1 Year Blogging an Unexpected lessons I’ve learned

title image for 1 year blog celebration

Hello princesses and princes, Leo here. This will be a 1 Year Blogging celebration post.

I want to cheer all the readers that have been reading so far, and I’m excited for the new journey ahead. This post is not to be only me blabbing around wishful words, I’ll add some code just for fun.

The painting I chose is The King Drinks, it’s a painting from 1640 by Jacob Jordaens. He was a Flemish painter, draughtsman, and tapestry designer known for his history paintings, genre scenes, and portraits. The painting is about celebration because we’re celebrating **ONE YEAR BLOGGING**!

Let’s go. But first…

 

A little bit of code, the Zip function

Imagine that you have two lists and you have to iterate over each of the elements only until reach the end of the smallest one.

You can solve this using the zip function.

let numberList = [1,2,3,4,5,6,7]
let nameList = ["Leo","Ana","Ragna","Elon","Eric"]

let zippedLists = zip(numberList, nameList)

for (number,name) in zippedLists {
    print("\(number) - [\(name)]")
}

The zip function is useful when you need to deal with two lists and they have different sizes. But you only have to match items until the smaller one ends. So like the example above, even if one of the lists is bigger, the zip function still works like a charm. The result is:

1 Year Blogging - zip function example the result of using it in Swift

Now, let’s move to the unexpected lessons.

 

First things first – 1 Year of Blogging

I started the blog because I was in a career transition. My background is more or less 6 years of Java development and after that, I spent 2 years working as “Scrum Master/ Service Delivery Manager” and it was great. I met wonderful people along the way. One day when I was an Agilist for a bank, I was doing my sheets and reports, and one of my teammates, in the case an iOS developer, inquired me if I already had knowledge about Swift. I said No and he advised me to try it out and see what happens. You guys already know what happened. Swift is the most modern syntax and easy-to-write and reason language that I’ve worked with in my life, it was love at first sight. So I started studying iOS development and never stopped.

Now the reason I made a blog it’s because as I had zero experience in the iOS development field, I needed something to show two things: I’m learning as fast as I can and I have something to show. Now you will ask me: Why not a GitHub repo with a sample project? And you are right, I had it too. So my strategy was to build demo projects on GitHub and have a blog, those two together should be enough to get me into the phone interview where I could show my newly acquired skills. And I was right!

After I got the job as an iOS Developer I had a decision to make: Continue or Stop blog posting. The GitHub side projects were great but it doesn’t really align with the actual career path that I want to take.

Even working hard in my current job, every week I dedicated some hours to studying and writing about something I’ve learned or wanted to learn.

This post will be about the unexpected lessons learned about blogging, not the usual “I could consistently learn for one year straight” or “it’s so amazing sharing knowledge with others and having feedback”. Those lessons basically default for everyone who writes so nothing new here. This will be about the other side of things.

 

Unexpected Lesson 1 – Blogging is hard

Yes, it is.

I have a very strict timeframe to blog, I try to post once a week. And I can’t spend more than 3 hours to make a complete post because I don’t want to be occupied with this for such a long time. I like to write but I have others responsibilities too, I have a wife and a house to take care of. And as I’m not paid to do this, it’s just for the community matters.

Finding an interesting topic to write about isn’t difficult, the difficulty is to write a post within the time constraint I give above. I would love to write others posts like this: the biggest article I’ve ever written and it’s about frameworks. It has more than 2500 words and it took me two weeks to write. The beauty of it was the fact that I learned so much in the process that now I see the Xcode differently. Now I know why there are at least two blue top symbols on every cocoa pods workspace project.

The hard part is having the discipline to week after week continues blogging. In my case, I don’t blog in my mother language, so this put an extra layer of effort into it and an extra layer of gain too. Every week I have the chance to practice my English skills that I surely will use in the future.

 

Unexpected Lesson 2 – The importance of someone seeing your work

Now I’ll show some blog numbers:

1 Year Blogging - numbers in graphs image

The image above shows the exact moment that the legendary iOS dev weekly newsletter showed one of my posts.

My average number of users jump from 15~19 to amazing 250~400 users weekly, you can see the graph below:

1 Year Blogging average users image

I couldn’t see that coming. It’s not the aim of this blog to be famous or relevant in the community, it will always be for my learning and sharing knowledge with the world. Anyway, it’s amazing how someone with influence can drag you up to the stars, isn’t it? I’m thankful for @daveverwer that choosing one of my posts for its most legendary iOS weekly newsletters and if you are curious about how much this influenced the only post metrics… Look at the picture below:

1 Year Blogging blog user numbers image example

 

And I definitely don’t know why the framework post was so viewed. Google Analytics don’t say it exactly but apparently someone in the Hacker News shared it there. I’ll have to live with the ignorance.

And these are my total numbers:

summary of all numbers of 1 Year Blogging users image example

 

Unexpected Lesson 3 – The pleasant environment

Coding for iOS is, until now, the most delightful experience so far. Views are easy to make, and Swift is easy to learn. There is a functional programming paradigm (not fully functional but casual to intermediate functional). Setting up a project is very straightforward, depending on how you create a version of the project, you just need to clone and run the app on the local branch. 1 year blogging is more than enough time to get into the community and get a good grasp on it.

The community IS AMAZING and I don’t know how to emphasize more than that. When I got the iOS developer job I wrote a tweet thanking Paul Hudson, Sean Allen and John Sundell. And all of them congratulate me on that. It was very nice, they are mythical in the community and still, they look into the newbies to cheer them up.

my tweet for the legends of iOS community image

There is always a niche that you can explore in iOS. You can go full-on with Functional Programming, or play with databases like Core Data and Realm. You can basically work for Industrial Light & Magic doing amazing animations in your apps. Or can deep dive into the language specifics trying to extract the most optimized code and so on.

 

Unexpected Lesson 3 – How to buy a domain and monetize the blog

Well, if I’m having a little public here enjoying the writings, maybe I could monetize this content and make some money. TL;DR I made precisely zero dollars with this blog until now. Yeah, maybe recommending books isn’t the best way to monetize a blog like mine but… I don’t have many options. I will set up some “buy me a coffee ” though (edit: I won a coffee from the Hashnode competition so I sign up for them). Google Ads should be the best alternative but I can’t put their ads here so… Who knows?

And after one year I bought this domain Holy Swift to be my new home. It was important because now I feel more connected to this project as it has its own name. I learned how to set up the DNS and other custom things.

Summary – 1 Year Blogging

 

That’s all my people, I hope you liked as I enjoyed write this article. If you want to support this blog you can [Buy Me a Coffee](https://www.buymeacoffee.com/holyswift) or just leave a comment saying *hello*. You can also **sponsor** posts and I’m open to `writing freelancing`! Just reach me in [LinkedIn](https://www.linkedin.com/in/leonardo-maia-pugliese/) or [Twitter](https://twitter.com/Leo_Pugliese) for details.

Thanks for the reading and… That’s all folks.

credit: [image](https://br.pinterest.com/pin/431712314257433686/)

Summary – 1 Year Blogging

I’m very happy with the state of my iOS Blog and I hope you are enjoying this journey too.

Thanks for all the 9k readers so far.

That’s all my people, I hope you liked reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you want to support this blog you can Buy Me a Coffee or leave a comment saying hello. You can also sponsor posts and I’m open to freelance writing! You can reach me on LinkedIn or Twitter and send me an e-mail through the contact page.

Thanks for reading and… That’s all folks.

Credits: image

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