This article was originally published on Towards Data Science on October 19th, 2019.
It’s not a secret that blogging, and content creation in general, can be beneficial to your professional career. In today’s post, I want to share with you what changed after I started blogging, and why I won’t look back in the near future.
Even though this is just my opinion, I can’t say that the points will differ much from person to person — as those are just some general benefits of having a blog.
I’m eager to hear what you think, so feel free to share your thoughts and opinions down below. Without further ado, let’s get straight to the point.
1. You’ll learn more quickly
Some data science topics can be tough to understand. When you surround yourself with a couple of learning resources and give a couple of days to go through the materials, you’ll form some basic understanding. If it’s a coding-related topic it’s needless to say that you should be writing code alongside reading theoretical resources.
What happens then is that you jump to the next topic of interest, and over time completely forgetting what you’ve learned on the first one. That’s a bummer. Luckily for you, blogging is a good way to address this issue.
The idea is that you give yourself a couple of days for everything to sink in properly. Then, grab a piece of paper (or laptop if you prefer), and try to explain that topic in a non-technical way. Some times it won’t be completely possible, but try to avoid confusing ‘big words’.
Ask yourself the following question: How would I like this topic to be explained to me if a had no idea about it?
That has two straight benefits:
- You’re helping your community (this will be addressed in the second part of the article).
- You’re giving yourself one more chance to recap the topic.
Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein:
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
That’s why you should avoid big technical words when writing blogging. It’s easy to pack your article with technical jargon even you don’t understand. It’s tempting, you think you’ll look smart, but your reader will most likely immediately close his internet browser.
2. Great reputation builder
Do you know what will happen immediately after you send your CV to some company?
They’ll google you.
Make sure that something worthy comes up before a photo of you lying unconscious in the park, as a result of Friday night gone wrong. Okay, maybe I’m overreacting a bit here, but you get the point.
When you’re blogging you’re immediately more valuable than the person with the same knowledge that doesn’t blog. You have added value. The other person doesn’t. Just be cautious when making a bold statement that one technology or one approach is better than the other. It can be a double-edged sword.
Even if you’re not interesting in a full-time job, blogging can help you land more freelance clients. It’s always a win situation, except in those rare cases when you write about something you know nothing about.
3. Money on the side
This is a biggie. I won’t share with you exactly how much money I earn blogging, because the information won’t be relevant to you. It depends on where you live. You’ll earn in American Dollars, the question is in which currency you’ll spend?
If you are living in the US, the earnings might cover a month of rent, if living elsewhere it might be a couple of months of rent. Or a new laptop — you decide!
And the most amazing thing isn’t the fact that someone is willing to pay for your opinion — the most amazing thing is that in a way, you are paid to learn stuff you’re interested in. How can you say no to that?
Before you leave
My opinion is that you should start blogging today. Even if you’re not good at it, there’s no better place to learn than to jump right in. If after some time you decide that it isn’t for you, never mind, at least you gave it a try.
If 10 readers of this article start blogging, I am absolutely sure that at least 7 or 8 will keep doing it after a couple of months pass by.
In case you’re worried about how much time it will take, I would say around 5–7 hours per week for 3 good quality blog posts. Learning time is not included here — you’ll be learning stuff irrelevant of do you blog or not, right?
Give yourself a few days to consider what you’ve read here and to let everything sink in. Then make a decision — I believe you’ll make the right one.