writing so that you could increase your schedule to one blog post each week. Do you not know what to write about? Earlier in the post, I told you to make a list of articles you could write about. Write down each idea that comes to your mind. You can always delete them later. Use a piece a paper, a note app on you phone, trello or whatever. But don’t miss an idea.

By the way, that’s what I will do from now on. I had a schedule for two articles each month. But now, as I have canceled other projects, I have the time and more important the will to put more and effort to this blog.

Publish early and often

You may already know this term if you are working in the tech field.

Don’t write a blog post and leave it on draft for days or even weeks. Whenever it is ready, hit the publish button! Chances are good, that if it is in the draft for more than two days, it will never get published. Believe me.

If you just started, you may be scared to post your article and share it on social networks. Maybe someone will be offended by your writing. Maybe someone will criticize you. Don’t think about this. Especially when you are blogging in the technology field, there’s always some knowing it better and has a significant need to tell you what dumbass you are and so on. I got several comments on G+ and Hackernews, and so on that told me I would get fired with this kind of mindset, and I am an idiot and so on. But I am still employed, and I still publish blog posts, and I am still confident. So don’t be afraid to post and don’t let them talk you down.

Let’s end here

This post should just be about, that you shouldn’t overstrain yourself with tools, plugins, and all this stuff. But at the time of writing so many things came to my mind, that I put at least a part of it in here. If you are just starting out, I hope I could help you at least a bit. If you like this topic and want me to share more about it, give me some feedback in the comments, and I will write some more about this.

 


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