Making Your Blog Your Job



Okay, maybe not making your blog your job as such, but inspired by this post from Claire at Jazzpad I thought I'd give a little insight in to how my blog and online presence has bagged me a job or two. I've had so many debates on Twitter about putting blog links on CV's and in my opinion it's a vital selling point, which gives you that edge above other applicants. Yeah, you could have every degree and qualification under the sun, but degree's are ten to a penny nowadays - So, what makes you so special? It's not all about having the best blog, I mean, my blog is pretty basic and my English at times can be terrible. But it's the right people spotting your potential and your passion which will make it count.

I personally believe that whether you're applying for a job in a bar, a warehouse or an office, putting your blog on your CV helps you to stand out.

Some may disagree. I've seen people who work in hiring and firing departments express that a blog doesn't make a difference to an application process, but in all honesty, if a company was willing to overlook my personality, interests and hobbies; do I really want to work there?  I don't want to work in an environment where people are there to push buttons, file paperwork, be a slave to the grind and not have any passion for what they do. You spend over 38 hours a week at work, why would you want to work somewhere where your personality, ideas and interests can't shine through? I've been rejected from jobs, and yeah, I cried when *insert nationally renowned media company* didn't hire me for a social media job that I knew I could do so much better than other people in the interview could. In retrospect though, not getting that job was a blessing. If I did end up working there I probably wouldn't be writing this post right now. I would feel that my every online move was been watched, like they were waiting for me to say something to be called in to the office for. I want to work for a company who give you the freedom to do the job to the best of your ability, listen to your ideas and trust you to make your own calls where social media is involved. That's not slating the aforementioned company or it's employees in any way. Some people enjoy this type of job and some may enjoy their approach to social media, but for me, it's not the one. I've worked for big companies, I've even been called in to an office for putting a picture with a potato on Facebook when in working hours! I'm so lucky that now, despite Stoke on Trent being a place which somewhat lacks in social media and digital marketing jobs, I'm on to my forth role in this field. All of which I landed through my online presence supporting my CV. 

Many bloggers love writing on their own websites and would love to make it big through that alone, so their blog becomes their only source of income. I've seen lots of bloggers talking about how they made the jump in to bringing their blogs forward in to being their sole career. It usually involves a stack of savings and support from their families and friends. 

I never wanted or want that. I don't have a load of money stored away, I don't want to be 'Hello Terri Lowe' in the *real* world.

My blog is my hobby, as soon as this hobby turns in to my only source of income it drains the fun for me. It's not that I don't enjoy writing and social media in my actual *paid* job. But that's different as it's not on a personal level like my current online presence is. For me, there's a massive internal divide in my mind, which separates what I put online, what goes on in real life and what I do for my job. You'll notice I leave out names of friends who don't have Twitter, and respect when people in my life don't want to be name dropped on social media. Day to day activities aren't always written about and you'll never see a couple selfie over on my instagram. It's all very different worlds for me. But there's no rights and wrongs to what anyone does online. I never dreamt that after my degree I would land a social media job. My degree was in Crafts and my online persona at university was loosely based around that, my blog began as a Crafts based one and it's refined itself from there. Since I left uni I haven't made a single thing since. My creative energy which I once channelled in to making jewellery is now reserved for my blog and my job. So how did I go from traditional Crafts to Digital Marketing and Social Media? Well, it was a complete accident which was spurred on by fate (yes, fate.)

When I left uni I started working in a Children's Home. Yup, a unit where under privileged children lived for one reason or another. I went for this role as I had hopes of being a teacher one day, but decided to delay a PGCE for a few years whilst I saved up some money. Alas, 3 years later and I could not be more thankful I didn't pursue a career in teaching. The job itself, I really enjoyed. You basically get paid to be mates with a kid. Although their troubled start in life made it challenging at times, but it was rewarding to turn a negative situation around from them throwing a chair at you, to playing Call of Duty with them 10 minutes later. Although I enjoyed the job, the hours were impossible. You'd work a 24 hour shift and sometimes had to stay another 12 hours if the next person on shift didn't turn up. You couldn't plan life, you were constantly drained and unfortunately it just wasn't working out. 

This is where Twitter changed my career forever. 5 years ago Social Media jobs didn't even exist. I jumped on the bandwagon at the right time, and got noticed by someone who took a chance. 

After 3 months in the job, I literally couldn't take the tiredness any more. I turned my frustrations to Twitter. Although I do often roll my eyes and face palm over people moaning about their jobs on social networking, I suppose it's the way that you moan about them! Fortunately for me, my frustrations were read as a positive by the chaps at Koko Digital. As a local company, one of their owners had been following me on Twitter for a few months. When he saw I was after a new job he invited me in for a chat and it all went from there. Before I knew it I was offered a part time role as their In House Communications Executive. Although it was part time, it was the stepping stone I needed to begin my working life in the world of PR, Marketing and Social Media. The job was pretty much offered to me based on my personal online presence alone, as I'd had no professional roles in online marketing before and no formal qualifications. It only takes the right person spotting your potential to begin a new direction in life. If someone has been following you online for a while, they clearly like something about your personality. Get in to conversations on social media with people who can help you. Whether it be for future advice or job opportunities. You never know what's going on at the other end of a keyboard.

