How a blog can help your career
I get it. A blog takes a lot of work, a lot of hustle. So why would you add it to your already massive list of things to do? Here's why: building a blog is a great way to help your career, no matter how junior or senior you are, or what job you are in. And let's face it, it's a competitive market out there, so every bit of help counts, right?!
For me, starting a blog was a huge catalyst for personal and professional change. I got out of a career I hated, and started to stand up for myself again. It gave me a platform to share ideas, which meant less complaining (not that I complained much, riiiight?) and more action. Starting a blog was hugely motivating... and a lot of fun!
Ready to find how out a blog can help your career? Here's five pretty awesome reasons why you should start your blog today. And the best thing? The blogging world is always changing, so it's never too late to get started!
1. It helps to bridge the gap between your career and your passion
A blog or creative side project is a great outlet, particularly if you are in a less creative career. It's a way to explore your creative passions, without having to take a big leap of faith from your day job.
I started my blog because I wanted more real life advice as I navigated my career change. Every day, I would eat my lunch at my desk reading the latest from my favourite blogs, sharing the best stories about inspiring career women with one of my girlfriends. I was really passionate about finding, implementing and sharing the best advice, so it made sense to jump head first into this world.
Think about your passions and how you can take them a step further. Do you love food? Perhaps you spend every weekend coming up with new treats to bake your family and friends? Start a food blog. Are you the friend who always gives your friends hints about the coolest places to go or the best bars in town? Start a food or lifestyle blog.
Take imperfect action and just get started! Don't worry too much about your content when you are starting out... the important thing is that you get started, you never know where it will lead you, and your journey will probably take lots of twists and turns along the way.
2. It shows your expertise in your niche
While a blog might be a way to be more creative outside your nine to five, it can also be a great way to show your expertise in your chosen career.
You don't have to wait until your a manager to start building up your professional profile... in fact, there are so many opportunities these days to start building you professional profile from day one, if not before!
These days, the job market is competitive. Carving out a name for yourself is a great way to open up new opportunities: whether it's a new job or career, or perhaps a bigger and better role at your current employer. If you start building your profile, blogging and using social media today, I guarantee that in a few months time you will be surprised at the different and interesting opportunities that are thrown your way. Don't be afraid to stand out! #saynototallpoppysyndrome
If you don't want to commit to building your own blog why not start by posting on LinkedIn? It's a great way to get started without having to build and maintain your site... and everything that goes with it.
3. It's a great test and learn opportunity
One of the best things about your blog is exactly that: it's yours. You can use it as a way to learn some new skills, or perhaps test out your ideas with someone other than your mum, or your work friends over lunch.
Even if you work in social media or content creation, dealing with clients and different stakeholders often means that you can't implement a cool piece of advice that you've just read, or write about something you are interested in.
The best thing about blogging and promoting your blog is that the digital world is always changing. Trying out a new trend, or working out how you can keep your blog ahead of social media changes, is challenging. But that's part of the fun right? Whether it's Snapchat, or a more pointy opinion about the future of your industry, own it!
(disclaimer: perhaps run those opinions or your desire to snap your working life past your manager or HR before you get too carried away... we are here to help, not hinder, your career after all!)
4. Build your personal brand = important!
Before you start your blog I recommend having a think about the story that you want to tell.
Building your personal brand is incredibly important. When I was ready to leave the law, having a blog and transforming myself from a lawyer looking for a change (fairly common), to a blogging lawyer, who is really passionate about careers and personal development made a huge difference.
It's important to remember that you have an authentic voice to add to the conversation, so don't be afraid to let your personality shine through!
Ah, but it's all been done before!
Now stop right there. I've had so many people tell me that they want to get into blogging, but don't see any point because it's all been said before. I've held myself back because of this thought too... and still struggle with it.
But you know what? Yes, it's all been said before, but not by you. It's up to you to own your take on a particular issue. Adding your own authentic voice and letting you personality shine through is the icing on the cake.
5. It's a great way to build relationships
Having a blog and crafting your story is great way to build relationships. All of a sudden you find yourself thrown into a new world, on and offline. Building a blog is all about relationships and creating a community or tribe around your brand. Pretty important skill for us all, right?
I have no doubt that my blog was the something extra I needed to open a lot of doors. Plus, it's a great conversation starter... many awkward conversations at networking events have been saved by a bit of blog banter!
Finally, the last lesson I'm still trying to learn (and remember!) is: take imperfect action. Keep moving forward, trying new things and creating something that you love.
Let's do this!