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Start a Blog: It Will Help You Land a Job

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Jenny Xie
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Published on February 19, 2013

This is guest post by Greg Narayan, who graduated in 2010, packed up for New York City, and now helps folks decide where to start up a blog of their own. Find Greg on Google+.

Looking for a job? Feel behind? Not sure your resume will make you stand out?

Listen up. Start, a, blog.

A blog is a place where you can showcase your writing, artwork, or academic portfolio. A blog can be shared instantly with a wide audience. It’s a place where you get all the attention.

And trust me, if you want a job, you want as much attention as you can get. In this post I’d like to explain why starting a blog sets you apart from the pack, and highlight a few careers where blogging is particularly useful.

Begin blogging? Yes you can!

As a prominent blogger I hear the term “golden age” thrown around among my colleagues. At first I laughed. “Golden age, we’re not in a golden age of anything anymore!” I responded. But then I heard the term a few more times, among more distant clients.

It suddenly hit me. We are in a golden age of online publishing. It’s incredibly easy to start your online presence on the cheap and build a following all through free tools like Facebook and Twitter.

Blogs own more of the web everyday! They’re personal, friendly, and funny, making them attractive for readers and advertisers alike!

The first step to getting involved is deciding where to blog. Having started a few blogs recently, I’ve found that it’s a lot of fun picking your topics, writing your first post, and watching as people give you feedback. You sort of feel like a tiny celebrity.

Here are some blogging considerations:

1) What’s your mission statement? Try to write one down for people to see.
2) Are you curious about learning code? Blogging can teach you this!
3) Do you want your blog to earn income someday? If so, WordPress is a great choice.

Once you have a blog up, link to it on your resume. Now let’s look at a few careers that really value bloggers and blogging as a whole. Ya know, where having a blog will help you get a job.

Writing Careers

A career in online writing is ideal for young students. Companies want folks who write frequently, stay in touch with the media, and can produce original, creative content on the fly.

And as mentioned above, a blog is great way to show off your writing. The best way to begin is to guest-post or guest-contribute to the sites and blogs you’re reading! This can be tough at first if you have no online social proof (ie. you’ve never been published) but be persistent.

Once you get on a couple sites, you can reference your writing to other sites with larger audiences. It’s all about using your networking skills (ya know, the ones they don’t teach you in school?) to get your voice in really awesome places around the web.

For inspiration, you can browse some of my best guest posts.

Once you’re feeling established, shoot for the stars. Try writing for places like the Huffington Post or the local times in your city.

Marketing Careers

Marketing is one of those fields where you, and the way you present yourself, mean a ton! Sure it helps to have a good resume and GPA, but if you’ve demonstrated the ability to market a blog to success, you’ll definitely stand out.

You’ll hear buzz words in marketing like “social interaction,” “social traction,” and “social proof.” You don’t have to be a genius to master these…

“How would you get more traffic to our website?” is a question you’ll hear in interviews.

Your blog is basically your talking point from a marketing perspective. If you’ve tried marketing for companies on your blog (of which there are thousands to choose from) you can cite past successes of what works. Whether you’re writing an article series or running product giveaways, there are lots of ways to engage real companies with a blog that will add up to good experience under your belt.

This is the kind of experience employers–many of whom can’t even set up up a website–will love.

Advertising Careers

Advertising careers and marketing careers go hand in hand. Most firms that engage in one need a team for the other, but from a blogger’s perspective, the two are a bit different.

Advertising is all about design, and online advertising is no exception. What kinds of landing pages work for consumers? Where do banner ads get the most clicks? How could you use Adobe InDesign to create a pleasing brochure for online clients? These are all questions you may face at the start of a job in advertising.

You’ll have to know what sells online.

Armed with a blog, maybe even one that’s made some sales of its own, you’ll be far ahead of other candidates who just babble about “that group project they had great results in.”

Web Design Careers

A web design career may involve HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, or more complex languages like C++.

If you’re studying these in school, great! But most of us opted for something more mainstream like business or economics.

If that’s your case, you ought to know that a blog introduces you to all of these languages! It’s a great activity if you’re curious, or feel like it’s your turn to learn “code.”

I can’t tell you how overjoyed I was to edit my first chunk of HTML, even if all it did was add a page finder to my blog.

Nowadays, a career in web design doesn’t have to be as hands-on as, say, 10 years ago when the programs being used were highly complex. “Web design” for a company might even just mean editing and managing the company blog!

How fun would that be?!

So what should you do?

Start, a, blog.

Roger that?

Don’t wait. Starting a blog is a task best done today. Why? Because each day that goes by represents lost readers, blog posts you could write, and an online presence you could be building for yourself.

And as the above showed, a blog can compliment (or entirely replace) your resume!

Good luck, and post any questions for discussion in the comments below.

Jenny Xie

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