So I’ve just spent about three months writing about how blogging helps your career. I hope it was informative, inspiring, and at let me try out using more metaphorical writing techniques.
But there’s also the question – when does blogging NOT help your career? There may be times, ways, things, and mistakes you can make that are actually bad for you. Based on my experiences, I want to share this with you in the interest of fairness.
This may not mean you shouldn’t blog – but it does mean you might want to take some precautions to avoid problems. This may not mean you won’t blog, but may mean it’s not going to help your career. You have to assess risks and results.
So when does blogging not help or can even damage your career?
If there’s no reason to blog except for your career and you don’t enjoy it? Don’t. Don’t assume grinding through things over and over again just to get a few happy hits is going to be worth it. Blogging should honestly be something bigger than “how do I take advantage of blogging.”
Also, note a blog can degenerate into this, so you may need to quit, take break, or revive.
The Black Eye:
Consider that a blog can also make you look bad. If you work in sensitive areas, if you are person lacking subtlety, if you’re not ready to accept that some things you say may close opportunities as well as opening them, blogging may not be for you.
Blogging is putting yourself out there, and taking risks. Now i’m for risks – you may not be ready for one.
Blogging can also be addictive (trust me, I literally had to tone it down). If you don’t have the time, it may not be for you – or may be better if you blog on someone else’s site or take it easy. The time has to be worth it.
The Wrong-Way Turn:
Yes you can combine your love of ranting and talking and your career – but a blog might not be the right thing for you. Maybe it’s vLogs, or Podcasts, or something else. Yes, you may want to get out there, but don’t mistake a blog as the right thing for you – though I do recommend a bit of a blog at a personal site just so people can get to know you and you can give updates.
The Leak That Isn’t:
I work in Silicon Valley, land of the NDA. If you’re not ready to be discreet in your blog, if you’re not ready to think that an innocent post may make you look like you’re spilling the beans, you’re not ready to blog. If you ever wondered in the past few years “why did Steve stop talking about X” or “why isn’t Steve covering Y”, don’t always assume it’s because I missed something or got lazy (though those aren’t half-bad assumptions).
The Bridge Is Out:
Sometimes your blogging just won’t help your career directly or even indirectly. That’s fine. Go on and write about sewing and then go to your day job as a physical therapist, or blog about toy trains and then go to work doing gene therapy. They just may not connect, and you can enjoy hobby blogging and your work separately. Don’t push yourself.
Sometimes it’s not time to blog on your own, but as part of a bigger project – or do some other project – to help your career. So don’t feel like you have to run off and do your own thing, be part of a group (or build one). I’m not encouraging anyone to be the Lone Blogger of The Apocalypse.
So keep these issues in mind when you think about how blogging can help your career – it may not, or what you’re thinking of may not help you the way you think.
Also, let us know how it goes. We always want new bloggers!
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.