How Starting A Blog Has Helped Me with my Day Job
For those of us who have blogs, we’re all well aware of the many benefits of being a blogger. Many bloggers don’t have day jobs or are on their way out of their day jobs. So, I want to talk about how a blog has helped me with my day job. First I will say this. Since I’m a social media strategist, the benefits of blogging are easy to see for a role like mine. However, I’m still convinced that having a blog can actually help regardless of your industry/position.
Network of Contacts: Without a doubt, the network of contacts I’ve made through this blog and all the interviews I’ve conducted at BlogcastFM has had the biggest influence on my day job. I’ve been fortunate enough to interview marketing experts, authors, and many others. A few weeks back my boss tasked me with hiring a team of writers for our company blog. First I attempted to reach out to all of the writers of a few popular travel blogs and got absolutely no response. Then I decided to tap my personal network of people who I had interviewed or who had blogs that I read on a regular basis.
The result: I actually was able to handpick a team of writers, and get my company to become one of the sponsors of the Way Below Status Quo Tour. Not only was I able to provide value to my network since we will be paying all of the writers for their contributions to our travel blog, but I was able to put together a team of high quality writers.
So you might be wondering how useful this would be if you are not a blogger or a social media person, so I’ll address that. Let’s say you work in finance. The network of contacts that you build with other bloggers who work in your field could lead to referrals, additional job opportunities, potential partnerships and much more. If anything I would say this: One thing that all bloggers seem to have in common is they want to all see each other succeed. Essentially it’s the ultimate mastermind group of like minded individuals. So don’t discount the value of starting a blog, just because you don’t work in marketing, PR or social media.
Enhanced Knowledge: As somebody who has a blog, I also tend to read a ton of blogs. I have about 200 blogs I subscribe to and I even wrote about 25 Resources for Early Stage bloggers. Reading blogs about your industry is a great way to significantly enhance your knowledge. I read quite a few travel blogs for my day job and as a result I’ve been able to see what makes certain ones successful and why certain ones really suck. Since you are continually enhancing your industry knowledge, you really are able to bring alot more value to the table on a day to day basis. I believe that continual learning is key to career growth regardless of your industry.
Ownership/Creativity: Lately I’ve been reading quite a bit about the various things that motivate people. Surprisingly money and financial rewards are not at the top of the list. I’d like to recommend a book to all of you called the Upside of Irrationality which I just purchased and is a fascinating study on human behavior. One of the most rewarding things about all the projects I work on is that they give me a sense of ownership/creativity. So, how does that translate into the working world? I think that having something to call your own provides a different level of motivation than just doing your job. Many of the ideas that I have for my job are often the byproduct of something I’ve done for my blog. One funny line I remember from the movie Scent of a Woman is when Al Pacino asks Chris O’Donell “What are you? Some kind of Chickenshi#$# who sticks to job description only?” I think you’ll find that a blog will pull you out of that and open up opportunities you might not expect in the long term.
Authority/Leadership: Because of the fact that I spend so much time working on all these projects, in my office I’m seen as an authority/leader for all things social media/marketing when it comes to our industry. My co-worker is a specialist in SEO. The thing is that you can actually use your blog to develop knowledge/authority in just about any subject matter.
David Meerman Scott recently published an article that said starting a blog is the best thing recent grads or current students could do to increase their success in searching for a job. I don’t think that it’s limited to those who are recent grads or students. I think that a blog is a phenomenal personal development tool. If you do have a day job, I’d love to hear how your own blog has helped you with your job.
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