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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Finding Blog Topics

I used to think that I would run out of things to write about, but a decade after starting to blog regularly, there’s no shortage of ideas.

If you’re starting out on a blog, however, it can seem like you’ll solve all your problems quickly and be left with nothing to write about. That’s not the case, and I’ll give you a few ideas on how to find things to write about.

Work

I assume you are solving problems, fixing things, writing code, etc. at work on a regular basis. Anything that you solve, any new situation that you work on can be a blog post.

Maybe you just learned how to recover your database to a point in time, or for the first time you setup replication. Take a few minutes  and jot down some notes and then write about what you did. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but you ought to be able to get a few paragraphs out of it. Pretend it’s a status report for your boss.

Or even make it one.

Twitter

Twitter can be a great source of inspiration. Or Facebook, LinkedIn, a user group, or any place where you can interact with peers. Twitter is nice in that you don’t have to know someone to follow them and see what they post. If you find someone in your field, watch what they post, and write your thoughts about it.

If you know the solution to their question, write what you know, say you saw this on Twitter and it reminded you of a time when you solved this with x and y.

If you don’t know, spend a little time researching something and write about what you learned.

In either case, you are showing off a little knowledge and that can be very attractive to a potential employer. You never know when someone needs a person to do the x and y that you wrote about in your blog.

Forums

One of the best ways for me to learn was to answer questions in discussion forums. It’s also great blog fodder. You can answer someone and then write about how you solved the problem, or you could even write the solution as a blog and post that as the answer.

In either case, it’s showing off some of your knowledge.

Be Consistent

I’m sure if you take a look at these areas you’ll find more things to write about than you expected. However don’t get crazy and publish a dozen blogs a day. First it’s not sustainable, and second, it looks like you’re blogging more than working. It’s a lack of balance.

Write when you can, but schedule posts out when you have more than enough for the current day.

Comments

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 15 February 2010

I am finding that the work and forum arenas are a great source of topics.  Problem is finding the time to actually pound out a good blog article based on those ideas.

Posted by Dugi on 16 February 2010

Thanks for the tips, agreed! I'm following something what you wrote here...anyway very nice & short tips to be more active in the blog....really sometimes, I don't have much time to write but I hope that scheduling posts will be the solution to find the time, at least one post blog in a week!

Posted by Steve Jones on 16 February 2010

Time is an issue. I'd suggest keeping notes, and then setting aside 15 minutes each week to write. It might take a couple weeks to get something done, but you'll at least have ideas when you have time.

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