It’s easy to dismiss blogs as a colossal waste of time. They can be wild ego trips, or pointless attempts to feel more understood by your peers. Guilty as charged, that’s probably how it started for me. But when I say that blogging is the smartest career move I ever made, I’m not exaggerating.
I honestly believe that regardless of whether you’re trying to write for a living, make a few industry friends or simply spew your early morning drivel, blogging is one of the most powerful ways of adding value to your name. The value may not be immediately evident, but neither is a résumé until it’s delivered to the right mailbox.
I’ve been convinced for a long time that the blog is the new résumé. I don’t have a degree, or an academic background. I can’t rely on Masters honours to justify my ability to get a job done. To put it simply, there isn’t a single slip of paper in my filing cabinet that could pass as a certificate for my work. Christ, the only certificate I have at all is a swimming award from my primary school. And even that I somehow managed to fake.
One of the great appeals of working on the web has always been the level playing field. I love that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, or what your story is. You can be as relevant as you want to be in almost any field or industry, just by having the knowledge and putting it out there in the right way.
As we see on a daily basis in the “make money online” niche, it rarely even matters if you have the knowledge. Blogging is all about perception. It doesn’t matter how smart or dumb you are, just that your readers are buying in to the right image. But forget about the readers and the meaningless subscriber stats. Have you heard the saying, If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room?
How true is that for bloggers?
If you’re the smartest marketer in affiliate marketing, why the hell would you be blogging about it? Exactly, you wouldn’t. But by blogging about a topic you’re involved with, you instantly make yourself relevant to the field. And when you become relevant, you get leverage with people that simply wouldn’t be approachable to Average Joe with no web presence. I’ve never seen blogging as talking down to a crowd. It’s a two way relationship, and a great way to establish a reputation.
Since launching an affiliate marketing blog over at FinchSells.com, I’ve pretty much guaranteed that if my business were to fold overnight, I’d only have to open my inbox to find work opportunities. That’s not to say I’ve done it well or achieved any more than the next blogger. It just comes with the territory of being relevant in my industry and establishing credibility through a web presence. In effect, my blog has become my résumé. Except I don’t have to read job listings or go combing for contacts on LinkedIn, because opportunity tends to present itself.
A couple of years ago, I saw friends leaving university with degrees and qualification to their names. But for many of them, it wasn’t enough to secure a job in the area they studied. How ridiculous is that? 16 years in education only to join the same rat race as the rest of us. Does that mean a successful blog has become more valuable than a degree?
Admittedly, it’s a lot easier to use a blog as a platform to a career in marketing than it is for, say, structural engineering. But if you have expertise, you should make every attempt to show it!
Blogs and portfolios are the way forward in 2011. The résumé deserves to die an ugly death for turning all of our individual qualities in to one uniformed template in Microsoft Word. If you have a special talent, or simply a career to fight for, you can often make it happen just by talking about it and becoming relevant.
A blog doesn’t have to be a profitable moneymaking machine. It can simply be a professional stamp of what you have to offer in your line of work. We all like to make fun of the stay-at-home-mum bloggers who write piles of sweet nothing to a circle of fans that eat it up anyway. But if you’re sitting on your degree and expecting qualifications to carry you up the ladder, I think it’s time for a reality check.
It’s not about the talent you have, but what you do with it that counts. Perception is everything to so many careers. And a successful blog can make you relevant in whatever industry you’re trying to crack.
Recommended This Week:
- On the subject of putting value in yourself, I highly recommend Awaken The Giant Within by Anthony Robbins. That man has a way with words that can light a candle up even the pluckiest of arseholes.
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