A classmate of mine, Sophia, approached me the other day about getting back into blogging. She, much like a lot of our generation, had a Xanga. Long before the days of Facebook and MySpace, that was our way of communicating, mainly gossip, but communicating nonetheless.
Sophia has a ton of questions, and in the middle of responding via email, I got so inspired and was really on a roll, so I thought I’d address the questions here. Penelope said it in October, and I stand true to this today: blogging is single-handedly the most important thing we can do for where we are at in our careers right now. Allow me to tell you why.
1. Your blog gives your resume a voice. Right underneath your name and address, put the URL for your blog. Your writing gives your resume a personality. It lets people who want to know more, get to hear the real you, get to know your most intimate thoughts. You look great on paper, sure, but what you post about will build your street-cred and your online presence.
2. Posting about experiences gives you more for your resume. As I’ve learned from my mentor, your resume is about the experiences you’ve had, not whether or not you were paid for them. That being said, if there is a position you want, but you don’t have the experience, create it.
3. Get a mentor. I joined Brazen Careerist, a blog network (brazencareerist.com) after I met Penelope at the National Conference for PRSSA. She stole my heart at a panel about getting a mentor so I figured who better to mentor me than the lady talking about mentors. She is the reason I’m blogging, and if you check out her blog, you’ll see why. She’s everything I want to be in my career. And your mentors can be anyone, a classmate, a professor, a complete stranger that you admire, anyone. But finding a good mentor is the challenging part.
4. Join a blog network. I’m a featured community blogger at Brazen Careerist (on the front page today, thank you Ryan) and it’s been very rewarding so far. I’m going to SXSW for the interactive conference and Ryan is staying with my roommate and I. All of my favorite bloggers (a lot of whom I’ve discovered through Brazen) will be at SXSW, as well as some of the influential people in PR that I have plans to meet while I’m in Austin.
5. Get active on Twitter. You asked why. I have three interviews lined up this weekend (so far) because of Twitter. It’s all about conversation. I’ll post links to my new blog posts, and I’ll post links to other blog posts or articles that I enjoy. Getting exposure to your writing is key, but seeing what other people are contributing is important as well.
6. Build your personal brand. I have a couple posts about this on my site, but the man you want to go to about anything personal branding is Dan Schawbel. Follow him on Twitter, read his articles, you’ll get a better idea of what exactly personal branding is. In essence – you are your brand. Sydney Owen is my brand, it’s what I’m selling. And I spend a good majority of my time interacting with people that need Sydney Owen for their company to succeed… See where I’m going?
7. Check out who’s following who. The great thing is, people who blog and people who are active on Twitter are a population all their own.
What is the main reason you blog? Is it to enhance your career? Supplement your education? As a senior in college, how important is it to be blogging? If you could give one suggestion to someone (almost) brand new to the blog0sphere, what would it be?