I’m surprised I haven’t told this story yet on my little corner of the internet, but my blog actually has helped me land multiple jobs post-grad. Full-time, marketing positions. Sure, I had a pretty solid resume packed with multiple internships, but months went by after I graduated and I had, well, nothing. It wasn’t until I was more candid about blogging and all the skills I’ve learned while being a small business owner on the side that I began to dazzle employers.
Are you interested in the marketing/PR/journalism industry and want to know how to use your blog to help you get your foot in the door? Read on!
I knew Adobe Photoshop and InDesignEvery single marketing position I’ve held has wanted a candidate who knew the basics of Adobe Creative Suite. Every. Single. One. It wasn’t a dealbreaker necessarily if someone didn’t know how to use it, but it was a major plus if someone did. I don’t do anything super crazy with Photoshop at work, but I do need to know how to basic things like resize images, add borders, add typography elements, etc etc. By no means do you have to be a Photoshop or InDesign expert, but you should have a basic understanding of it!
I knew how to pitchI definitely learned how to pitch as a PR major in my classes, but outside of the classroom I was hardly using it IRL. After I launched my blog and started seeing pitches come to my mailbox and drafting pitches of my own to companies, I quickly learned what worked, what didn’t and what the right buzzwords were to convince someone to work with you. Going in an interview and naming off the list of companies you’ve successfully pitched to is major, y’all.
I became an expert in my industryI’ve spoken at blogging/social media workshops, panels and conferences not only in D.C., but up and down the mid-Atlantic a a result of blogging. I’ve also consulted with local businesses and have done some freelance social media work as well. Being able to demonstrate that blogging is more than just a hobby and has allowed me to gain valuable skills in the digital marketing realm is insanely attractive to a company.
NetworkingMost of the blog friends I have in D.C. also hold full-time positions elsewhere. D.C. is the type of place where everyone has some sort of side hustle, and we’re all ambitious overachievers. Not too surprising I fit in here, right? Quite a few of my blog friends are in the marketing industry as well, and I also meet other local marketing/PR reps in the area as a result of collaborating with them on the blog. I went from knowing zero marketing people back when I moved to D.C. in 2013 to having a network of nearly a hundred people to lean on.
I defined my personal brandI inadvertently built my own personal brand by starting my own blog. Building a brand is way more than selecting a pretty design with your graphic designer. I carefully constructed my online presence. I learned who my readers were. I curated content based on what I thought they would be interested in. I built a fan base. I accepted and rejected opportunities based on if they fit my brand. Before I started blogging, I thought branding was a pretty, cohesive design. Now I realize that branding is way more than that. It’s your tone. It’s your content. It’s knowing exactly who you are, what you stand for and how you present yourself.