Just wondering, I know people blog for personal reasons, but has having one helped you get writing work? — Anonymous
In the summer of 2008, I saw an ad for a women’s news blogger on AOL.
At that point, the only blogging I’d done was for my little-read Blogspot blog on which I ranted about various things going on in the world and for the web site of the physical therapy magazine I edited. The ad asked for two samples showing your style and humor. I remember one of the two I sent: a short post comparing Philly mayor Michael Nutter to Shock G (with the nose and glasses) of Digital Underground.
The AOL editor thought this was hilarious and gave me the job. I ended up blogging for AOL’s Lemondrop right up until I left for Australia, and it was one of the best gigs I’ve had to date in terms of variety of blogging I did and the high-profile promotion of it.
So, yes, my blogs have helped me get work.
This current blog is a bit different in its purpose. I do have it largely for personal reasons, but it’s also helped launch me into another niche of blogging: travel. It helped me develop relationships with other bloggers and learn what people like to read and what they don’t.
I think more than anything, this blog has made me a better reflective writer. My background is in journalism, and I used to be a “just the facts, ma’am” writer. In fact, when I got the above AOL gig, the editors constantly told me I should work more on my “voice.” It took me a long time to develop my voice and even longer to talk comfortably about feelings as I do on this blog.
I’ve seen it written many times before that blogging is all about navel-gazing. For someone who came from the other side, the newsier, bare bones style of writing, I’m all about exploring this navel-gazing. If I ever get a column on a major web site or publication or write a memoir, I’ll have the writing I’ve learned to do on this blog to thank.
Other bloggers out there, has your blog helped your career?