Jonathan Boccara's blog

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Write on Fluent C++

Know something about writing good code, that other developers could benefit from? Want to put your ideas in front of a lot of motivated programmers? Fluent C++ may be the right place for your writing.

Here is how to submit your post as well as a few guidelines for a writing a good guest post.

guest posting Fluent C++

TL;DR How to submit your guest post

When you have written your draft, or at least a headline and a draft structure, you can send it over for approval.

Once your post gets approved, I or another reviewer will add suggestions for proofreading your piece, and we’ll go through a couple of rounds of edits. Then we agree on a launch date, and off it goes to the world!

What guest posting is about

You know things that no one else but you knows.

Your experience as a software developer, the material you’ve exposed yourself to, your reflection over things… all this constitutes a unique combination in the world, that makes you you.

The concept of guest posting consists in writing an article for Fluent C++, to use it as a medium to communicate your knowledge, ideas and techniques to other software developers.

The theme of Fluent C++ is “expressive code in C++”. Our regular readers come back because they expect to read stuff on that theme, so your post will have more chances of success if it follows it! This includes a pretty large variety of topics such as:

  • Writing expressive code: this is about designing code so that it shows the intent of the person who wrote it. This ranges from nitty gritty details of a line of code all the way up to architecturing a codebase so that its structure is easy to grasp. Your advice can be general and independent from a language, but has to apply to C++ developers. If you have to pick a language for code examples, please use C++.
  • Using C++ to write expressive code: in this topic, you show how using a specific feature of C++ or its standard library can help writing clearer code.
  • Coping with non-expressive code: all the code out there is not always expressive, and software developers have to deal with it. This includes at least two sub-topics:
    • How to change existing code to make it more expressive,
    • How to keep your sprits up when you have to deal with non-expressive code.

These are examples of topics. You can also find inspiration by having a look at the posts already published on Fluent C++. And if you’re thinking of another idea that you think would match the “Expressive code in C++” tagline, that’s great and you can submit it too.

The benefits of writing a guest post

The benefits of writing a guest post are twofold: it lets you structure your thinking, and it lets you reach a number of software developers.

Writing an article gives you an opportunity to sit down and go through what you know about a specific topic. Doing this allows to put some order into it by giving it a structure, and also make you ask questions to yourself and do a little bit of research to answer them. As a result, you get more in depth into the topic you’re writing about.

This ties up with the concept of learning by teaching: the simple fact of explaining something goes a long way to learning it yourself.

There are plenty of places to write, so why Fluent C++?

Fluent C++ has a growing readership (48,000 monthly visitors at the moment), and is consistent in its content delivery: a post every Tuesday and Friday about expressive code in C++. This audience is therefore built around one interest: writing good code, in particular in C++. If you publish an article on this theme here, you’ll reach a fair amount of people that care about this.

This can be of use to you if you’re starting your own blog for instance (but not only, see below). Guest posting is a widespread technique to get exposure and bring readers over to your site (your bio sits at the beginning of the article). When I started Fluent C++, I did some guest posting on several blogs that were more famous (for instance Ranges: the Future of the STL on Arne Mertz’s blog, or The right attitude to deal with legacy code on John Sonmez’s). And it did bring people over.

The bio section in your guest post allows you to describe what you do in a few sentences, and to include links to direct traffic to your site, project, company, open-source project, social media profile, whatever you want attention on, plus it gives you a backlink pointing towards it. Note that the self-promotion is limited to the bio section though, as the body of a guest post itself is not about promoting a product.

Even if you don’t have a blog or specific project, guest posting makes sense if you just have ideas to get out there, but don’t want to get into the hassle of starting and running a blog. Benefiting from the infrastructure of an existing blog is common practice in our industry.

How to write a guest post in practice

A good article has a unit: you need to focus on one concept, that your post revolves around. Even if this concept can have several aspects, the different parts of your article must contribute to a whole.

Once you have decided the topic of your post, you can draft a headline. Even if it’s not definitive, it’s a basis for discussion. You don’t have to write out the post in its entirety to submit it for guest posting, but you must have an idea of its topic and rough structure.

When you have at least a headline and structure (and a first draft if you want), it’s time to send over your concept. I’ll get back to you shortly to let you know if this is a fit for Fluent C++.

If it is, you share your draft with me on a Google doc in Edit mode. This will let me or another reviewer add suggestions for proofreading your piece, and we’ll go through a couple of rounds of edits. Then we agree on a launch date, and off it goes to the world!

I’m available for any question or advice you’d like to ask about writing a technical article. Hope I’ll be reading your awesome writing soon!