The blog had been languishing in neglect for a long time. An update every couple of months, completely random and with no real direction or purpose. Since they're a company that's all about blogging I guess it didn't look good to have a dead blog on their domain ...
Now, I'd never blogged professionally and the whole prospect seemed a bit scary at first. It's one thing to arse about on your own blog and something completely different to ask for money and then be at a loss for words.
The arrangement is pretty simple: Zemanta provides cool stories - I write two posts a month and whore them out on appropriate social networks.
Two posts so far and everything went better than expected!
The first got about four thousand pageviews to a blog that was previously getting ten people a day. The second post got about 15,000! Smashing success! And I actually think the score could be a lot higher had their server not melted.
It wasn't easy though, each of those posts took four to five hours of research and writing - and that's not even counting the work it took to build my writing to where it doesn't smack people in the face and make them leave (too much)
But the research is most fun!
I get free range to pick developer's brains, pretend I understand what the hell they're talking about, then spend hours getting up to speed online and in the end dump that research into a story. And it does have to be a story!
Nobody wants to read a dry technology report ... well, some do, but they aren't deterred by a good story ... And there's just enough Thompson in my blogging that I keep referring to Zemanta in the third person on their own blog; which looks a bit weird.
Honestly, it just makes me giggle like a school girl that anyone would pay me to write blogs. It's marvelous!
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
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