How I wrote my most popular post on Medium

When I wrote Setting up MySQL for the Robin’s Nest Example Website, I was looking for a way to truly help other people.

I had been working through Robin Nixon’s book, Learning PHP, MySQL & JavaScript (with JQuery, CSS, & HTML5), a perennial best-seller for aspiring full-stack web developers. At the end of the book, the author guides you through the creation of a social networking site, the Robin’s Nest.

As I was working through that example, I encountered a problem. The instructions for setting up MySQL looked deceptively simple. When I actually did it, I realize there was a lot of room for error and misunderstanding, particularly for non-native English speakers.

It was clear to me right away:

Lots of users + Ambiguous content + Helpful article = Lots of people helped

Here are the stats:

My stats on Medium for the article on setting up MySQL for the Robin’s Nest example

Okay – We’re not talking about a New York Times bestseller. But I’m pleased that 126 people have actually read it, a 53% read ratio. That’s a good number of people helped!

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