Bloggers are a different breed. They’re spending a lot of time investigating issues in a systematic way that is presentable to others. And then they share – mostly just for the fun of it and for the rewarding feeling sharing gives them. Whenever we google for a technical issue, chances are high that we stumble upon such a blog post.
When writing blog posts, most people are striving to create great content. Creating great content is very hard. Most often, content is niche content, irrelevant content, overlooked content, boring content, advertising content.
But every now and then, great content is created. Often by accident or by luck. How to recognise great content? By checking twitter. Thanks, jOOQ community for being there and sharing your humour and insights with the public. You’re making jOOQ what it is. Here’s some jOOQ community humour:
In general, I’m not a marketing guy, I prefer to develop code. But when I look at modern marketing tools that we developers have created for our marketing friends, I’m getting a bit jealous. Take this blog, for instance. It’s the perfect jOOQ marketing tool. Check out my 2013 visitor statistics:
Quite obviously, my February posts were given a lot more attention than my January posts even if I’m taking into account the average visitor that visits old posts, generating “background noise”. The reason is simple:
In February, I blogged mostly about controversial Java topics. Before, the topics were more technical and SQL-related (and thus objective and boring). Java blogs get more traction than SQL blogs.
My two blogging partners DZone and JCG tend to reblog Java posts more than SQL posts
Aha. So I should write more Java blog posts in order to get even more traffic. But I don’t just want traffic, I want “relevant” traffic.
How to generate “relevant” traffic
“Relevant” traffic for jOOQ is traffic that will generate “conversions”, e.g. people that may not know jOOQ before hitting this blog, checking out jOOQ and downloading it, because they read my articles. That’s an obvious case for “relevant” traffic.
But I also want to get people on my blog / website, because they are already (or not yet) using jOOQ and because they’re looking for something specific, like a jOOQ feature that they’re missing. Only few people will actually take the time to write up a nice, understandable e-mail with a well-explained use-case to issue a feature request on the jOOQ user group. They’re more likely to give up after a couple of google searches. Hence, it is important to take notice of those searches and to be sure that they will end up on my blog / website, not on some arbitrary google search result or on Stack Overflow (which is good, but which I cannot analyse). Here are some interesting search strings that have lead to “hidden” feature requests or blog posts in the past:
Search strings leading to blog posts
These search strings indicated that there are grounds for generating more relevant traffic on the blog:
martin fowler jooq: Yes, I’ve asked him too. Neither he himself, nor his company ThoughtWorks responded to my inquiries so far. I should really get on their tech radar…
The above examples show that I should probably write a post that shows the main disadvantages of LINQ (heavily reduced expressivity) compared to using SQL directly (very expressive, feature-rich language). In a way, LINQ and JPQL both attempt to cripple / standardise SQL by removing most of SQL’s features. Unsurprisingly, one of the most popular articles on this blog is this one here:
The above examples show that a library that is “true to SQL” in a way that it does not try to hide SQL’s syntax complexity hits the spot with many users.
These search strings help adding even more value to jOOQ. They are the “hidden feature requests” of jOOQ’s users. Tool vendors, use this knowledge and blog about your experience, products, thoughts, ideas. Give away free information that is interesting to a broad audience. It will pay back when you analyse your incoming traffic and the google search strings that people used to find your relevant blog (granted that your blog is somewhat relevant)!
This blog is picking up momentum and thus, relevance. With jOOQ, I have come a long way, working with Java, JDBC, and SQL. I have solved many problems that are worth discussion, and I know quite a few things about various RDBMS, and how they compare with each other. Some examples:
What are YOU interested in? Maybe there’s a topic in jOOQ, that is worth explaining from a jOOQ-independent point of view. Some aspect of JDBC, stored procedures, user defined types, etc. Feel free to comment on this post with suggestions