Oct 2, 2012

Can Your Blog Lead to Job Opportunities?

I have heard various chatter and questions about this topic.  Many people are wondering, Can blogging lead to actual job opportunities?  The simple answer to this is "Yes".   Your blog is a very powerful extension of you and can be seen by potential or current employers whether or not you notify them of the fact that you have a blog.  The internet is a very public domain and anyone can find out just about anything they want to know about you; especially employers that you are working with or may work with in the future.  Just a simple search of your name can give them a pretty good picture of who you are outside of work and that can reflect on what happens inside of work.  

There are many people who feel like their privacy is violated by employers reading their blog and those people are usually the ones who have reasons to fear anyone in real life finding their blog or internet presence.  In all honesty, if you don't want your blog or internet presence to reflect badly on you, do not do anything to harbor that fear.  Be careful of what you post.  Do not write about drinking every weekend, do not write negative things about a co-worker or boss, do not write about how much you hate your blog...  All of those things have the potential of reflecting back on you by an employer or potential employer.  Now that we covered what not to do, let's cover everyone's question.  How can blogging lead to job opportunities?

1. Creating and Enhancing Your Brand:  Blogging creates and enhances your personal brand on the internet.  It gives you an internet presence and allows you the ability to network and to expand your personal network.  You never know who your next follower or fan may be and you never know what they may have to offer.  You definitely need to keep yourself visible on the net and keep interacting with those in your Twitter Feed or on your Facebook Page.  
It's extremely imperative to create those Social Media Networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc...  Why?  To gain fans and followers and to be able to interact with those who take the time to comment on something of yours.  Create a professional "About Me" page on your website to allow visitors to know more about yourself.  Really play up your talents, gifts and abilities as well as anything professionally you may have accomplished in the past.  If you are published or have more to offer, create a media/press kit and link that to your "About Me" site as well.  Give a potential employer or client as much information about yourself as they may want to know.

2. Demonstrating Your Skills via Your Blog:  Blogging really demonstrates the skills you have in writing, design, photography, web skills, etc...  It's always important to put your best foot forward in everything you post on your blog.  Make sure your articles are written properly and to the best of your ability.  Also make sure your photos are taken as well as you possibly could take them, even if it's just a photo of your child, a piece of food or a pen.  Think creatively while taking photos and edit/filter them if you have to; especially if your niche is photography.  You also should commit to writing as much as you can, doing this really shows determination and initiative.  These are two things that many employers look for in a candidate.

3. Write for Your Niche/Industry:  This doesn't apply to every single blogger as some are just general bloggers and write for themselves.  (Like myself)  However if you found your niche and write about one specific thing, keep writing in that category.  It's ok to sway every once in a while and write about something exciting in your life, but you can't be going off topic too often.  If you really love photography and want to be a photographer, keep writing those articles showing you know what you are talking about when it comes to being behind the lens!  If you're a fashion blogger and want to write about fashion or be in the industry, keep writing about the latest trends, fashion design, etc...  Show someone in the industry that you have what it takes to become the next best fashion editor or designer.  Flaunt your skill and talents.

It's extremely important to keep a professional blog and to promote yourself.  If you know SEO, fill those articles up with keywords that may get you better visibility.  Do whatever you have to do to get out there and be seen.  Being seen is the only way that you will even be open to those opportunities.  Best of all with blogging, if you know how to monetize your blog, your blog can even be your small business while you hope for new clients or projects.  

Keep writing and keep promoting yourself, in the future all of your efforts will eventually pay off.  Enjoy what you're doing for now and keep it fun.