For those of us who have been in the blogging cycle long enough, we have seen evolving trends around the blogosphere and how some writers have shifted from journaling their daily routine to developing content for professional disciplines.
When I first started blogging in 2006, I was writing mainly about my life and treated my blogsite like a diary. About two years later, I began to feel bored to write just about anything and everything that was happening in my life. So I embarked on a project of creating a new site to write about a topic of my interesting – design and communications (mostly marketing and advertising stuff). Soon, I became aware that there are a lot of writers out there who are experts in their respective fields and are constantly producing content about trendy topics in their field and curating newsworthy items.
I began to look to thought leaders in my field and followed their footsteps. In about two years, I have published work that I have used to demonstrate my knowledge in the industry during job interviews. I remember there was once when an employer who looked at my sites said that she was impressed by my work and hired me.
I think students in writing classes could use blogs as a place to start exploring their professional interests. Instead of journaling about their feelings of the day, students could write about their vision and understanding of their exploration in the discipline. Also, blogs are a perfect tool to curate news and information. Students can subscribe to/follow these thought leaders on their personal sites to keep up with the trends in their field. Later, through blogging, students can express their thoughts about a particular topic in response to the thought leaders. Furthermore, students can also use blogs as their portfolio showcase platform to exhibit their work.
While these are not the only ways blogs could be used, developing content about their profession can help students to establish a credible outlook online. Especially in today’s hiring practice where HR specialists are using search engines to look up talents and are filtering social media profiles to better understand their potential hires, having a strong online presence will boost a student’s ethos and may benefit the student in a long run. Digital personal branding — that’s how I’d call it.
Blogging about relevant topics in the industry, making them “share-able” on social networking sites, and getting recommendations from co-workers, teachers, and people that the students have worked with – blogs are a great tool for students to communicate their expertise and (hopefully) land a job.