How Blogging Helps Your Career #7 – The Laboratory

(The roundup for the “How Blogging Helps Your Career Series” is here)

Blogging is a way to grow and expand who you are – certainly it’s a kind of obstacle course that’ll teach you to be a better researcher.

But beyond the learning experiences and the stretching and expanding it puts you through, blogging also gives you options.  Lots of options.  A blog is there for you to do anything with.

Want to try a new blogging platform or plugin? Fine.

Want to try a new writing style?  Post that sucker no matter what.

Different layouts?  Easy.

Different SEO?  Go for it.

Blogging is about writing and communicating, but it’s filled with options from software and extras to the sheer freedom of writing anything on the internet.

Blogging is a laboratory.

When you blog, you have a gigantic laboratory at your hands that lets you try out technologies.  It’s not just a school, it’s a chance to experiment.  There’s plugins and blogging tools and more that you can get with disturbing ease.

If it breaks?  Well if you backed up smartly, you can start over.  If you didn’t back up smartly . . . well then you also learned something else for your laboratory.

When you blog, you have ways of experimenting with the format, form, and delivery of information.  Try more smaller posts or lesser large posts.  Go crazy with hyperlinking.  Go multimedia with embedded video.  You can try different ways on delivering information.

If it’s incoherent?  Then you’ll have people tell you.  Sure, it may be with angry posts, but you’ll get feedback.

When you blog, you can experiment with how a blog fits into your life, hobbies, and career.  You can see if a blog works best combined with Facebook, or as part of a pro association, or what have you.  You can see where it fits into your life.

If you’re wrong?  You’ll know.  Then it’s a change of schedule or a blog migration to correct.

Blogging even lets you experiment with methods of productivity.  Getting a blog to run, working so it’s on time, etc. lets you try different methods of getting things done.

If it doesn’t work . . . you’ll know.

As you experiment?  THere’s communities of bloggers to discuss everything with and learn from.  You’ll even get to provide information on your findings in a way that can help others (well, if you participate in a community).

A blog is a laboratory for many things in your life, from time management to technology.

For your career, you can see where this is going:

  • A blog is a way to experiment with technology in a way that educates you.  Besides you can try your crazy ideas related to blogging at home before you take it to work or your pro site.
  • A blog is a way to try all sorts of different writing styles and experiments.  .  I’ve had many times where what I’ve learned about communication in my blogging applied in my career.
  • A blog also lets you try ways to be productive and organized.  Which most of us could always use more of.

A blog is a laboratory.  So what are you going to do with it?

Takeaways and To dos:

  • If you’re going to experiment with a blog technically, it may be worth having an experiment-only setup that you occasionally blow away and reset.
  • Keep notes on your experiments, especially sources and links – even if it’s a scratchpad sheet on your computer.  It’ll let you share your findings.
  • Don’t be afraid to make suggestions on blogging tech at your job.
  • Back up.  Always.
  • Writing for blogs allows you to experiment a lot, so organize your experiments.  Try different methods, linking strategies, etc. and follow them through.
  • Always ask for feedback from your various activities.
  • On your job/with your clients find out when you can and should mention your blogging experiments.  That way you can stay engaged and people come to you for your knowledge.
  • Get involved with other bloggers and communities you you can share experiments and learn from others.  This also helps share your knowledge.
  • Treat a blog as something businesslike unless it’s purely recreation.  It’ll help you improve your organizational skills.
  • Always keep experimenting.  You’ve got a unique opportunity here.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at