After a stint at Koko, which I enjoyed endlessly, it was time for me to move on to a full time job. Despite loving the place and the people, I just couldn't continue to live on part time wages, so that's when I landed my next job at Gandey World Class Productions. Hired initially as the PR and Marketing Junior I soon found myself in charge of all their social media channels and doing my first lot of Blogger Outreach! When I asked my standard 'end of the interview have you got any questions' question -  ''What was it about my application which bought it forward to the interview stage?'' My soon to be manager said (and I quote) ''I read your Twitter and you seemed absolutely mental, and I wanted to see which side of mental you were on, thankfully it seems to be the good side'' and a few days later, I was hired. There was even a conversation about a burn on my hand which looked like a penis. Yup. Working on shows such as the Chinese State Circus and the Lady Boys of Bangkok, it was such an interesting and varied role - especially when the Lady Boys were touring! My role at Gandey really gave me the opportunity to experiment with working with bloggers and collaborating with various brands. For their gala evenings I managed to put together some goody bags for bloggers by contacting companies who I'd worked with on my own blog, and also doing other exciting things like the Lady Boys Make Up Challenge. Bringing my blog in to this job was perfect, as it gave me the opportunity to utilise contacts I have both in industry and in the blogging world. 

After a while with the Lady Boys I felt it was time to move on again, so applied for a digital marketing job at a shoe company called Mozimo. At this point I realised that independent companies were more suited to my work ethics than big corporate brands. Once again, the stand out advantage on my CV was my blog, my social media presence and my over all personal brand. If you can market yourself and represent brands as a hobby then you can definitely do it as a job. Mozimo was an all round marketing role, where I did product photography, item descriptions, SEO, blog posts, social media and newsletters on a daily basis. It was a lot of work. But enjoyable. There's nothing better than a job where you can get stuck in and see the results happening. E Commerce is a great place to be if you want to learn more about SEO and Marketing, and definitely a place where you can transfer skills used in blogging over to! Literally everything I do on my blog from taking pictures to popping in search descriptions was utilised in that role. After around a year I started looking for another position out of intrigue and spotted a job opportunity a few miles away from where I live, so applied and now here I am today as a Social Media Manager for small domestic appliance brands!

Over the past few years I've noticed what seems to be some kind of 'movement' within job opportunities for digital marketers. Spending around 95% of my time narrating my life on the internet keeps you in the loop of what's going on around your online world. In the past 2 weeks I've caught wind of about 5 jobs which have all come up in my 'field' which people are referred me for. After spending around 3 years looking for the job which was 'the one' and struggling to even find any to apply for which were suitable for my skills, it's not only refreshing, but reassuring that companies are really investing in their online marketing teams. Not everyone who blogs wants to work in digital marketing, not everyone who blogs wants to be a blogger full time. But you never know where it will take you. It's a platform full of so many opportunities it's unreal at times.

As for what's next... Who knows? 

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6 Comments:

  1. Great article, Terri!
    Couldn't agree more with you about e-Commerce, that was my first proper job out of uni and I'm pretty sure I got it based on my blog, everyone who works online is a creep that way.
    Now I've moved on from retail, I'm still in Digital Marketing and even though the Photography graduate in me probably didn't expect to wind up here without any formal Marketing training, I'm pretty glad I did and just 'being online' was definitely the gateway to starting what has apparently turned into my career.

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  2. I got my first job at VICE mag directly through blogging and it definitely helped me get other jobs too. My current role involves looking after online content at Warehouse (essentially blogging) so those skills I learned from my hobby are invaluable! Great post. x

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  3. Really great post, this rings true for me as well - I got my first e-comm job straight out of Uni, within the beauty industry no less, and am now at Harvey Nichols, which has been massive for me. I honestly don't think I'd be sitting here in this office if it weren't for my blog!

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  4. I've read your blog for a while and didn't realise you'd had that many jobs in this fields, that's fantastic and all from little Stoke-On-Trent. Not so little but little in the online world! I like my current job, but it is minimum wage and not going anywhere so i'm looking for an out. Think i'm going to go back to uni and get a career. Got to be better than now surely! x

    Amy at Amy & More

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  5. I agree that if you're happy with a role where your personality doesn't really matter, and they just want an admin drone, then your blog probably won't matter, and might even work against you. However, for a company that value someone who has gone out on a limb to write and edit content, use social media to promote that content and put their personality across in a way that's at least semi 'professional' seeming, a blog can definitely be the thing that makes you stand out where other candidates don't. x

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  6. I completely agree that blogs are a great selling point on CVs. You can stretch so many skills from them - independent work, self-motivation, written work, communications, HTML, social presence, the list goes on! I was told that my blog gave me a great advantage in getting one of my part-time jobs (writing articles for a student website), and I think it's given me an extra edge in a marketing grad scheme I'm currently in application for. I think as long as you can prove the skills that blogging gives you, it should totally go on your CV. x

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Thanks for the comment!

About Hello Terri Lowe


A UK Beauty, Lifestyle and Food blog, based in Staffordshire, you can also expect to see reviews of places around the country. Often spotted in Manchester during a day job of Community Management for a PR Agency, you can expect to see a little bit of everything from festivals to food and everything in-between. When not blogging, you can find me having a nice sit down with my cats, Stevie and Kitty, or enjoying a fine cup of coffee. Don't forget to take a look at my 'about' page if you're interested in collaborating on any exciting opportunities!



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