How to start a developer blog: Ultimate Guide to Start Blogging Today

Hi there, so you want to build your authority as developer with blogging?

Great, so let me tell you how I got started. But first, let me show you my stats over 1.5+ years that this website, linguinecode.com, has been alive for. Numbers may change, for the good, from the time you’re reading this.

I started linguinecode.com back in March 2019. To be fair, I’m missing 2 months worth of data, but whatever.

linguinecode.com pulled 47,813 pageviews, and 42,634 sessions on Google Analytics. And I wrote about 63 articles.

Okay, let’s fast forward to 2020.

This year, the site has pulled 705,058 page views and 465,979 sessions so far.

That’s a whopping 1,374.65% increase in page views and a 993.01% increase in sessions!

The year isn’t over yet, and I’m projecting to hit over 725,000 pageviews with almost 500,000 sessions.

Here’s a breakdown of where my traffic is coming from.

95.3% is coming from organic search. Mostly from Google search.

Charts are fun, let’s look at the source of truth for my SEO traffic on the Google Search Console.

By the end of 2020, this site will hit 500,000 Googlers with 20 million impressions.

Okay, enough numbers. Now that I showed you what I’ve done, and what I will be achieving in the upcoming months.

I’m gonna share with you, how I would start from scratch again and get results at least 30% faster, then I did when I first started.

Disclaimer: the links below are affiliate links, which I may receive a small commission for at no cost to you if you purchase one of them with my link. Please know that I have experience with all of the companies below and recommend them because I’ve used them myself. I also really appreciate my readers using these links as they allow me to run this blog and provide free content to my readers.

1. Pick a niche, I mean a very specific niche

I’m gonna be straight up with you; you need to get very specific about who you want to target.

Don’t be afraid to get granular.

When I started, I was targeting React developers. I could go more niche, but I thought React was niche enough.

Programming > Front-end > JavaScript > React

When you start very specific, and tailor your content for a very specific audience, this makes easier for Google to understand who it needs to serve your content too.

Get specific!

2. Pick a domain name you like

Some people try to hack the domain SEO game, but it’s not worth the time.

Just pick something fun, and memorable.

I originally wanted to pick spaghetti-code.com but it was too complicated to type.

So I went with Linguine Code. I tried.

3. Select a great CMS & choose a GREAT hosting provider

As a developer, you may have the urge to create your own CMS. DON’T!

Don’t waste your time if you want to take this seriously. If you want to take this seriously, focus on what’s important, the content.

So, I highly recommend WordPress, here’s why:

The WYSIWYG editor.

It’s the Bentley’s of the WYSIWYG’s.

99% of the time I’m on the WYSIWYG editor. And WordPress makes the writing experience very nice and pleasurable.

If you would like to get a bit more insight on why I love WordPress, checkout this page, “Recommended CMS tools“.

3.1 CMS hosting

I cannot express enough, how important this hosting is. It’s one of those things that is really important but gets overlooked because hosting providers are not that cool.

You need a reliable, and performant hosting provider that will give you peace of mind while you’re sleeping.

I can’t express how much pain I went through talking to hosting companies that charge you a lot of money and don’t provide a good service or a good product.

Visit my recommended hosting services tools if you want an in depth. “Recommended hosting tools“.

If you want the answer now, here it is:

Go with Bluehost if you’re new and you’re aiming for LESS than 100,000 page views per month.

Go with WPX if you’re a serious about building a developer blog site that’s going to pull MORE than 100,000 pages views per month.

They’re both great services. The UI, performance, and customer support are both pheromonal. Where it differs is in pricing.

3.2 Go with a headless architecture

If you picked WordPress, you can have the CMS render your articles as well. Here’s where I would say YOU have the advantage, go with the headless theme.

Speed is important in SEO and also a great UX overall. Having less gunk to process in the background will give your users a happy and memorable experience.

linguinecode.com is using WordPress as the CMS platform, and the WordPress REST API for data fetching.

For the front-end, I’m using Next.js which uses Node.js and React to render the views.

Next.js has been a lifesaver because I can use React to develop my components, and it will remain SEO friendly since it uses server side rendering in the first load.

