When I tell people that I’m a blogger, people either look at me with that everyone-can-be-a-blogger look or just brush it off like it’s nothing. Then again, with the amount of written clutter that resides online, being a blogger doesn’t have the same meaning it once did. Now anyone can buy a URL, write a few posts, and voilà—they’re a blogger. I mean, it’s basically how I started out.
In 2014, I took a digital marketing course at the University of Toronto. We had the option of developing a blog as part of our final project, so I set out to design myself an online portfolio that had a blog attached to it because I thought it could be useful later on.
I was right. What was initially just a school project became an incredible asset to my professional life.
The moment I started my blog, I committed myself to posting regularly. I created a minimum of two posts a week and mainly wrote about marketing and social media, with a side of random things like concert and restaurant reviews. At that point, I was only blogging for myself. I’d share my content on Twitter, but I eventually wondered if anyone even read my stuff besides my parents.
Then something unexpected happened. My blog picked up steam. My readership went up and people were actually contacting me with job opportunities, wanting me to make guest posts for their blog or be a regular contributor (how do you think I ended up writing here?).
“Even top-of-the-class grads have a hard time starting their careers, so having something—anything—that sets you apart from the crowd can really help.”
The more guest posts I wrote, the more people started noticing me. People emailed me asking for pieces, offering jobs, and requesting career advice. I even had a stint of being published in a national newspaper on a weekly basis for multiple months. No, not all of this was paid work, but it’s true what they say: it’s not always about the money. Since I was positioning myself as an influential person in my industry, it was all worth it.
Starting a blog taught me a lot. It gave me a chance to not only connect and network with previously unattainable people, but also make myself more competitive in an extremely competitive market. In this day and age, it’s not exactly easy to find a job. When I graduated, I applied to over a hundred jobs only to hear back from a handful. Even top-of-the-class grads have a hard time starting their careers, so having something—anything—that sets you apart from the crowd can really help.
When I’m in job interviews, people now seem to be more interested in my blog than they are in my actual work history. I mean, my blog certainly complements my career in social media and content marketing, but no matter what your industry is, a blog can help you showcase your passion and knowledge regarding your field. Look at it this way—a lot of people out there do the bare minimum (go to work, go home, sleep, rinse, repeat), and a few go above and beyond what their careers ask of them. You’ll be shocked at what can happen when you take the latter route.
“When I’m in job interviews, people now seem to be more interested in my blog than they are in my actual work history.”
If people asked me what I wanted out of my blog back when I started, I never would have dreamed of mentioning job offers. Although it takes a lot of work and commitment, making a blog has done nothing but create positive opportunities for me as a professional. And someday, maybe I’ll be at a point where people don’t roll their eyes when I tell them a blogger. Regardless, I’ll continue blogging. And I’ll continue to love every second of it.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.