Top 4 benefits of writing a tech comm blog

Kai’s Tech Writing Blog was one year old last week! It’s been good to me, and the work it takes pays off in several benefits.

If you don’t keep a blog, my benefits below may help you decide whether you want to start one. And if you do have a blog, we can compare notes! 🙂

1. Improve ideas

My blog helps me to come to terms with trends and developments and to test drive new ideas. I usually try to have them thought through well enough, so I can publish something coherent and don’t just think out loud.

2. Connect with the community

My blog’s most important benefit is that I get to meet other tech writers who may have similar concerns, different solutions or interesting insights, whether they appear in posts on other blogs (see my blog roll on the right), in comments beneath my posts or on twitter. I get advice and can learn from smart and experienced people. And I can give back to the community when I can offer my experiences.

3. Picture progress

My blog lets me track my progress as a tech writer, much more so than weekly reports in my company. After several years, I don’t become a better tech writer by completing yet another manual, but rather by mastering a new method or by consolidating experiences into applicable insights. Such advances aren’t always immediately visible in a time sheet. In other words: My blog helps me to report on my development in a more personal, less corporate framework. Oh, and it’s nice to see the tag cloud changing (see Categories to the left)…

4. Write regularly

My blog has been habit-forming. From the start, one year ago, I decided to stick to a regular publication schedule with one or two posts per week. I still find that works best for me.

Writing 400 to 800 words per week, which usually don’t directly relate to my work at the office, has been a very good exercise. It encourages me to keep my eyes open for trends (even though I may take some time to pick them up). And it helps me to express myself clearly in less structured writing than my topics and manuals usually require.

– So that’s what motivates me to write one or two posts a week…

Your turn

If you keep a blog, what do you get out of it? If you’ve wondered about starting one, do you find these benefits reasonable or attractive? Please leave a comment.