January 16, 2013

Add blogging to your to-do list this year

Photo courtesy of ~C4Chaos (Creative Commons)

Blog to differentiate yourself beyond your credentials & experience

Chris AbrahamEdelman recruited me because I blogged about Wal-MartRosetta Stone invited me to blog for them because I blogged about learning German. AdAge invited me to write for their DigtialNext and Global News blogs. Blogging about social media marketing resulted in being invited by Socialmedia.biz and Biznology to blog for them. In the fervor of the presidential elections, I pursued column inches in The Huffington Post. In large part, I can thank blogging for most of my professional success. There is no more efficient way of expressing passion, what you know, and how you think than writing it out. A blog is the perfect platform.

In many ways, blogging made me. My degree is in English and Creative Writing and not in communications, public relations, public affairs, history, politics, languages, or computer science. However, I am a curious man at heart and am fascinated by the world we live in.

Put the work in and differentiate yourself

In any age other than this one, would I have been able to do any of this? This is a brilliant time as the barriers to entry have been demolished if you’re willing to put the work in. However, if you have no passion, really have nothing to say, aren’t interested in anything in particular, don’t feel self-motivated, and aren’t self-taught, you can always go back to school and get your master’s. And if you’re really self-destructive, continue on to a doctorate.

Isn’t it cheating to just go ahead and write your way into the inner circle instead of acquiring proper credentials by jumping through the traditional hoops? Nope.

And I am not talking about microblogging on Twitter or reblogging on Tumblr, I am talking about writing proper analyses of what’s going on in your business or industry — or the industry in which you aspire to work — in your own words and reflecting your own understanding of the space, plus your interpretation of what it means.

Isn’t it cheating to just go ahead and write your way into the inner circle instead of acquiring proper credentials by jumping through the traditional hoops?

No, it isn’t. Primarily because you need to blog your way into the perfect job even if you’ve done your degree in communications (like my partner here, J.D. Lasica).

You need to blog to differentiate yourself well beyond your credentials and your experience. You need to blog to allow people to get to know who you are and what matters to you. I remember when I onboarded with the digital team at Edelman. HR had me take a writing test on a computer in an embarrassing little room.

What this means is that most companies, agencies, and businesses not only don’t know you at all but generally can’t know you.

The only way you’ll be able to effectively push through all the other thousand recent graduates to grab that ring is by blogging your talk. And you don’t need to wait until you’re mid-career like I am, you can start blogging your way into your first job in high school or as a college undergrad. You can even start moonlighting in your industry of choice while you’re getting that degree.

Boost your blogging in 2013

Nothing prevents you from entering into public discourse and conversation with the topmost influencers online. There’s nothing keeping you from becoming a participant in the AdAge Power 150. There’s no requirement at all, and you’ll only be judged by your words, insight, and persistence.

You can and will be rewarded for not holding your creativity, insight, and passion ransom — and don’t allow your university or boss to bogart your best, smartest work.

So, take this opportunity in the new year to either start a new blog or rekindle the flame you once had. Blogging’s not dead, Twitter’s not enough, Facebook’s a walled garden, and Tumblr’s cheating (you’ll always spend more time being derivative instead of being generative and you’ll never know because you’ll feel terribly clever not on your own wit but rather on the coattails of the charm, creativity, and brilliance of other people’s Tumbls).

Good luck and tell me what you think in the comments section below — I would love to help you out getting started!

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Chris Abraham is a partner in Socialmedia.biz. Contact Chris via email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Add blogging to your to-do list this year

  1. Thanks Chris, that’s exactly what I did after returning from London to New Zealand. 2 years later I have turned that early blog into a full blown digital foodie magazine that is the go-to for new restaurants in one of the best wine regions in New Zealand. 
    If you’re ever in New Zealand, look me up – we can do lunch.. really good lunch at any of these highly recommended http://tweet2eat.co.nz restaurants.

  2. I’m glad you describe Tumblr as cheating, as the vast, vast, majority of Tumblogs suck and it is inferior to WordPress in a number of significant ways most importantly in out of the box search engine performance. But I don’t think blogging works for everyone and certainly not for every industry. What about an industry or career like taxidermy, do you really think having your name associated with dead stuffed animals is 100% beneficial? What about military intelligence or even corporate security, industries where privacy and secrecy matter? Personal problems can also creep into and overwhelm a blog, despite best efforts to be professional…