Why blog?

In the last six months, I have:

  • Been chased by employers (instead of the other way around)
  • Been offered a position to help with the online PR for a Hollywood movie
  • Been given free reign to do all the marketing materials for a start-up
  • Been hired as an online marketing strategist (twice)
  • Been able to work with people who I respect and admire
  • Met several very successful entrepreneurs
  • Developed relationships and regularly brainstormed with incredibly smart, underrated people
  • Begun to establish myself as a relatively credible online presence
  • Heightened my ability to think critically
  • Started writing a book
  • Controlled what people see when they do a Google search of my name
  • Realized that I know more about online marketing than quite a few “experts”

And all of these are a direct result of having started this blog, and reading lots of other blogs.  I’m not bragging about all this – I’m not special.  In fact, I’m just an average kid who graduated a few months ago.  My point is that these sorts of experiences are entirely within your reach.

This is my 100th post.  I honestly never intended to even have a blog, but we were required to start one for the internship with Seth.  And you know what?  It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done for my career, and I didn’t realize it until just a few weeks ago.

No matter where you are on your career path, I urge you to start blogging about a topic you’re passionate about.  It doesn’t matter what that topic is – just as long as you have an authentic voice.

And if you are about to graduate from college, this is one of the best things you could do for yourself. Because when you graduate, you’ll be looking at lame jobs you won’t like.  And with the state of the economy, you probably won’t get hired for quite awhile.  Even if you’re doing an internship, it doesn’t guarantee anything.  You want to make money and be doing something you love right out of college?  Well, here’s your chance to make that happen much sooner than it would on its own.

A blog is your chance to market yourself.  It will show companies that you are unique, ambitious, online savvy, and valuable.  And the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be (you can count on almost no one reading anything you write for a few months… maybe more).

And as Alex said in the comments below, “The blog is the online resume, and you get out of it what you put into it. I’d rather hire someone with a blog so I could dive into their thought process than hire someone based on their resume alone. The blog adds character and insight, something a resume fails at.”

There’s a huge difference between being underrated and being poorly marketed. Avoid the latter by starting your own blog.

UPDATE – Nov. 20, 2008: Mitch Joel wrote a post yesterday on the #1 rule for a successful blog.  I highly recommend you read it.

DOUBLE UPDATE – Andrew Lynch, who has just gotten into blogging, clearly gets it (as demonstrated in an email he sent to me):

“It’s not about gaining a cult following, or showing off to people how clever and insightful you are; it’s about getting a seat at the table, connecting with people, building relationships and trust and ultimately the “permission” that allows you to market yourself later in life.”

TRIPLE UPDATE – My buddy Ryan Stephens (another Seth Godin intern) wrote a very similar post to this one.

By Charlie Hoehn Tagged

14 comments on “Why blog?

  1. The blog is the online resume, and you get out of it what you put into it. I’d rather hire someone with a blog so I could dive into their thought process than hire someone based on their resume alone. The blog adds character and insight, something a resume fails at.

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  6. How did you choose people to introduce your blog when you first started it? pp who have time to read/pp smart enough to comment/VIP who you need to get in touch (but they obviously don’t have much time to spend).
    And you did start to viralize your blog at its 10th post or at the very start?

    • What? I didn’t choose anyone. In fact, I didn’t TELL anyone about my site for a very long time — not even my parents. I had less than 10 subscribed readers for the first six months. People discovered this site after other blogs linked to my stuff. And I don’t believe in “viral” as a strategy. Just put out good, unique content and you’ll be fine.

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  8. Hey Charlie,

    I’ve gone through your book and much of the blog the past few weeks. I’m about to graduate and I can’t tell you how much direction your ideas have provided me with. Following your advice I started up a blog today – can’t wait to see what comes of it.

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