3.3 Avoid blogging platforms such as Medium.com or Dev.to

Those platforms are great because of their community. But there’s a tiny little catch.

You’re losing all the authority that you initially wanted in the first place. You’re given it to those types of blogging platforms.

When people read your content on those types of blogging platforms, the reader is remembering the great experience they had on those platforms and not yours.

Every URL created on the internet holds a level of value aka authority. The more URL’s you create and rank better on the internet the more cookie points it’s worth.

Don’t get bamboozled with the sexy model of community, free hosting, and other nonsense.

I had a similar experience where I would create duplicate content with a conanical URL on dev dot to, and they ranked #1 on SEO.

They even do this sneaky tactic where they grab their comments from that article and convert that to its own URL.

It was a painful process to transfer those rankings onto my site.

Any platform that owns your URL’s are not worth pursuing. Avoid at all cost.

4. Design

This part is crucial! Give your readers a great reading experience.

Design doesn’t haven’t to be complicated. It just has to simple and it must have a focus point.

But having a simple design as a developer is difficult to create. So I’m going to give you mine so you don’t have to think about it.

4.1 Create a focus point for your readers

The .main HTML element is where my content lives. In mobile, the content section uses the whole real estate of the screen.

As the browser screen width begins to increase I’m focusing the content in the middle of the screen and keep the content condense in a 700px div element.


.main {
  width: 100%;
  max-width: 700px;
  padding-left: 16px;
  padding-right: 16px;
  padding-bottom: 50px;
  margin: auto;
  box-sizing: border-box;
}

The last thing you want to do is read text from left to right on a 1300px width monitor.

Also check out the padding. I’ve added plenty of padding around the .main HTML element so it doesn’t mesh with other containers in the page like the sidebar on the right or the footer at the bottom.

A relatively small content container and plenty of spacing will give your readers a focus point on your content.

4.2 Create readable font with a great font-family

Sans serif fonts are what I believe to be the easiest on readers eyes.


font-family: 'Roboto',Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;

Avoid using cursive fonts that make it difficult for the reader to understand.

4.3 Add a lot of white-space and have big font sizes

Keep your font size large on both mobile and desktop view. Don’t be afraid of having a lot white-space such as line-height and margin between text.

Having a good amount of white-space makes it easy for the reader eyes to follow along with your content.

In fact, here’s my CSS code for the content in my articles.


.main img {
  max-width: 100%;
  height: auto;
  display: block;
  margin: auto;
}

.main h2,
.main h2 code {
  margin: 32px auto 0;
  font-size: 27px;
  line-height: 35px;
}

.main h3,
.main h3 code {
  margin: 38px auto 0px;
  font-size: 21px;
  line-height: 27.3px;
}

.main h4,
.main h4 code {
  margin: 56px auto 0px;
  font-size: 21px;
  line-height: 27px;
}

.main p {
  margin: 30px auto 0;
  font-size: 18px;
  line-height: 28px;
}

.main ol,
.main ul {
  margin: 29px auto 0px;
}

.main figure {
  margin-top: 30px;
}

.main figure div[class*=wp-block-embed__wrapper] {
  display: flex;
  justify-content: center;
}

4.4 Keep your article title large

Keep the title of your article large so readers can see clearly read what the article headline is.


.main h1 {
   font-size: 3rem;
   font-weight: 400;
   line-height: 1.04;
   letter-spacing: 0;
}

5. Google for unanswered questions and write an article for it

Now that you took care of the technical aspect of your blog. It’s time to write.

This is the portion that will start helping you drive traffic and build your authority in the internet.

The easiest way to get started, is to go to google.com, and start typing very long tail phrases related to your niche.

Let the auto suggestion feature guide you. It works wonders.

You can also try out the “People also ask” section.

Or the “Searches related to <query>” section.

To achieve the numbers I have or even surpass them, you must write. I highly recommend you to write about 60-80 articles as quickly as you can.

The more you write, the more keywords you rank for.

It doesn’t need perfect grammar. It just needs to solve the searchers problem, and make the content relatable to the reader.

If you can do that, you got them hooked.

I like to tweet about Blog and post helpful code snippets. Follow me there if you would like some too!