As of right now, I publish one blog post every month. This blog post is the 12th blog post on my blog. This means that at the end of this month, I will have been blogging for a full year!
To celebrate, I’d like to address some questions some people may be curious about. Why do I blog? How do I come up with ideas for posts? These are questions that floated around in my mind for a while as I prepared to create this blog. In this post, I’d like to address some of the challenges I anticipated or faced while preparing this blog, as well as how I’ve managed to deal with them.
As a note before I begin, this blog was made as a hobby, not primarily as a source of income. This shouldn’t make much of a difference for most people, but bear in mind that this was the perspective I keep in mind as I write blog posts.
One major challenge I anticipated when conceptualizing my blog was writing. I find that at any given time, I’ll either be 1) really enthusiastic about writing or 2) unable to write, not because I’m not interested the topic or because I’m not sure what to write, but because writing can be boring! I didn’t want to start posting on the blog weekly only to end up missing a few weeks because I wasn’t writing enough. I’m a college student, so in addition to lack of motivation, I realized that I would be dealing with school assignments, deadlines, and all the normal stress of college, so I didn’t want to feel like my blog was yet another assignment to be completed and turned in. I also wanted to be able to give myself the leeway to write whenever I wanted and to take a break if need be. I did, however, want to have a regular schedule, so just skipping a few posts every so often wasn’t an option for me.
The solution I came up with was just not posting very often. I started by trying to post monthly. This gave me time to see if I enjoyed blogging and to work on a rhythm. It also gave me time to create a backlog so that I could stop writing for however long I needed without missing my deadline. Once I found that I was able to hit this goal easily, I decided to bump my schedule up to once every two weeks. After a month of trying that, I decided it was better to switch back to monthly posts so I wouldn’t be stressing about churning out blog posts and could instead post at my own leisure. I can still interrupt this schedule if something newsworthy that I want to write about comes up (like a deepfake being used in an international war), but I plan on posting monthly for the time being.
Another related concern I had was that if I spent too much time working on the blog’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization, or how high up my blog appears on Google and the like), I’d get burned out very quickly. Thus, I decided that, while I will make some SEO improvements to my site, that isn’t my purpose. My purpose is to write down my ideas and get them out into the world. It would be nice if I could get everyone to see them, but that would take time and effort that I currently do not have. Thus, I keep an eye on SEO, but I’m not focusing on optimizing my posts.
I also had to set some guidelines early on. Early on, as I mentioned earlier, I decided that I was blogging as my hobby, not as a way to try to get rich or famous. If people like my blog posts, great! If not, I’ll take feedback from others, but this is ultimately my blog, not anyone else’s. The Youtuber ProZD (who has almost 4 million subscribers at the time of writing) came out with a Youtube video that expresses nearly my exact sentiment on this matter. Feel free to check it out if you’re interested!
When I started my blog, I knew it would need a good name. I wanted a name that was unique and stood out, but which incorporated both tech and philosophy. My original goal when starting this blog was to write about both tech and philosophy (you can see how that went – I just find writing about computers much more fun than philosophy), so I needed to find a name which incorporated both of these. After coming up with a list of names, I eventually decided on The Codegito, a pun off of the philosophy term the cogito and the word code. I realized this would not be a good name to help my blog spread by word of mouth, the primary way it’d likely spread – after all, who’s going to try to tell their friend about that blog whose name they can’t even pronounce? Ultimately, however, I decided that I just wanted to start blogging, so I went with it. I figured it’d be easier to rebrand the blog in the future than it would be to create a large catalog of blog posts should I choose to become more serious about this in the future. I’m glad I did, too – if I had kept waiting for the perfect name, I’d still be waiting now!
Blog post ideas haven’t ever been much of an issue for me. I often find myself thinking about the tech news I hear about and ideas I come up with, so I just write down whatever I’m thinking and convert it into a post if I’m still interested in it later. At the time of writing this, I’ve got 90 ideas and 22 drafts ready to be worked on. Most of the ideas won’t end up going anywhere, but it’s still good to have them in case I want to expand on them later.
In addition, I sometimes find myself making long writeups in response to people on Discord, email, and other platforms. If I ever write something and I realize that it’s a topic I could write a blog post about (for example, explaining why I chose Protonmail), I’ll copy my message into my list of ideas (my WordPress drafts folder) so that I have something to start with if I chose to expand it into a post. This way, I don’t feel like I’m starting from scratch every time I write; I’ve already got a bit of a head start on the writing process.
Finally, I’ll find what I call “rantable” topics. Sometimes, I’ll find myself saying, “Don’t even get me started about…”. If I find something like this, while it may not be socially acceptable to rant in-person about it, I’ve found that writing out, organizing, researching, and building on a rant is a great place to start for a blog post (or a college essay)! The fact that I’m willing to rant about something shows that I’m already invested in the topic, so I just have to polish my rant to have a suitable blog post. That way, I don’t have to worry about my motivation for writing about that topic!
These were some of the problems I anticipated and have dealt with since starting my blog. If you have a blog or a project you’ve started and you have any advice for people starting their own projects, feel free to leave it in the comments down below! In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading more posts like this, feel free to subscribe to my blog and I’ll notify you about any future posts.