Friday, August 29, 2008

How To Become A Security Blogger?

I know, I know. Some might say that it is a silly question since you rarely seek to become a blogger - you just become one.

However, I got a few emails from my readers asking me something along these line, thus this post. For example, I got asked "Should I focus more on targeting security professionals or general IT users?", "Any pitfalls I should be aware of?" as well as general questions about how to start, what content is best, etc all the way to "How did I profit from my blog?"

Q: Who should I blog to?

A: Blog to colleagues first i.e. infosecurity pros. Blogging to IT or general public is - in some sense - harder or - gasp! - will turn you into a journalist (someone who knows nothing about everything BUT writes about it as an "expert" :-)) Maybe you can broaden it later. Even better, write for YOU (!)

Q: What area of security I should focus my blogging on?

A: Focus on the area of security that you like the most or know them most: IDS? Patching? PIX administration? Linux? AD esoterica? Logs, maybe? :-) Then broaden if you feel like it or as you learn new areas

Q: Any advice on site design, themes, etc?

A: Site design, themes, etc will all come later; just pick something basic and FOCUS on content, not on SEO, design, etc. MUST have RSS feed; make it highly visible (HTML is out, RSS is IN :-))

Q: Any security blogging pitfalls that I should avoid? Any other tips?


  • Don't stick to only long, deep posts? Unbelievably, people often prefer shorter posts or a mix of short/shallow and longer/deep posts (that came as a shock to me early on!)
  • Tips on how to do whatever useful work well; comments on hot issues (that you understand) works too for a shorter post.
  • Definitely comment on other bloggers posts (more often early on, later - as you wish...)
  • Avoid long breaks in blogging (>7 days); it will lead to reader loss (you should only care about it later - focus on fun content first!)
  • Join Security Bloggers Network (drop an email to Alan Shimel for it)

Q: Has blogging in this niche generated any income for you? If so, how much?

A: Exactly $0. The reason is that I never wanted to "monetize" my blog; I don't have banners, etc. This is by design.

Q: How did it help your professional career in a significant way?

Yes, I think it helped my career and connected me to a lot of fun people! I sure hope I am not "known only as as blogger", but blog can definitely make one much more known professionally, especially if you create fun and/or useful content.

Overall, blog is a time commitment, but it is also a passion. It does help your career, but "forcing " yourself to do it just for "career benefits" is, IMHO, a wrong approach.

Yo, my fellow bloggers; help the newbies out, will ya?! Let's start a series of posts on "how to be a good security blogger!"

UPDATE: really good post "Why Blog?" from Richard.

Dr Anton Chuvakin