300th Blog Post!
Hitting the 300th blog post milestone isn't something I could have ever imagined. But here we are. This seems like an ideal opportunity to look back and reflect on how it all started and my journey...
Where It Started
The year is 2007. A 22-year-old junior web developer called Surinder decided he wanted to create a blog to primarily serve as a knowledge base of all the things he learned in his career so far. Originally, built in BlogEngine - a nice open-source and lightweight .NET-based blogging platform, he made his foray into the blogging world.
The very first post published involved a SQL matter that (at the time) he thought was very complex in nature - Implement SCOPE_IDENTITY() in Data Access Layer. It was this very post that started it all and as they say: The rest is history...
As strange as it may sound, at the very start, my blog was a secret that I hid from my peers. Being a junior developer, I found myself lacking confidence in the very industry I was working in. What right do I have to start a blog and share any technical knowledge when those who I worked with are more experienced than me?
After three years when I felt more confident in the type of posts my blog contained, I decided to allow search engines to index my content. It was also during this time I moved on job-wise and used my website to give my prospective employer an insight into my capability. It must have worked - I got the job!
In the early years, my blog had a bit of an identity crisis when it came to its domain name. It started with computing-studio.com, to surinder.computing-studio.com, then isurinder.com and lastly to what it will forever be immortalised as - surinderbhomra.com. The change in the domain name was a result of not wanting there to be an expectation that I will solely be writing about technical-related content and wanted the website to focus more on me as an individual.
Finding My Writing Groove
Throughout my time blogging, I've fallen in and out of love of writing and at times hit writer's block. As a consequence, there have at times been gaps in consistently outputting content. I think this is primarily due to taking a very long time to find my feet and finding a voice.
I can honestly say that it's over the last few years I've finally found my writing groove and figured out the type of content I want to push out. Not only do I enjoy writing about all things technical, but also started garnering a fascination with writing more personal pieces where I’m not bound by any specific subject.
Writing Is Both A Passion and A Healer
The driving force after publishing my latest posts is the excitement of thinking about what to write next. This mentality has worked great for me as I know my next post will help me grow whatever the subject is in my next writing endeavour. I no longer feel like writing is a discipline, it's a passion.
There is something cathartic in pounding the keys of my keyboard to output something that was once a small thought in my head to something of substance. I also found that writing acts as a coping mechanism during times of negativity and stress.
I do cringe looking back at some of my earlier posts. As much as I'd like to delete these posts, I leave them as they are to act as an anchor to ground me and as a reminder of how far I've come. Through the thirty pages of posts, I can see how I've changed throughout the years and grown as a person.
In the very beginning writing was a way to make my mark in the world and if I could get some form of monetary gain or high readership for a post, I'd class that as a win. Now that I've matured this has is no longer of relevance.
My strategy now is to make my content accessible to a wider audience by syndicating posts to other platforms. Syndication takes your content to more readers and helps boost organic and referral traffic back to your website. At the moment, I syndicate my content based on the subject matter:
- Medium.com - Creative writing and random thoughts
- Hashnode.com - Technical
- Dev.to - Technical
What I've learnt is that it's all about serving the right content to the right users.
Even now after 15 years of writing, I still suffer from the occasional bout of imposter syndrome where I perceive my skill set as lower than my actual skill set. There will always be someone capable of doing things better and I have to remember this shouldn't be a negative takeaway. Surrounding yourself with such people is an opportunity to learn more and become better at what I do. There have been posts where I received some good constructive criticisms that helped me approach things differently.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Blogging is a marathon, not a race. I've written 300 posts over 15 years, equating to 15 posts per year. If my writing groove continues on its current trajectory, this will only increase as long as I feel I have quality content to publish.
I've noticed there are many posts stored within Evernote that don't make the cut - and this is good thing. Not every thought or idea is worth publishing.
I hope I can continue to output content in the years to come and with any luck, I look forward to writing a post marking the next 300th blog post.