How Blogging can get you more Money and a Better Job


By Carlos Portocarrero

bloggingA couple of years ago I was working at a job I hated, making very little money, and not feeling challenged at all.

Today I have a new job in a totally different field (I went from publishing to finance) making 43% more money than I made at my old job. I’m challenged every day and I enjoy what I do.

Did I get an MBA? Did I become a trader? Nope, it all happened thanks to this blog.

Things I Learned from Blogging

There are the obvious things like picking the right titles to draw people in, improving your writing, and so on. But when you look past the superficial parts of blogging (and if you keep doing it for a while), there much more important skills that you’ll start to acquire.

Running Your Own Business

It’s one of the coolest parts of running your own site: you’re the boss. You decide what to write about, what the color scheme is, what your logo will be, etc. At first it’s a little overwhelming because there are so many decisions to make (which FTP program to use, which host to use, what you should call the blog, etc…). After a while though, you start to feel empowered.

If you think changing things would attract more visitors, try it. For those of us that aren’t “bosses” in our work life, this is a great outlet to unleash your bossyness. The only downside is you have to boss yourself around, but that can also be a good thing.

The more you do this, the more you’ll hone your decision making and overall strategizing—something you’ll need as you work your way up in the “real world.”

Internet Behavior

Who cares what people do on the Internet, right? It’s mostly naughty stuff, anyway, isn’t it?

Actually, lots of people do. Odds are that any job you have from here until you retire will have some kind of Internet component. Knowing how people behave, how to surround content with ads effectively, what constitutes “bad design”—all these things may seem irrelevant to you, but if you ever end up leading a project that has to do with online strategies, it’ll come in handy. Better yet, it’ll allow you to take charge if a project comes up because you’ll know what you’re talking about.

My example: All the reading I did to make sure that I didn’t scare people away from my blog wound up giving me a strong enough knowledge base in my current job to know what I’m doing. More than your average person, anyway, and that has meant some deferment to me on certain things. Which is good, because I got to kind of be the boss of some projects because I knew what I was talking about.

Was I the smartest guy in the room? On some meetings I was, and that carries lot of weight.

Learning Something New From Scratch

This is a big deal. Have you tried learning a new language as an adult? It’s not easy. Actually, learning anything from scratch as an adult is pretty tough. And the only way to keep the brain in good shape to learn new things is by…learning new things.

Blogging doesn’t just involve writing. It involves traffic metrics, advertising, scheduling, SEO, pagerank, linkbacks, and on and on. There is A LOT of stuff that falls under “blogging.” Learning it all takes time and dedication.

Recently, I was telling a friend what she needed to do to get people to visit her photography blog and I wound up going off on all kinds of tangents.

Her response: “How do you know all this stuff?”

My response: “I’ve been doing it for years.”

In other words, there’s a lot to learn here, and picking it up and learning it is going to make it easier for you to learn other stuff down the road.

Patience

You think you know about patience? You don’t know patience until you start trying to edit style sheets in WordPress. Things never seem to do exactly what you want them to do. Want a teeny bit more space between two lines? It might take you a couple of hours.

Seriously.

And it might break something else.

Want to set up your blog, write about ten posts, and then watch the traffic roll in? Not so fast, my young grasshopper. That’s not how it goes. The boundaries of your patience will be tested and they’ll be tested hard.

Blogging is not for everyone, and you’ll know pretty quick whether you can handle it or not. If you think you can’t, you’ll be glad to know that there’s something else you’ll learn too…

Persistence

Every time I read a successful blog, I tip my hat. This person put all the hard work into it and made it work. They never quit.

And trust me, quitting is the easiest thing in the world to do. When no one is reading what you write and you’re spending hours on getting links to underline themselves when you hover over them, what’s the point?

The point is to keep on trucking until you start to “get it” and people start to show up. Is it hard and will it piss you off? Yes.

Is it worth it? You’re damn right it is. Persistence is what separates quitters from people that “make it.” And no matter what you’re doing in your life, persistence will take you a long way.

Part II Coming Soon…

This post is starting to get a little long, so I’m going to cover some other stuff blogging can teach you to improve your career in a follow up post: SEO, metrics, communication skills, networking, and a few other things.

See part II

Image by john a ward


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