Blogging nowadays is a great way to show you are social media savvy, competent in writing and have at least a basic understanding of creative and technological based industries – that’s art and SEO to you and me. More people are asking whether they should list their blog on their CV when applying for jobs, and my view is that it’s a huge boost for your profile – it shows you have a passion for a topic, you’ve worked with brands and know how to interact with consumers, and it even shows you have influence in the online world.
With that in mind, how can you make your blog become a portfolio for your skills whilst maintaining the personal touch that every comes back to read?
1. Link to themes supporting your chosen career
Whether you’re an aspiring photographer, fashion journalist, or a chef, your blog is the perfect place to show off what you’ve got. Creating a regular series of posts, running chats or discussions that discuss health or new season trends, or talking about events or talks you’ve attended that show you’ve taken outside initiative in pursuing your career are all great things to show your prospective employer.
2. Spend time practising and refining your photography
Now I’m not saying you have to perfect the flatlay or spend serious dollar on props, but as blogs are a visual force to be reckoned with it’s time you started making your work look slick. Whether it’s spending more time brightening your photos, taking fewer but higher quality shots, or creating a theme that represents your personality and niche topic, make sure it all looks well thought out and executed (if you need some tips, I have a lovely bunch of posts right here)
3. Utilise language and grammar
Unless you’re planning on writing for a magazine or broadsheet sometime soon, you only need to worry about the basics – punctuation, paragraphs, correct grammar and the tone of your piece. Are you writing to inform or explain? Is it a light hearted reflection on an event or a hard-hitting personal piece that may spark debate? Allowing your personality to shine through whilst sounding concise, informed and purposeful shows you are thinking outside of what your content displays, and it appeals to more people. Don’t forget about spell check too, that’s a sneaky one!
4. Link all your platforms
This is super important when networking and approaching brands, as they will want to see your activity on each platform you utilise. In the past I had a line of HTML code that prevented my social buttons from working, so whilst they appeared on my blog they were no use, and a brand had to email me to let me know which quite embarrassing. Check regularly that links work and are sent to the correct place, and cross link across all your platforms so everyone can find you easily – if you can, use the same name on each platform as this makes searching (aka stalking) much much easier.
5. Be professional
I like to throw in the odd bit of humour and slang sometimes in my posts, but ultimately I want my social media and blog to reflect a professional and mature outlook. For me, this means leaving those moans, groans and very personal business off Twitter and any public place for people to see them, and if debate or confrontation does start, either ignore it or reply with an informed yet gracious response – you will look so much more respectful and grown to others if you do. When dealing with brands too, always be polite and positive, thank them for an opportunity and offer up repeat services – if you had a bad time with a product, a polite email expressing your concerns and what you can do will be appreciated by the PR team. Also in line with this, if you are faced with a ‘no disclosure policy’ make sure you politely yet firmly reiterate that you have guidelines to follow set by the ASA and that you have to note somewhere in the post you have been paid/sent an item. It’s only a sentence, and half of the time people don’t notice or guess for themselves whether it’s paid for, but it’s better than both you and a company being penalised right?
Lastly, optimise your blog! This means saving your images for web no bigger than 1MB, creating an easily navigated home page, nav bar and mobile version of your blog, and having clearly categorised areas and links on your pages. Use SEO and meta-tags to bump your posts and blog up the Google ranks, work on decreasing your page loading time, and focus on how your blog appears to a new potential client – can they locate your about page within 5 seconds? Do you have links to all your different blog topics? Is everything located in one place or several drop-down menus? Have you installed a search button? Small details like this really make a difference when brands, clients, and readers all visit your page, so if you want your blog to kickstart a career, make sure people can find what they need quickly!
Combining your hobbies, passions and interests with a chosen career has never been easier thanks to blogging, but it can also prove a challenge in making yourself seen. By optimising your blog and turning it into the ultimate professional portfolio to not only showcase your skills but also your personality, you’ll be able to show your quality to any prospective employer or brand easily – go on, make the world fall in love with your blog!
Has your blog helped your career? Would you say your blog is a great portfolio for your skills and interests? Have you found any new tips to inspire you today?
Lots of Love,
Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.