If you are an inspiring PHP Programmer or an old hat PHP Developer you should have a blog. A blog can help you stand out. In this article I will offer some guidance on blogging, why you should blog, types of blogs, doing research, how to rank, and much more.
Why You Should Blog
If you are trying to break into PHP Programming, a blog may help you do so. If you are a seasoned PHP Programmer blogging may help you also. Blogging is one more thing you can show a prospective employer. It could lead to opportunities that you see as unattainable or even opportunities you had not considered. A blog will set you apart from your peers. And it could be good for the community. Yes we would like to hear your perspective, hear your opinions, and hear your ideas.
Types of Blogs
You can blog for one or more of the following reasons :
Inform – You may want to help people understand or you may want to influence them. Some bloggers share their knowledge and expertise. This is a great way to contribute to your community.
Business Leads – Blogging is a great way to create a way to generate business leads. Organic search is a great marketing plan for your business.
Become seen as an authority – As you write more and more and share your knowledge you will become an authority within your niche.
Influence – Blogging is a great way to influence. Taking your experience, your ideas, your vision, and rolling them into a blog is a great way to begin influencing your target audience.
Choose Your Niche
In the context of a PHP programmer your niche will more than likely be your area of expertise. If you are a WordPress plugin developer, that is your niche. If you are a Magento Developer, then Magento development is your niche.
Do your Keyword Research
This is where you start when starting a blog. Doing keyword research is very important when it comes to blogging. You will want to be sure to write about what people are searching for. We are taking about a blog that will further your carrier and I’ll bet you would like some organic traffic as well. When doing your keyword research you might find your niche that is inside your niche. Let me explain. Say you are a Drupal Developer. Drupal 8 comes out and you write reviews and try to influence the community. That is a niche within your Drupal Developer role. We cannot be everything to everybody, that is why we specialize and that is our niche.
Make a Plan And Follow Your Plan
Make a formal written plan. Then follow your plan. Do not allow yourself to become distracted. This does not mean you cannot modify your plan as you go, what it means is make a plan and work your plan.
Now that you have performed your keyword research and determined your niche, it is time to start working on your blog. WordPress is by far that most popular blogging platform, and is very easy to SEO. As you probably know WordPress is very mature, free, simple, and does not need a lot of server resources. WordPress is ideal for blogging.
VPS Hosting and Plesk for Your WordPress Blog
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. I am a fan of VPS that run Plesk for server administration. Great platform. One can manage the entire server from the Plesk control panel. Plesk provides for the management of your server as a mail server also. Great combination – VPS + Plesk.
11 Things You Can do to Improve Your Website SEO Ranking
In my article 11 Things You Can do to Improve Your Website SEO Ranking I share some advice from my experience. I reveal some of the secret sauce of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Learning the basics of how to SEO your blog will go a long way. You do not need to become a world class SEO, the whole point is to learn enough SEO so you get some decent traction within your chosen niche.
Backup Your Blog Daily
I like using Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 storage for my backups. AWS provides a well documented PHP Software Developer’s kit (SDK). Develop a AWS PHP SDK backup script and setup a cron job to run it daily. A Linux cron job is a way to schedule a task on the Linux server. Configure a cron to run your backup script on a daily basis and save your backups for at least 90 days. Don’t forget to test your backups regularly to ensure they are working as expected.
Backing up your blog is important. Consider this. Suppose you spend 10 to 15 hours setting up your blog and then over the course of a year you write 50 articles. If you spend 3 hours per article that comes out to 160 hours of work you have put into your blog. That is a man month. Protect your investment – backup daily.
You can probably start your blog on a weekend and write 4 basic articles or pages in that amount of time. Cool, that gets you started. Then you should write an article on a regular basis. I would recommend being consistent. Write an article or two every week. And do not forget to stay focused on your niche when doing so. Make a plan and work your plan.
Stay Away From Politics
Politics in the country is out of control. We are at the brink. Side step those political issues. Stay neutral. If you are going to write about something that could become politically charged, just report the facts and do so in a way that does not reflect any bias.
We covered a lot of ground. There is a lot to know and do to create a successful blog. I’ve given you the advice I would give myself. This advice comes for my years as a blogger and one who has had his successes and failures with SEO and blogging. We covered why you should blog, the benefits, how to Seo your blog and which blog hosting to use and many other aspects of blogging for the PHP Programmer.