College Blogging 101 is a weekly meme hosted by Lili's Reflections where a variety of hosts answer questions and give advice in regards to blogging in college. The purpose of this is to help upcoming college students and to create an open discussion forum. If you would like to write a guest post, please fill out this form. If you have a question you want answered, please fill out this form.
Today, Connie from Book Echoes has stopped by to discuss how blogging is actually beneficial to your future career. She knows what she is talking about as the coordinator for the writing center at the University of Mary Washington's Stafford Campus. If you are questioning about whether you should continue your blog or to start one, hopefully the following post can help you make up your mind. Thank you so much for offering a truly unique experience for us, Connie!
You’re reading a series of posts on college blogging, so I probably don’t have to sell you on blogs as a pastime. It’s a fun way to learn new information and reach out to others with similar interests and goals. But did you know that blogging as a college student can help your career? In fact, blogging in a consistent and professional way can help you learn skills that make you valuable to modern employers. Furthermore, your blog provides a platform to show those skills off. While your blog can (and should) be unique and personal, blogging strategically creates an interactive digital résumé. Keeping in mind the benefits and responsibilities of blogging in a serious way can turn you into a blog and career star.
Blogging Demonstrates Credibility.
Most obviously, a blog can show off your knowledge of a particular subject or industry, but blogging can demonstrate soft-skills as well. Blogging consistently shows a level of commitment to your chosen field and a strong work ethic. Your individual posts convey communication skills and a personable voice. In short, your blog can establish you as a dedicated worker who deals well with others.
Blogs Provide Networking Opportunities.
You’re writing for the world to read, right? So of course you’ll be expanding your network of contacts. Through blogging, you can “meet” others working in your intended field or interested in your subject of passion. The more people you know, the more likely you are to hear about internship and job opportunities and get needed recommendations.
Blogs Show off 21st Century Skills.
Not only do bloggers learn the technology of producing various types of online content, bloggers think about media in a modern way. Through blogging, you’ll learn to produce content for an interactive audience. Blogs have comments, of course, but you can also connect with readers via social media or live events (both virtual and real-world), interacting with your audience in ways that were more difficult in the past. The technology skills and adaptability of bloggers carry over into workplace media and interacting with the public. And speaking of the public…
Being a Professional Means Thinking of Others.
From design to focus to handling criticism, a blogger who wants to look good for employers thinks about his or her readers. A blog design doesn’t have to be super fancy or play-it-safe boring, but it should look like it belongs to someone who takes himself or herself seriously. In your design, think about how others will see you and how you want to be seen. Thinking about your readers also means maintaining focus and creating posts with benefitting or entertaining them as the main priority.
Negative interactions provide opportunities to think of others as well. How you deal with criticism shows who you are putting first, yourself or your readers. Everyone gets criticism. Hopefully, it will mostly be constructive. In that case, thank your critic and learn from it, much as it might sting. Unfortunately, though, every blogger encounters his or her share of trolls too. Often, the best response is no reply or a gracious “I respectfully disagree.” Simple silence or an emotionally calm response prioritizes your readers’ needs (to get information and/or entertainment) not your desire to save face or retaliate. (Though such emotions are understandable. Instead of venting on your blog, call a friend and let it all out.) If you’ve been thinking of your readers all along, you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised as they come to your defense. The best comeback for a troll is the loyalty of your fans.
Let’s Go!Whether or not you’re planning a career in media, many jobs require strong communication skills, working well with others, and the ability to adapt to new working conditions. By starting a blog in college, you’re developing those talents early and showcasing them for all to see. If you’re thinking of starting a blog or taking stock of the blog you currently maintain, keep both personal and career goals in mind as you establish your web presence. Now go out there and blog!
Did this post help you in any way? Comment below with your thoughts and personal experiences! All comments are greatly appreciated! <3
On an unrelated note, I want to apologize for the odd font formatting on this post. There's a glitch that I'm working on correcting ASAP.