Happy new year everyone!
If one of your new year goals is to share your knowledge with your industry, be recognised for your thoughts, and/or make more connections in the industry, then you should start a blog!
Last year, I started Building Productivity blog during the pandemic for the following three reasons:
- I wanted to write about how to project manage well (at least better). I wanted to take the time to clarify the lessons that I learnt in the past (because I've made a lot of mistakes) and document them.
- I wanted to add value by sharing these tips to the people in the construction industry (especially in the project management space)
- I wanted to slowly be recognised as a trustworthy thought leader and grow my connections.
LinkedIn is not a place to store your well-thought writing
I see lots and lots of people on LinkedIn sharing many great insights. This is great and I'm glad I'm able to read what people have to say. But if you want to make an impact, I suggest starting your own blog and not just posting updates on LinkedIn due to the following reasons:
- Your post gets lost in the sea of a constant flow of new updates
- It's hard to even find your own posts that you've written
In summary, LinkedIn Updates is not really the most appropriate space to store your well-thought writing.
When I started learning back-end web development (specifically Python and Django web framework), I realised people in the tech industry write a lot of blog posts. I was overwhelmed at first by the sheer quantity of tutorials and blogs out there, but I was so grateful for the people who took the time to write and share their knowledge. I also learnt that in the tech industry, those who add value to the community, also reap so much benefit out of it especially exposure, and trust.
If you want to be a thought leader in the building and construction industry, I suggest starting a blog and publishing your own writing. Because hardly anyone is doing this at all.
After years of blogging, I learnt that if you want to be blogging consistently, you need to minimise as much as possible the number of barriers you face to write and publish them. This means finding the simplest and easiest blogging platform.
Blogging Platform Recommendations
Look - I've made so many blogs in my life in all different types of platforms. From using a service, to self hosting Wordpress, to developing a blog using Wagtail CMS (which this website is using), and also using static site generators (Middleman).
But I'll make it easy for you.If you want to just write blog posts and nothing else fancy, here are 2 blogging platforms I recommend which costs you nothing if you don't mind the non-custom domain.
Pretty much, the king of blogging platform on the internet.
WordPress is an open-source content management system (which is downloadable on Wordpress.org). You can either choose to self-host a WordPress website by buying hosting, and installing it yourself, OR you can go to Wordpress.com which has already done that for you.
If you want to just write blog posts, I highly recommend just go with Wordpress.com. This way you don't have to work about hosting, installation and maintenance. I have used Wordpress.com for my private blog it has worked very well so far (Just reached 4 years!).
Also, in the future, if you wish to customise it a lot more and add plugins, then it's easy to move from wordpress.com to self-hosting. Also note, most websites on the internet is built with WordPress so basically if it grows into a company, you can easily convert this into a professional-looking company website.
Examples of basic blogs using Wordpress.com
Price (as of Jan 2021)
- Free: No custom domain. For example - thisismyawesomeblog.wordpress.com
- Personal: $5 AUD per month: Custom domain. For example - thisismyawesomeblog.com
See here: https://wordpress.com/pricing/
If you want an extremely simple and beautiful writing experience, I highly recommend Bloggi.co. It is created by a solo web developer from Uruguay. I would say it provides a "Apple" blogging experience.
I did use bloggi.co for a little while as a blog for a software that I'm currently developing. The user experience was fantastic. However, I moved away from it because I realised I had too many blogs on too many platforms so I just wanted to centralise it on one platform.
A couple of cons of this software is that the design of your blog will be pretty much fixed. But the default design is absolutely beautiful anyway. Also, I'm not too sure if you are able to export and migrate the content. Unless you end up writing 100s of articles, you can easily copy and paste it into a new platform if you really require.
Examples of basic blog :
Price (as of Jan 2021)
- Free: No custom domain
- Pro: $5 USD /month or $50 USD /year. Custom domain.
What I don't recommend if you're setting up your blog
- Squarespace or Wix. It's quite expensive and the blogging experience is not great. ($14 - $16 AUD / month is too much just for a blog.
- Self-hosting a WordPress website. Unless you know what you're doing, you're going to be wasting weeks of your time just to get it set up. (Or you can hire me to do it for you if you want something super custom)
- Static site generators. Unless you are in the web development space, I would not recommend even touching things like Jekyll or Middleman because it's far too complicated to get started.
- LinkedIn article posts. It's great for marketing purposes because you can reach a lot of people. But however it's so hard to find all your articles consolidated in one space, especially amongst all the information in your profile.
To reiterate, the advice above is for personal blogs - the easiest and cheapest way to just get started. If you want to perform well on SEO, or have the ability to migrate to different platforms, write content which monetises, then this advice would not really apply. You'll need an experienced web developer to recommend the best way to create a website based on your needs.
Happy blogging, and let me know if you do end up making a blog.
blogging-platform value-add blog