Systematic transition from hobby to career can be achieved by way of a blog. The future is here and you can leverage it to achieve for this transition.
The following are three ways in which a blog helps you achieve a systematic transition from hobby to career:
1. Your own development, as you take your hobby into a more serious environment and consider it as your career
2. How others see your blog, and through that how they see you – the person behind the blog
3. How the blog benefits you in terms of career and opportunities
Let’s consider each of the three ways in detail.
1. Your own development:
Showcasing your expertise:
A blog gives you the best chance of showcasing your expertise. You are in control of the topic, the content that you publish, the frequency and style in which you present your thoughts and the confidence when you take a stance, deliver a judgment or present a recommendation.
To present your expertise, and to consistently and continuously post over a long period of time (think 2-3 years’ after you start your blog) you need to keep learning. Continuous learning is the key to becoming an expert in your topic and will be in-built into your blogging routine.
In my experience, I learn best when I have to write on the topic or when I have to teach someone else. A blog is no different.
Developing presentation (writing) skills – continuous improvement:
Your writing is guaranteed to evolve and improve. As you write, week in and week out, your writing and the consequent presentation of thoughts will also improve. In my opinion only a blog can offer this continuous improvement opportunity.
Building proprietary material over time (assets):
A blog aids the systematic accumulation of content. Post after post on a broad topic helps you collect a lot of material. You will build info-graphics, collect images, publish interviews, conduct surveys and analyze survey responses. All these can be translated into solid assets which can become valuable over time.
Building an interested audience over time (network):
As your blog grows in content, people will start signing up to your blog. Your blog’s social media outlets will also help publicizing your expertise and attract more subscribers. Over time, you will strategically grow your subscriber list. This is akin to systematically building your contact network.
Building business / entrepreneurship skills:
A blog requires time, money and effort to run. Then it needs to be marketed. At the same time you are building your own capabilities. You will also check out other blogs that cover the same topic as yours – the other blogs can be construed as your competition.
So, a combination of costs, operations, marketing, capabilities and competition is nothing but a business.
Having your own blog help you develop skills in running a business.
Getting real-time feedback:
As part of your reader engagement, you may solicit comments and questions and even conduct your own survey. You can then collect these insights and cycle those back into future content. Your blog thus, enables you to get real-time feedback from your readers.
This validates or refutes any hypotheses you may have and thus helps you develop more valuable content for your readers.
2. What others think when they read your blog:
They see an expert:
When someone searches for a keyword related to your topic and find your blog in the search results, your blog may provide them with a rich user experience. They will find value out of your post, find it interesting and share it with others they know.
They will bookmark your site as an expert or authority site on the topic.
See discipline, consistency and organization:
As you post week after week, on related sub-topics, with a well-constructed blog, your readers will appreciate your dedication to your blog. They will see through it and get a feel for the discipline and consistency.
Seth Godin writes a post every day. Yes, everyday. And he has been doing this for the past 7 years. Just think about what that conveys.
See passion, interest and effort:
As you build post after post, your passion and interest in the subject comes to the fore. The effort you put in will surely wow your reader. This is not trivial.
They appreciate your adaptability to the digital environment:
To build a successful blog – originally known as a web log – you need to be able to adapt to the digital environment. Blogging platform, domain, hosting, mailing list manager, social media connection, and other technological components are required to get your blog humming.
Arguably this is the most intimidating factor which prevents more people from taking up blogging.
People that visit your blog will surely appreciate all the back-end thoughtfulness and activities that has gone into your blog.
They experience your thought-process, assimilation of ideas and how well you articulate your thoughts:
Your content, presentation, connection of dots, your unique experiences, etc. are what will make your blog unique.
Your uniqueness will be best showcased by your blog.
3. How does all this benefit you?
You can easily be found on the internet:
Recruiters filling in for a position related to your topic, companies seeking expert consultants on your topic, and people looking for information related to your topic can “find” you on the internet. This translates into higher ranking for your blog and consulting engagements.
You have something to do when in-between jobs:
When you are in-between jobs, you can continue to plug away at your blog. During recessions and downturns, many small enterprises are born. Having a blog gives you a good chance to start your entrepreneurial venture during those times of hardship.
As your blog gets publicized and people become aware, you can seek and get speaking engagements.
Check out this page on Gary V’s blog – http://garyvaynerchuk.com/hire-gary-to-speak/
Moving into a different role becomes easier:
If you are planning to move into a different role or to another department, a blog is a great tool to achieve this. With strategic planning and systematic execution, if you give it sufficient time, you can have the decision-makers in your company become aware of your expertise. Then when the opportunity comes, you will be in a good position to stake a claim.
You accumulate sufficient content to write a book:
If you post weekly at an average length of 500 words per post, you will have solid content of 25000 words in a year. The average book is 30,000 words. In other words, over a year, your blog can provide you sufficient content for publishing your own book. How cool is that!
You establish sufficient contacts to market your book:
Having the content to write a book is actually the easy part. The difficult part is to market the book. That is why the best books by celebrity authors are “best-sellers”, and not “best-writtens”.
When you have a blog, over time, you build a good subscriber or mailing list. These people are the first ones to buy your book. Then your blog’s presence on social media, your initial readers’ testimonials, search engine results and other publicity avenues contribute to more sales.
A blog is the best way to market products and services.
4. In Conclusion:
The following site reveals some interesting statistics on blogging.
Specifically, 23% of all internet time is spent on blogs and social networks
77% of internet users read blogs
81% of US consumers trust advice and information from blogs
61% of US consumers made a purchase based on blog recommendations
The numbers are compelling, the technology is here and you have at least one thing that you are passionate about.
You should start your own blog.