By Ryan Healy — like most people our age, my friends don’t really read blogs. So I created a My Space page to market my blog. At first, this worked out great. Our friends could see bulletins every time a new post went up and people got a better sense of what the blog was all about.
On top of this, every night before bed I left an AIM away message stating, “click here” and people would be sent to the site. I also updated my Facebook profile every time a new post went up. All of these things worked great for the first few weeks. My friends went to the site, and someone new would ask about it nearly every day.
Despite all of this, we realized that it is not easy to convert the average twentysomething to the wonderful world of the blogosphere. Even my friends and acquaintances that appreciate what I’m doing and compliment my site do not frequent my blog or any other blog on a regular basis. And when they do visit the site they almost never leave a comment.
It’s ironic, though, because blogging is a way to deal with the biggest problem at the beginning of one’s career: No expertise. If you offer intelligent opinions or advice on a credible blog, then you are an expert. This is why more young people should blog. If you have a focused blog, then you can jump from job to job and learn many skills, but the constant will be that you are an expert in whatever area you choose to research and write about.
A great example of someone establishing themselves as an expert through a blog is Ramit Sethi of Iwillteachyoutoberich.com. He started writing about personal finance a few years ago and now he gives speeches on the topic, has a book coming out and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. Sure it takes a little hard work, but the end result can certainly justify the means.
If you are interested in a subject but really don’t know much about it, creating a blog is a great way to learn. If you are really clueless at first, then start your blog as a clearing house for everything related to your niche. Scan the web for articles, create Google alerts for key words and contact a few experts. Eventually you will absorb so much about the topic that you can write intelligent posts as often as you would like. Get Rich Slowly is an example of a blog that started as mostly links and summaries of other peoples’ posts. Quickly, though, author JD Roth became expert enough to write his own commentary in addition to linking.
One of the hardest parts about starting a blog is that nearly every subject worth writing about has been covered to death. The solution to this is to put your own spin on it. If you are a young person the easiest thing to do is highlight the fact that you are young and write about it from a young person’s point of view. For example, if you are interested in marketing, research how the “experts” try to reach young people and then write about what works and what doesn’t. People are bound to listen; everyone is trying to figure us out.
Creating a blog will not only turn you into a subject matter expert, but it shows drive and motivation when trying to get your next job. Highlight the blog on your resume, discuss how you balanced blogging with working and brag about your site statistics and mentions around the web. Maybe blogging is the new graduate school.
Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.