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Before I started a blog, I was transfixed by all of the “How To Start a Blog” posts I could find on Pinterest. Often times they explained why they started, the steps needed, what some good reasons to do it would be, etc.. Usually how to make money from the blog was the common denominator. I can understand why. Blogs are a lot of work. There’s a lot of new skills to learn, constant content creation, promotion, all the while trying to fit it into your tired 9-5 life schedule. It’d be nice to make money from it. Something I didn’t really see mentioned through all of my research was how the skills needed to run your blog can be added to your resume and might help land you your dream job.
Our generation has gone to college in large numbers. While that’s great, it has unfortunately made our Bachelor’s degrees about as useful as high school diplomas in years past. Due to my husband’s long term job search for something better, I’ve become well acquainted with job postings. The most important requirement time and time again for employers has been experience. Experience often needs to come from someone else giving you a chance, so how do you get it if nobody seems willing to take the chance on you?
Over the last year, as I have been pouring over the job postings while starting to build my blog I began to notice how many skills I gained by running this blog that are actually sought after by employers.
My sister is still in college and will be looking to join the job force soon. She helped me write and compile this blog post and I’ve tried convincing her to endeavor in starting a book blog not only to have a hobby that combines her two favorite things (writing and reading), but also to gain some self-started experience.
Why pass up the opportunity to create your own job experience?
Here’s the skills I have come across in the job hunt that can be gained through your blogging adventures. None of these things are going to come to you overnight and often jobs that are looking for one of these, usually appreciate someone who knows a combination of them.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Learning how to rank high on Google is essential to pulling in passive traffic for your blog. There are courses that can teach you more about SEO. In the spirit of being frugal, I always recommend finding and implementing all of the free resources out there first before jumping into the paid content.
A company in a nearby town had a listing for a position that would write up search engine optimized product descriptions for their website. They were looking for someone with proven experience utilizing SEO and who knew their way around Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
As the perfect parlay, you’ll want Google Analytics to analyze where your traffic is coming from and who they are. It is fairly straightforward, but already knowing your way around it will give you a leg up for positions that have it as a side note.
Social Media Marketing
To promote your blog, you have to start learning about social media marketing strategies. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are all important ways of getting people to your site. When starting your blog pick a couple to focus hard on and expand from there. Pinterest is my favorite for blog marketing, but for job experience having a thorough knowledge of all of them is important.
Social Media Marketer- Yep that’s a real job. Companies, big and small, are realizing the selling power these social networks have and they want to cash in too. I know for a lot of people my age this kind of job would be a dream. Showing a potential employer how you built a genuine following and how it translates to traffic and/or sales for you is only bound to help.
Learning simple coding isn’t a necessary skill to run your blog, but it’s something that can help you. I’ve recently started using Codecademy to brush up on my HTML knowledge and later move into some more complex things.
You probably won’t jump into a code heavy job from the basic skills you learned for your blog; however, if you choose to pursue further you could learn to code your own website themes. These you could sell on your blog, or you could branch out and help companies with their web development needs.
Smaller companies have their websites set up using WordPress. Showing that you operate a blog using WordPress demonstrates your ability to operate theirs as well.
Keeping a consistent posting schedule on your blog requires constant creativity. Showcase to employers your ability to think outside the box and hold an audience’s attention.
If you enjoy the writing aspect, look for companies interested in expanding their company blogs. You can also seek out freelance writing opportunities on the side for extra money.
You can work on growing your blog and earning money from it while using your newfound skills to secure a more consistent paycheck. It’s a win-win.
In order to start working on these skills, I would recommend jumping in with a self hosted blog. You can be up and running for about $100 give or take, depending on your frugality and tastes.
If you’re interested in learning more about starting a blog or are ready to take the plunge here’s my blogging resources page full of everything I used to get my blog started.