Life is full of surprises. Certain actions may lead to a chain of events and you find yourself in a completely different state.
One of my biggest achievements in 2021 was to get accepted as an author at freeCodeCamp.
I have been writing articles on freeCodeCamp's community publication since September 2021 and have published 31 articles. I write mostly on Linux and occasionally on Python and Git. You can check out my author profile here.
I have always enjoyed writing. I used to casually write stories or simply journaled about how my day went. But I never made any of my writings public.
I had been working as an application support admin for a few years. I learned a lot of interesting things during my routine work, and I loved making notes for myself.
I started to share them with my colleagues too, and realized they actually found them useful. I also noticed that people usually run away from documentation. But the drawback is that you may forget things very easily if the tech is complicated and there is a lot going on.
How I Discovered freeCodeCamp
It was a routine day at work when I was scrolling through LinkedIn. I saw that one of my colleagues had recently completed the Responsive Design Course on freeCodeCamp and had shared his certificate there. I congratulated him.
At the same time, I got curious about what freeCodeCamp was. At that time, I was also looking to polish my development skills.
I searched for freeCodeCamp online and followed them on Twitter. I had recently started using Twitter for learning about tech. Over there I saw that people were writing articles which freeCodeCamp was regularly sharing.
I explored some of the author profiles and the popular topics. I had always thought that in order to write a blog online, you had to be famous and have a huge social following. I also believed that the topic should be very complex and should be written about by an expert with years and years of experience.
I got even more curious and approached Abbey on Twitter. I asked how I could join as an author. That was the turning point.
She sent me the publication guide, and I read it a couple of times. Then I decided to apply. There was a Google form with some questions. I shared some of my sample articles that I luckily had. At that time, I was writing as a guest author for a YouTuber's blog.
But...some time went by. I couldn't get a response.👀 To be honest, I was anxious.
I was eagerly waiting for an answer. Just before I was about to give up, I decided to check my spam folder. And there it was – the email that I had been waiting for!
Tips to Help You Get Accepted
If you are keen about writing and showing it to the world, you should definitely apply for freeCodeCamp's author program. Here are some tips to strengthen your application.
- Have three writing samples ready – and show your best samples. You can publish some of your sample articles on open publishing platforms like Hashnode and Dev.to to get practice writing technical tutorials before applying to freeCodeCamp.
- Don't think that you have to be an expert in every topic or you need to be a tech influencer to apply. Just make sure you do your research and present the information clearly with the primary goal of educating your readers.
- There is no harm in applying again with better samples if you didn't qualify the first time. Your application would still be reviewed – just email Abbey or message her on Twitter to give her a heads up.
Also, keep in mind that quality is always better than quantity. Here's a few additional tips related to that.
- Plagiarism is never acceptable. So don't think you can get away with it. 👮♂️ If you're not sure what constitutes plagiarism, read up on it before you apply. If you think some of your articles contain plagiarism, write some more that don't. It's better for you, and everyone.
- Be careful with using GPT. You can use it to assist you – help you create outlines, code samples (which you should test to make sure they work/run), and so on – and not to write the whole article for you. After all, your unique writing style is what makes you stand out. It's worth the extra time, plus you'll learn a whole lot more.
What Did I Get in Return as an Author?
The short answer is – meaningful connections!
The freeCodeCamp community is huge and powerful. I got many follows on my socials being on Twitter and LinkedIn (as freeCodeCamp shares many of the articles they publish on social media).
In the past 12 months, my articles have reached 1,904,450 people! I wasn't expecting to reach so many people when I was starting out.
I have also received appreciation from some of the kind readers. Some of my articles have also been featured in Quincy's weekly newsletter.
If you have something you would like to share with the developer community, I would highly suggest you start writing. Whether you publish on your own blog, an open publishing site, or you apply and are accepted to freeCodeCamp's publication – I believe you'll see the benefits. You will also meet many great people along the way. 🤗
BTW, I would be happy to connect with you on any of these platforms. 📧
Happy coding :D