Why Young Professionals Should Start Blogging
Today is the first of a series of 5 posts about blogging: why to start, how to start, how to get readers, how to build community and how to monetize your blog.
A lot of people ask me why/how I started blogging. Let’s rewind 3 years. Like many young professionals, I was feeling lost and discouraged about life after college. I figured blogging would allow me to exercise the creative part of my brain after my hours as a commercial banker. I’d also get to write; something I had always enjoyed doing but never really did during college as a finance major or after college as a commercial banker. In addition, I wanted to connect with other young professionals who were feeling the way I did. When I started this blog at age 24, I never realized it would do so many things for me both professionally and personally.
For example, I never intended for Ms. Career Girl to introduce me to a CEO who hired me to work in a management role I had little official employment history in (marketing) but very much wanted to work in. Nor did I expect it introduce me to a whole new world which led me to take Internet Marketing classes at University of SanFrancisco and become totally obsessed with social media. I definitely didn’t expect it to introduce me to journalists and publishers who wanted to give me exposure, or to change my whole career path. And although I’ve always had a little fear of being laid off, I definitely didn’t start this blog thinking Ms. Career Girl would be my savior after losing my job.
And on a personal note, this blog helped me get through so much over the last 3 years: a breakup with an x-boyfriend who I lived with, 5 moves, credit card debt, 3 jobs, a career transition, a layoff and even some bouts of depression. Oy!
I don’t think blogging is for everyone, but honestly, it has been one of the highlights of my life and has opened SO MANY DOORS for me over the past 3 years.
Here are some common objections I get about blogging:
But I am a terrible writer!
That’s nice but believe it or not, blogging doesn’t require the skills of those who author a Pulitzer prize-winning novel! The reason so many people read blogs is because blogs are often written very casually. Great blogs are authentic, which often times means that people write the way they talk. In addition, so many blogs aren’t based around long articles (like this one often is). Many are snippets of writing with mostly pictures and videos. The pictures and videos don’t even have to be of you, but about topics that are interesting! Being a “good writer” doesn’t necessarily mean being a good blogger.
I’m just not into social media.
Ok, then maybe blogging ISN’T for you! Just remember that there were once skeptics who said computers and email were a fad that would go away. Or, that learning the technology was such a pain that they’d rather just do things manually. Pause: Imagine your life without a computer and email!! Beware of doubting social media and the power of blogging because it is here to stay. Year after year companies and PR firms are dedicating more and more of their marketing & advertising budgets to bloggers. The more consumers are inundated with traditional advertisements, the less we take them seriously. Instead, studies show that consumers research and gain influence on purchasing decisions from those in their social networks, especially bloggers. Don’t believe me? Then watch this short video, the numbers don’t lie: Social Media Revolution 2011.
I don’t understand how blogging works – the technology intimidates me.
Now this I can relate to. I knew nothing about blogging when I started either and I especially didn’t know much about technology or social media. Trust me, they’ve made it so darn easy to blog. I use WordPress and highly recommend it. You can get started for free in minutes at WordPress.com. If you need extra help, stay tuned this week and I’ll provide some screen shots & tutorials on how to use WordPress.
Who would read my blog?, What would I even say or write about?, or I wouldn’t know how to get my first reader.
You’d be surprised. There seems to be a “tribe” or niche for everyone out there. While you may feel you’re the only one who loves collecting snow globes or reading about the history of kithchen appliances, there’s probably a whole slew of readers out there who would be interested in these topics. Don’t forget, there are also companies out there who would be interested in reaching these communities too. More info on how to get your first readers is on its way to you this week!
If you’re feeling a bit dissatisfied in your life, have a passion, want a project, need to do something for yourself or just like exercising the creative half of your brain, consider starting a blog. You never know what your blog will lead you to whether it’s a new job, a new career path, a fall back plan in the event of a layoff, personal satisfaction, media attention, a side income, a significant other or just plain happiness.
And if in doubt? JUST DO IT. Everyone feels totally weird when they write their first blog post, and maybe even their second, third and fourth too. If you’re hesitant to introduce yourself to the public, you can try an anonymous blogging platform like Doe. You’d be surprised at how empowering blogging can be!
Are you a blogger? Why did you start?
What opportunities and personal growth have you gained thanks to your blog?
Want to learn more about turning your idea into a profitable blog or small business? Consider taking our Wordpress Setup Camp or joining a Ladies Launch Pad Incubator. Both classes are taught via Skype and in-person (Chicago).