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Technical blog primer

Written by Venky Koneru · 11 Jul 2020 (Last edited on 12 Jul 2020) · 3 min read

While there are many resources available on the internet about how to start a blog (technology-related for this matter), most of those resources focus on one aspect at a time, or the content is scattered across various posts, making it difficult to follow.

I want to approach this from a different perspective, and hopefully, this would serve as a checklist for wanna-be technical blog enthusiasts.

Blogging Platform

Since this is about technical blogging, furthermore, you know how to code and would like to stay within the developer-centric ecosystem, You will have to look beyond the WordPress platform.

As a developer or technically equipped person, I am confident that you have experienced the potential of markdown syntax one or the other time. So, it is best to choose a platform that has tight integration with the markdown syntax. It is also effortless to lean this syntax even if you are not familiar with markdown.

Besides the editor, there are other things that we need to consider, such as theming support, comments plugins, tags, social media integration(e.g. click and share), etc.

💡 Hugo1 has excellent support for all the requirements mentioned above. Another popular option is also to go with Gatsby2. Since Gatsby has strong dependency over ReactJS, I went ahead with the Hugo as my preferred option.

Content Storage

You would want to store your content outside of the blogging platform. For this purpose, VCS systems such as git come in handy. You would then be able to set up continuous build and publishing right from the repository as soon as you push the new content.

💡 Github3 has generous support for private repositories.

Build Process

To minimise the effort, one should look into the build tools or plugins that have tight integration with the chosen VCS system. It would also be great to look for tools that automate deployments, domain management, SSL cert configuration, etc.

💡 With Netlify4, you can deploy and host a website for free, with a custom domain as usual. It also has excellent support for Hugo based blogs where it can automatically detect the platform and suggest the build commands itself during the configuration.

⚠️ While getting started and setting up a standard build and deployment is pretty easy with Netlify, It also has shortcomings. It can become complicated very quickly as soon as you want to achieve non-standard build and deployment pipelines.

Monetisation

As a blogger, you do not want the time spent on preparing those blog posts to be wasted. At some point in time, you would wonder. How to make income (even if it is small) out of blogging.

I suggest you start slowly and focus on the quality of the content and once you get traffic, then there are many ways to make income out of it. One way is to cross-post on medium.

With this information, I hope you would be able to stitch together all the pieces needed for a technical blog.


  1. Hugo - Hugo is one of the most popular open-source static site generators. With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo makes building websites fun again. [return]
  2. Gatsby - Gatsby is a free and open source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing fast websites and apps [return]
  3. Github - How developers work. Find tools that support every part of your workflow. Then work how you work best—we’ll follow your lead. [return]
  4. Netlify - The fastest way to build the fastest sites. [return]
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