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Seven Tips for Building a Breakout Tech Blog

Allen Hoffman

September 21, 2009

Blogging can seem like a quick and easy way to draw attention to yourself as a technology professional. You post your opinions on Web 2.0 trends, information architecture or whatever strikes your fancy, and pronto, you’ve got a worldwide audience.

If only it were that easy.

Blogging can be a savvy way to develop your street cred as a techie, but it takes a certain combination of audacity, persistence and writing ability. In particular, IT bloggers should avoid focusing solely on technical matters; successful blogs of any sort typically bring a degree of opinion and personality to the mix, whether the topic is political shenanigans or programming. “It’s definitely a balancing act,” says Jason Olson, who writes Managed World, a blog billed as “an odyssey through the land of geekdom.”

What’s more, you’ve got lots of competition. “Even in the technical world, there seems to be an overabundance of blogs,” Olson says.

To make your blog stand out, follow these tips:

Be an Authority

If you want to position your blog as a technical one, you need to decide on a focus, such as game development or open-source software, and bring a legitimate degree of credibility to it. “A blogger who focuses on Linux will be much more effective if he works full-time in a Linux environment, consults on Linux issues, etc.,” says David Teten, coauthor of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online, a book about blogs and other tools for building a virtual presence.

You don’t have to be a tech guru to be an authority. After all, even interns have authored popular blogs. Entry-level Web designers and unemployed coders can develop an audience if they write about their experiences with verve and authority.

Just make sure your employer doesn’t have objections. As The Virtual Handshake notes, you should consider the future career consequences of what you say in your blog.

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