Why Don't People Keep Blogs Anymore?

It's an early Tuesday morning--- not quite 8am yet--- and my eyebrows are already scrunched as I read an applicant's writing sample.

Slowly, I let out a measured, frustrated sigh.

There's no huge spelling mistake or grammar fail in the sample. It reads okay. And yet, I keep wondering:

How can one write such grammatically precise sentences but have so little personality on a page?

Scratching my ear, I ask the country manager, "Does this person have a blog, perhaps?"

The answer comes back swiftly. It's a no.

And that's when I begin to wonder: don't people--- aspiring writers, especially--- keep blogs anymore?

Is blogging so dead, so last season that people simply don't bother to create through that platform?

There are tons of valid reasons why people don't bother to keep blogs anymore. 

Some find it tedious.

Some find it unnecessary in the face of social media and microblogging platforms like Twitter or Tumblr.

Others find the upkeep expensive.

All of them are valid reasons, to a point.

However, I think that not keeping a blog is also a huge, wasted opportunity, especially if you want to work in the creative industry.

Especially if you want to write for the big, wide internets.

Why? How does keeping a blog allow you to land the writing job of your dreams? Let's count the ways:

Your Blog Can Hone Those Writing Chops... Among Other Things

I speak from personal experience, just like many other bloggers and writers out there. We kept blogs for fun and wrote articles about things that interested us. It wasn't really about doing a 'blogger pose', or going to the most Instagrammable places for internet clout.

We blogged because it was fun.

We blogged because we liked it.

We blogged because we loved to write about things that interested us and wanted a slice of the internet all to ourselves.

Back then, blogging was just an easy way to spend time outside of work, but along the way, it also became this avenue to improve and eventually showcase our writing chops.

Keeping a blog taught me how to stick to a schedule, to come up with interesting topics and to find my voice as a writer and content creator. It also taught me to network, to step out of my comfort zone and learn things that nobody taught me in school.

I guess now would be the perfect time to confess that I've never had any formal education in writing. I spent my college years poring over nursing books and going on duty at hospitals, so no one really taught me how to write--- until I fumbled my way through my blogs.

If you're an aspiring writer who wants to work in the digital creative industry, but don't know where to start, try creating a blog. It's one of the best ways to hone your writing chops and eventually showcase them to future clients or employers.

Your Blog Is Your Virtual Portfolio

Here's one thing that I noticed among writing applicants, especially the entry-level ones: they tend to put together a portfolio by scrounging up old writing samples or coming up with one at the very last minute.

That's okay, there's nothing wrong with drumming up a writing sample for a prospective client on the fly.

But imagine how easy it would be for both you and your prospect if you already had writing samples already on hand. A collection of stuff that you've written over the years. A virtual portfolio. A blog.

You don't have to create a writing sample from thin air at the very last minute. You don't have to panic about putting together a body of work, because it's already there, just waiting for you to show it off.

When I was looking for writing jobs, I simply sent prospects links to my blogs or directed them to my About page (where all the lowkey flexing happens, tbh).

My repertoire wasn't much back then, but at least I had a place where I could direct these clients to. Even if I wasn't as experienced as other writers out there, I had something to show for. My blog meant that I was serious about writing professionally, that I knew what I was doing and that I can provide value to brands and businesses who needed it.

Over the years I've tried hard to keep it updated with my professional milestones and the like.

Keeping a blog is like letting prospective clients into your own little slice of the internet. It's a portfolio. A showroom. And it's arguably more tangible than a post on Instagram or a status update on Twitter.

Your Blog Is One Of The Best Ways To Let Your Personality *Really* Shine

Now let's say that you have a degree in writing or media. You've written for print publications or other blogs. That's great!

Would keeping a blog help you increase your chances of landing your dream writing job?

Of course!

See, here's the thing: often, when you write for a living, you kind of lose your voice trying to sound like your client or your client's brand. This is super true, especially when you work in digital marketing, where you have to consider technical factors like SEO and your niche's audience. Over time, you'll sound like a robot, and that's not good.

This is what I noticed when I was reviewing those sample articles from applicants. They wrote grammatically perfect sentences. They had no spelling errors. Grammarly had nothing bad to say about their work.

And yet, most of them grossly lacked personality.

I can't hear their voices through their work.

I can't feel a unique cadence, can't see the person writing the piece.

These sample works were technically okay, but they didn't spark anything in the reader's heart. They didn't excite me about the topic they were writing about. Few of them gripped my shoulders and shook me awake and told me "Look here buddy, what I'm talking about is relevant or funny or informative, so better read on!".

When this happens, I always ask if these people have personal blogs.


Because a blog is the one safe place on the internet where you can flex those creative muscles and still sound like yourself. It's where you can write whatever you want and get away with it.

Why is personality so important if you're just going to write about web articles anyway?

Well, having a sharp set of technical skills is definitely an edge, but more than that, we also want to know the person behind the words. We want to know if you're a great culture fit for the company or project, and that's really important if you want to have a good working relationship with anyone.

We want to know what makes your heart beat, what excites and interests you. We want to know how you write when you write about the things you like. We want to get to know you, and your personal blog is the perfect way to get the party started. It's as simple as that.

Keeping  A Blog Highlights Other Marketable Skills

Last but not least, your blog is a great way to highlight other marketable skills aside from writing. I'm talking about stuff like:

  • on-page SEO
  • WordPress know-how
  • photography
  • basic graphics
  • social media marketing
  • and a bunch of other things!
Again, blogging is way more than looking good on a page, or going places or having free stuff. It teaches you the basics of digital marketing and content creation!

If you want to make it as a writer or an all-around creative, try to start and keep a blog. It's really well worth the effort.

So How Do I Start?

Blogging doesn't really cost an arm and leg. If you're just starting out, you can try free blogging platforms like Wordpress.com (that's dot-com, not dot-org!), Tumblr or even good old Blogspot. These platforms aren't nearly as flexible as a self-hosted site, but they're a good enough place to start. You can also check out this mini-guide that I wrote on blogging basics.

Then, if you want to upgrade, you can always chat up with our friends at Coffeemags so they can help you with your snazzy own site.

Before long, you'll be filling that space up with great content that you can also use to land that writing or digital marketing job of your dreams.

I guess that's it for today, guys. I hope that this post helped you out somehow. If it did, don't forget to drop a comment below and let's be friends!

Thanks for coming to my TedTalk and good luck! 

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