Do you need a blog?

More and more the question comes up in discussions I'm in on jobs: should one have a blog as a way to promote yourself personally?

I think the recent attention paid to twitter has brought blogging back into the spotlight by bringing more attention to online communication.  In addition, the ability to put RSS feeds into everything makes blog-data more ubiquitous.  So, much like Twitter, people are back to talking about blogs.

And so we're back to the question – do you need a blog for your career.  My answer, is "maybe, but it's not the right question."

What you DO need in your career is a central point or two for people to reach you – a Linkedin profile, personal web page, Facebook page, etc.  You need an online presence so you're there, visible, and have presence.  Twitter is also a nice side option depending how you use it.

Blogs however are there if you have something to say in public.  If you've got something, go for it.  Blogging is a great way to meet people, write better, communicate, and get involved.

But even then, it may not be relevant to your career directly or even indirectly.  I work with a person who does a blog on food and drink, which demonstrates his technical knowledge and passion, but isn't relevant to his career at all.  Other people blog on career issues in minute detail, a good way to show off their knowledge .  This blog itself is a mix between hobby and job-oriented, but it does display my interests.

If you like to blog on things related to your career, then that's another good thing for your career.  If you don't like blogging or your career, it won't work out for you anyway.  There's no reason to blog with an eye on your career if you're not enjoying blogging or your current career – the blog will be stale, uninteresting, or you'll just give up.

If you do want a career-related projet to show off your skills, find something you like to do and relate it to that (perhaps talk about it on your Facebook page, etc.).  There's no use doing a career-related blog unless you're into it.

– Steven Savage