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Blogging Best Practices

Why you should blog?

Blogging is a great way to share your experiences. Blogging on a topic frequently establishes you as a technology thought leader, giving your thoughts a broad audience and making them available to readers for years.

Writing a great technical post

Have a thesis Like high school or college essays, great blog posts have a clear message. When you begin writing your post, start by forming a key message or statement. Ask yourself, what do I want the reader to take away from this post? A good article will typically leave readers with a key statement. Everything else in your post is supporting evidence.

Include code samples The best technical posts will most likely include examples, in code, of the thesis that you are trying to illustrate.

Create diagrams Images can help illustrate your point and break up text for the reader. Particularly for posts covering complex architectural concepts, diagrams can be powerful tools. Don't feel obligated to have slick graphics.

Show Data You can't make your point without the facts! Consider including statistics, performance data, and other metrics in your post. Visualizations like graphs and charts can be compelling while providing visual interest.

Include sections Readers digest content in chunks. By breaking your post into sections with subtitles, it will be easier for you to write and easier for your readers to consume. Leave a post for a few days before publishing and come back to it to check for readability.

Keep it short Blog posts don’t need to be long. In fact, I would urge you to keep posts concise (between 250 and 500 words). If the topic is especially broad then it may be best to spread the content across multiple posts than a single large post.

Build series Blog series are a great way to build momentum on your blog. Starting a series publicly commits you to a series of topics, and gets your readers interested in reading.

How to generate ideas

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to blogging. Sometimes we think that our day-to-day can't possibly be publishable! Our experiences-- especially in the context of open source software-- can be incredibly valuable when shared. Sometimes what may seem like a mundane task to you is actually valuable and informative for a new MongoDB user.

Here are some ways to generate new ideas for MongoDB blogging content:

  • Describe a problem that you recently solved and the way you solved it.
  • Explain how you designed your MongoDB application and the trade-offs that you made.
  • What do you wish you knew when you were first starting out? Write a blog post that addresses that topic.
  • How has your application evolved over time? How has it grown and scaled?
  • Many people are migrating applications from relational databases, or living in a hybrid world. What are the common migration patterns?
  • What are the open source tools and libraries that you rely on?
  • Have you written an open source tool that you want to show off? A blog is a great way to get users and contributors.
  • Write a "How To" on MongoDB with a specific language, framework, or open source tool.
  • Turn conference or meetup presentations into blog posts or post your slides to your blog with short summaries.