Is Blogging a Waste of Time? (Hint: Not if You Want a Job)
The other day my mom handed me an article about the "new economy." In it, the author pointed out that today, in our free time, many Americans work for free. We fire up the computer to write book, restaurant, and movie reviews. We share stock tips and write political reviews. We cover fashion, write up healthy meal plans, and upload exercise videos.
And so, people who used to get paid to do these things are feeling pinched: their salaries are eroding. Their jobs are disappearing.
Thrusting this article into my hand, without a word, was Mom's way of saying she was worried about me. Mom sees me blog, post videos, and share expertise online, without being compensated. Given the recession's gulp out of my savings account, she constantly tells me to stop working for free and find something lucrative to do.
I sympathize. I worry about these things too, and I try to spend as little time working for "free" as possible. But the last 6 months have also revealed a welcome truth: blogging is not a waste of time.
With great trepidation, I sat down to write my resume last summer, after a 13-year (yes I'm old) hiatus from corporate America.
It was only then, when I sat down to reflect on what I'd been doing since I began blogging in 2009, that I realized the vast number of skills I've acquired, skills that employers want:
- an understanding of SEO
- ability to write keyword rich content
- writing and editing skills
- expertise in producing and delivering effective email campaigns
- social media expertise
- video recording and editing experience
And, beyond my newly acquired and self-taught skill set, I've syndicated my work, built an online audience, and marketed my business.
Blogging, it turns out, is also a highly effective networking tool. My work behind the computer has introduced me to some truly smart women, and many have taken the time to mentor me, coach me, and share ideas.
(An incredibly special thanks to 4 women who've shared their triumphs, offered advice, and given me the courage to press on. Follow them on Twitter and check out their fantastic blogs: @meghancward: Writerland, @miguelina: Every Day Treats, @sowondsomarv, So Wonderful So Marvelous, and @MerrillMartha: Martha Wills).
The benefits of blogging are not financial for most of us, but that doesn't mean it's a waste of time. Indeed, not.