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A few years ago, blogging was just a sort of hobby — you know, something you do to while away time when you’re bored and there isn’t much to do. Things are much different today, though. In fact, here are some statistics:
- There are over 152 million blogs in the world today.
- The average full-time blogger earns anything from $19,000 to $79,000 annually.
- Some of the most successful bloggers are worth millions — thanks to their blogs!
- One of the biggest blogs in the world, The Huffington Post, was purchased by AOL for a whopping $315 million.
As you can see from the above statistics, blogging is more than just an “hobby.” For some, it is a full-time job. For others, it is a part-time job. For a growing number of people, however, blogging is an avenue to land their dream jobs.
For example, here are just a few people who have landed their dream jobs through blogging — and you can read what they have to say about the role blogging played in their career options:
- Allison Hitz, founder of The Book Wheel blog, was a graduate who had a Master’s degree in Public Policy. She had looked for jobs without success, but she decided to leverage her blogging experience and look for a job in the publishing industry. In her words, “Despite two relevant internships to my degree, those interviewing me were more interested in The Book Wheel than they were my education.” When employers are more interested in your ability to maintain a blog than in a Master’s degree with two internships, then you know blogging shouldn’t be underestimated.
- William Anderson is another person who acquired his dream job of Director of Marketing through his personal blog. He first publishes his articles to his blog, then he shares them to social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. To take things further, he created a special page on his blog that highlighted his skills and experience as well as the fact that he is looking for a job. The end result was that he landed his dream job — a job he has been at for over three years now!
- Anna Rice, founder of The Blonde Banana, had been working full-time in public relations for years but she desperately wanted to break into a travel agency. That was her dream job, and it was proving a bit difficult — that was until her blog came into the picture. She reached out to a PR agency that she felt was the perfect choice for her and that will help her land her dream job. Even though they weren’t hiring at the time, the hiring manager was impressed and asked her for an interview. Apparently, her blog had played a role. As part of the interview requirement, she was asked to do a writing test. She got the job, and due to her blog she is regularly asked to contribute to the company blog.
The above are just some great examples of average people who have landed their dream jobs through a blog. There are many, many more examples of people like these — and there’s nothing stopping you. Depending on where you are in the world, the job market isn’t exactly smiling and the world economy is highly unpredictable — blogging changes things, however. It demonstrates that you are smart and creative, that you have the ability to take initiative and that you have the requisite skills to succeed as an employee. In fact, some hiring managers have gone far to say that they won’t hire an employee who can’t write, and… hear hear… blogging is one of the best avenues to demonstrate your writing skills.
If you’d like to land your dream job by blogging, here are some tips for you:
1. Start a “Basic” Blog
You’ll notice my emphasis on “basic.” This is because you’re not aiming to be the next millionaire blogger or something — instead, the aim is to have a blog that makes you a more attractive prospect to potential clients.
Usually, you want to get started with WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. This guide on how to start a blog by Robert Mening should get you started, especially if you plan to use WordPress.
It is important to note a few things before you start:
- Nothing complicated. Again, your only goal is to communicate your value to potential clients and not to showcase your epic design skills.
- Go with something simple. I’ll recommend WordPress first, then Drupal, Joomla or Blogger. These platforms are the most common ones, and they are unlikely to give you issues as a beginner.
- Go with a professional TLD. In other words, you can use .com or .org — that is “yourname.com” or “yourblog.com” — but by all means avoid using something free like “yourname.blogspot.com”. Going professional makes you look much better to potential clients.
Once you’ve put your blog in place, the next step is to establish your expertise — more on that in point two and three.
2. Use Content to Establish Your Expertise
One of the first ways to establish your expertise by blogging is through the content you create. A blog without content is useless; you need to persuade potential employees that you’re a good fit for them; to do this, you need to create relevant content and you need to do it frequently.
In essence, your blog isn’t just an avenue to write about your cat or what food you ate in the morning — instead, you want to start discussions that potential employees will see and say, “Yes, this is exactly the employee we are looking for.” To do this successfully, you first have to narrow your blogging interest — if you want a blog in healthcare then you should only write about healthcare-related topics. Over time, you establish yourself as a thought leader. The end result is that multiple people will start begging to hire you.
3. Use Networking and Being Active in Your Niche to Establish Your Expertise
The second way to establish your expertise — other than by publishing relevant, good quality content on your blog on a regular basis — is by networking and being active in your niche.
Start by identifying all the blogs that potential employees are reading, and ensure you’re regularly active there by commenting, engaging with other commenters and even writing for these blogs — this is called guest blogging, and is one great way to establish your expertise and get more people to notice you.
4. Make it Clear that You’re Looking for a Job on Your Blog
A mistake many people who blog make, that makes it difficult for them to land their dream jobs, is the mistake of not making it clear that they are looking for a job. Like one of the examples referenced earlier in this article, William Anderson, it is important to announce the fact that you’re looking for a job. You can do this by creating a page that you feature prominently in your blog navigation bar and occasionally inside articles. You also want to include a note inside popular articles that you are looking for a job.
5. Make Reference to Your Blog During Interviews
Not all the jobs will come directly to you, but that doesn’t make a blog useless. When you go to interviews, mentioning that you have a blog — especially if it’s a popular blog — significantly increases your chances of getting hired. It shows that you can take initiative, and it solidifies your expertise. It will also help to highlight your major achievements: if you’ve written a very popular article, mention it. If you’ve been covered in the media due to your blog, mention it. If you’ve made some other impact through your blog, mention it. This will make you more attractive and significantly boost your prospects of landing your dream job.