Often, when I’m sitting here tap-tapping away on my laptop, trying to fire out that post for a brand, or excitedly scribbling down an idea late at night that I think could make a cracking blog post, I often think that as a working ‘species’ we bloggers are often undersold and undervalued.
So many bloggers I now know, especially parent bloggers, started when their children were small, and often when they were perhaps on maternity leave, or a career break, and wanted something to do. I have come across a plethora of talented Mums (and Dads) who now blog- Ex Company Directors, journalists, PRs, writers, stylists, midwifes, teachers…the list goes on.
What they all have in common as bloggers is that the majority are excellent writers, hard workers and have some of the most incredibly creative minds I’ve ever met.
What’s shame is that so many of them (and I’ve chatted to enough fellow Mums now to know this) is that often, after children, they’ve felt in the ‘wilderness’- either at home with the kids (through choice or not), or continuing with their careers (again, some through choice, others not) but which ever way you look at it, all too often sidelined. Either way, too many end up dismissed as ‘just a Mum’, when they have oh so much more to give, and are actually currently ‘giving’, as awesome bloggers.
Now, I absolutely love blogging, and I also love the fact that I’m now able to make a little bit of money each month from something that is a joy for me to do, and that makes my creative juices flow.
But it has got me thinking.
It’s got me thinking “what if…I decide to stop blogging one day soon and do something else?” “What if…I decide that I want/need to get another job as an employee instead of/as well as this blog?”
Would my blog, my internet baby, actually count for anything in the big wide world of *gasp* real life employment?
Well after much deliberating about this whilst emptying the paddling pool last night (bloggers think of blogging, everywhere), I thought “Yes, all this blogging malarky does count for something”. Obviously, writing a blog won’t get you a job as neuro surgeon, or anything else that requires specialist training or a degree, but being a dedicated blogger CAN help you develop a HUGE amount of transferable skills, that written down, look bloody awesome.
So, you think your ‘little blog’ doesn’t bring anything to the table, or no one would be interested in it?
Well you are WRONG!
Here’s why blogging is good for your CV:
Pretty much every blogger I know, particularly if they have children to juggle too, is an expert in organisation. Many have schedules, plans, lists that they tick off, plus they make sure they know when linkies are running, keep to deadlines when working with brands, all whilst managing ‘real life’, families, maybe other jobs and commitments. Someone who blogs regularly and is successful with it, is likely to be pretty ‘on the ball’ when it comes to time management.
You might not have been in regular employment for a while, but by blogging regularly and reliably for a decent period of time, you can prove that you really are focused and capable of committing to something that you’re passionate about. And believe me, keeping a blog going is a definite labour of love at times, especially if your children have been sick, you haven’t been able to do any blogging during your usual hours, so you’re up until 1am wrestling with a post!
Bloggers are ideas people:
Since blogging, I’ve found my brain is worked more than it ever was in a previous life, and I certainly find that ideas breed ideas. I carry a notebook around with me now to jot them down, whether it’s last thing at night, on the train, or watching the kids swim- they come to me at the most obscure times! A blog is essentially your own personal magazine and showcases these ideas of yours- something a potential employer will love to see.
It showcases your personality and creative flair:
The best bit of blogging! Not much showcases your personality to a potential employer like a blog does, whether it’s visually or through the written word. Your blog makes you YOU, and can be a great selling point if they want to find out more about what makes you tick. Obviously this doesn’t work if you’re uncomfortable with sharing your private thoughts (can’t blame you here!), or it’s a little on the ranty side, but otherwise it’s a fabulous way of building Brand ‘YOU’.
Since blogging I have met a whole host of amazing people, both in the flesh and online, all with their stories to tell, mostly lovely, helpful, and each and every one of them has something to bring to the table. Need to find a breastfeeding support counselor? Want to interview someone with a beautiful home? Looking for another blogger to work with the brand you’re supporting? Tweet, and they shall follow! Or at least someone else you know, will know the person you’re looking for. Blog Conferences are great for making friends and building contacts, even if they can seems a little intimidating. Blogging definitely opens your horizons to a whole new host of lovely people, and with social media, even the shyest of people can have a loud voice and become networking pros.
Developing relationships with brands:
I remember when I first started this blog, how happy I was (and still am!) when an email from a company hit my inbox, asking me to review something. It was only small, and not particularly high value, but it was the first stepping stone in teaching me how different brands operate, writing a post to deadline, promoting on social media, and generally making sure the client is happy. 19 months later and I am now working for bigger brands (such as Butlins as an ambassador, Springfree Trampolines), but the same principles apply, and it’s been a great opportunity to have been able to hone these skills.
Proven writing skills:
One of the side effects of writing regularly is that you are BOUND to get better at it. Sure, there are days when I know that what I’ve written hasn’t always been ‘up there’ with some of my best stuff, but I know that overall I’m a hell of a lot better than I was when I started, after having a break of a few years. More importantly now, I really enjoy it. The more you write, the more you develop your own style, and therefore your ‘voice’ will shine through- something an employer will look for, along with great writing.
As a blogger, you are boss. Queen of your corner of the web. You call the shots as far as what you write is concerned, what fee you negotiate when writing a sponsored post, how often you blog…You don’t have to be arrogant about it, but as a blogger you value your worth, manage your blogging life just dandy, and definitely aren’t a pushover when it comes to your blog, your ‘brand’. Be proud of your blog and all you have achieved! Having a quiet confidence about you, and operating like a one-woman-business will definitely make people take you more seriously (even if you have to fake it to make it with that at first!). And remember, coming up with strategic plans and making decisions is something valued in the working world, and something that bloggers do every day.
Social Media Management Skills:
Aside from Facebook and a bit of dabbling in Twitter, I wasn’t really aux-fait with social media pre-blogging. Fast foward 2 years, and I now manage 2 clients on a freelance basis, and hope to add more to my portfolio once the children are both in school. I have learnt so much as a blogger, from other bloggers and from great blog conferences/ workshops that focus on getting the most out of social media for both blogs and business. I’ve inadvertently invested in MY career but attending such things using my own time and money, and that shows dedication in itself. I still have lots to learn, but I can now see how far I’ve come in this area, and have something to show for it.
The majority of us bloggers start out with little or no resources for marketing ourselves, yet we manage to build up a following, whether it’s a small bunch of regulars, huge numbers, or something in between. Either way, if we can do that from scratch with diddly-squat to our name, then we can certainly go into a company that has a budget, and market whatever it is they’re selling. Building an audience and a following is an indicator or your excellent marketing and PR abilities, and should never be underestimated!
Confidence and happiness:
Okay, so not something that an employer would necessarily be looking for, but I always think that happy person= happy employee. Since starting blogging I am the happiest, fulfilled and most focused I have ever been. It has been a real confidence boost to produce content that I’m satisfied with, that sometimes other people love, and to know that there are some brands out there who want to work with me. I feel hungry to do more, write more, and work more. And I reckon when you feel like this and you’re confident (but not arrogant) with it, then you are already well on your way to being a great asset to any company!
I hope you found this useful!
Have you ever got a job off the back of writing your blog? What other skills do you think you’ve developed since starting one?
I’d love to hear!