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How blogging helped me land a part time job in tech?

How blogging helped me land a part time job in tech?

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ashish
·Sep 9, 2022·

8 min read

Introduction

Blogging is no doubt one of the major ways of sharing knowledge, experience, and resources with the world. The tech community is also using and has been using blogging a lot to share things related to tech - be it a tutorial on a new JavaScript framework, a list of resources a developer can use, technical reviews of products, and even experiences of people who are related to tech like the current one you’re reading.

This blog is basically about how I decided to start blogging, why did I decide to start blogging, and finally how was I able to land a part time technical writing job with a very decent pay @Scrimba.

The Idea

Let’s go one year back in time and start from right there, I was a 18 year old student who had been programming since the last one year and then got interested in web development. I started learning about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and then eventually about JavaScript frameworks. By the end of the year, I was somewhat of a frontend dev myself and I continued to learn more about new frameworks and tech related to web from blogs and videos.

But, while reading the blogs, I found that most of the those blogs could have been written by even me as I had enough knowledge about the tech related to it - enough to teach someone about it. Since high-school had ended, I had a lot of free time apart from just coding, thus I decided to start blogging.

Implementing the Idea

Blogging nowadays has been made a lot lot lot more easier than it used to be earlier. There are a lot of apps which let you create a blogging account where you can post your blogs and you get free SEO and views as it’s more of a community rather than being just an app where lakhs of people browse through the blogs posted on the app. If I were to name a few of them they would be HashNode, Dev.to, SubStack and even Medium. For me, I used to use Dev.to and HashNode myself for reading blogs and was aware of the SEO and reach they provided as I had seen a lot of Dev.to and HashNode blogs pop up on my google feed!

I decided to start with Dev.to. I wrote my very first technical blog on April 11th, 2022 which was about a web app which lets you copy paste pre built box shadows for CSS. I wrote a concise post about it but sadly it didn’t get much attention from the community which made me doubt whether I was doing it correctly. I took a break, read more blogs and found out that blogs that tend to be more engaging tend to get more attention from the community. Following that I wrote one more blog (not a blog but kind of a discussion) about which JavaScript frameworks others were using, and to my surprise it got more attention and quite a few people also commented talking about their frameworks. I wrote 4 more discussion related blogs in May 2022 and my blog engagement kept increasing until one of the blogs blew up with more than 16k views as of now with 374 reactions and 188 comments on Dev.to!

devstats

Till June 2022, I kept on writing more blogs covering different topics like list of resources for developers, some tutorials, and blogs about new tech like JavaScript frameworks. Since then, my engagement on articles has been steadily increasing and currently I have almost 800 followers on Dev.to which took me just 3 months to achieve!

How Blogging helped me

The first and the most important thing that I gained from blogging was more knowledge and the ability to do research on tech. Sometimes I would just sit and learn about something till I was confident enough to write about it in my blogs which eventually made me a better developer and a better writer. It was like hitting two birds with the same arrow.

The second thing that I learnt from blogging was optimism and taking criticism in a good way. It doesn’t matter how many followers I have as I’m still very new to content writing. So, often I would end up writing things that were inappropriate which would end up with others pointing them out which is obviously a good thing but some of them used to be too harsh or rude. At first, it used to make me sad but then eventually I learnt how to take those comments as feedbacks rather than taking them as insults and working on those “feedbacks” improved my writing a lot.

The third thing that I got by blogging was exposure in the tech community. A lot of my blogs were actually featured on some newsletters and posted on twitter which ended up with me getting to know a lot of like minded people. Though I’m not known enough on twitter as I don’t post regularly there.

The last but not the least thing that I gained by blogging regularly is getting a part time technical writing job. I’ll write about it in the next section as it’s going to be a bit longer.

Getting a part time job

By July 2022, I was somewhat confident in what I was writing after working on my articles based on the feedbacks. Soon, I learnt that technical writing can be monetized and can be turned into a paid opportunity. Being a student, it sometimes gets difficult for me to afford things I need, to continue working on things I love to as I don’t want to burden my parents with that. Thus I decided to monetize my articles.

Now I had two ways of monetizing them, first - find sponsors for my blog and write a bit about them in my blogs to get paid and the second - apply for a part time technical writing position. To be honest, the first one is more difficult as I’m still not famous enough to get good sponsors, so I decided to go with the second one.

The first technical writing job I applied for was from Kinsta and it was posted on Dev.to job listings so finding it wasn’t that hard. I mailed them about my Dev.to profile and samples of my writing and my tech stack. Surprisingly enough, I got accepted as a freelance writer for them with a decent pay per article for a beginner. My first article for Kinsta is still under review and would be posted soon hopefully. Then, around July end, Scrimba posted an announcement that they want freelance writers to write for them. I was very excited to apply for it as the benefits and payout were just amazing. I filled out the application form with my writing samples, article suggestions , GitHub profile, and my experience. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get this job as there were a lot of people applying for it.

But but but - I made it! I received a mail about their interest in my writings and that they wanted to work with me! I was overwhelmed and got on board in just a few days and started writing my first article - Create a new React app with Vite. It got posted on Scrimba and my Dev.to and HashNode profiles few days back and has been getting a lot of engagement and attention from the tech community. It even got featured on some newsletters and got a lot of twitter shout-outs.

What it took to get the job

As easy as getting a part time job in tech may sound in this blog, I would only say - “it’s not and it’s definitely not.”. Nothing can be achieved without you trying hard and working hard to achieve it. First of all, getting a paid opportunity is never all about getting paid, as a beginner your first priority should be getting the experience of working professionally, don't hesitate to take voluntary jobs as long as they help you gain something which would help you later with a paid opportunity.

Apart from thus there are a few things which are a must if you're trying to find a job in tech -

  1. Know your stack - It doesn't matter what tech stack you use, make sure you are comfortable with each of them, comfortable enough to teach someone the basics of it.
  2. Apply your knowledge - As long as you don't actually build something, there's literally no way for others to know that you're actually good with it. Make projects and showcase them.
  3. GitHub is important - This is something which to be honest is not focused on much by beginners. But GitHub has played the most important role in helping me get a job. Not only does GitHub provide you a way to keep track of your projects, its the very proof that you actually know your tech stack.

These are the most important tips you should actually work on if you're serious about getting a job in tech. There are a few more which are quite important as well like having a resume or a LinkedIn account but in my case these were not needed at any stage of getting work as my GitHub account is the ultimate proof of my experience and tech stack.

Nevertheless, the most important part is to believe in yourself and what you are doing. Make long term goals and believe that you can achieve them. Short term goals always tend to be not completed due to things like procrastination and burn outs.

The Verdict

The one single thing that played the most important role in me landing a job for me was of course the fact that I decided to start blogging. Back then, if I hadn’t started blogging, I don’t think I would have known the tech related to web development so fast and gain all this work experience. I’m not saying that blogging is what you should do too to land a job, content writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. But there are a lot of other things which you can work on to get a job in tech. Just make sure you give your best in that.

I tried to keep the blog as concise and to the point as possible and I hope it would be helpful for people looking to get a job in tech. Thanks f

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