Can a Blog Launch Your Career or Business?

I just read a post by Darren Rouse of that may be the best article I've read in months.

It is called, "Temporary Blogs: Blogs as Stepping Stones," and Darren discusses how several bloggers he really enjoyed in the past, have discontinued their blogs.

At first, he regarded these examples as failures, but then learned these bloggers achieved exactly the goals they set out for themselves.

One blogger dropped her blog after getting a job, which was her purpose for blogging in the first place. She used her blog to showcase her expertise, raise her profile within her field and create lots of content that could demonstrate her knowledge.

Her blog also provided her with a platform to network within her field and meet people she might not have met otherwise.

Once she landed the job she wanted, the need (she felt) for her blog was over. As she explained to Darren:
I wanted to land a job, I was out of work, and the blog was never really going to be anything beyond an online résumé, a place for me to build my profile and build some credibility, and potentially meet some employers.

Another blogger Darren enjoyed reading stopped after he got his fledgling software company off the ground. He told Darren:
He reflected back to me that again, his blog was a means to another end—he was never going to be a professional blogger, that wasn’t his model; his model was to launch a software company, and he used his blog to do that.

This confirms what I've been thinking for some time. I firmly believe that for some fields, resumes will become obsolete and be replaced by blogs, video channels, podcasts or other forms of online portfolios.

Few job applicants fit neatly into a "job description." Few entrepreneurs begin with the credibility they need to attract clients and investors.

But a blog (or podcast, video channel, etc.) is much more than a portfolio of your work. It is also an excellent vehicle to enable you to network with others (especially people you may not be able to contact directly in the offline world). When people comment on your posts, subscribe to your RSS or tweet about your content, you are gathering a following.

And this kind of following is based on your knowledge and insights, not just on the cut of your suit or whether you golf at an influential country club. In fact, just the fact that you have a blog makes YOU influential within your field.

This is the kind of credibility no resume can give you.

But there is one point on which I would disagree with Darren's two friends. Even after you land your dream job or get your company launched, it is misguided to kill your blog.

Two reasons:
  1. Your dream job may not last forever. The company may fail or downsize employees. Or your goals may change. At that point, you will need not only the platform your blog once gave you, but also the contacts and readers (and fans) you gathered as a result of your blogging efforts.

    What should you do then? Start blogging again? Possibly, but you will most likely have lost a lot of your network that came to you through your blog.

  2. Your blog will most likely make you more valuable to your employer or help you attract more new clients for your company. The same knowledge and expertise that made you valuable to an employer or investor, will make you valuable to potential clients.

    Your blog can easily be refocused so that you will be a rainmaker within your field. It will position you (and by extension, your company) as a solver of problems within your niche.

Therefore my advice is to dance with the one that brung you, so to speak. If your blog was what opened the door of opportunity for you in the first place, you will probably want more opportunities to come through that same door.

Your blog is the ultimate personal branding vehicle. It is personal branding not based on flash and style, but on substance, knowledge and solutions to the problems clients need to have solved.

What are your thoughts? Have you achieved success or accomplished a goal as a result of blogging or creating content? Have you landed a job or attracted clients as a result? Let me know.
COPYRIGHT © 2010, Charles Brown

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October 30, 2010 at 5:06 AM Lois Geller said...

Your post made me laugh, because these people achieved their goals and stopped blogging. So, blogs are an advertising vehicle?

No, I think they're a place to build friendships. And one thing that always annoys me is that many people contact me when they're out of work to "pick my brain" or rekindle our friendship.

Making and keeping friends is ongoing in life and blogs. Those who grab an idea and run...or a new business will repeat the same things again in life. They'll never lead, because it's all about their radio station: WIIFM (what's in it for me).

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