Blogs are gaining ground as an emerging and rapidly growing social communication medium. There are over 156 million public blogs in existence, and this number is increasing by the seconds.

The word “blog” stands for ‘web log’ and it is a form of an online diary usually focused on particular topics or interests. A blog has no boundaries, as you can write about anything you like. Blogs range from personal blogs to corporate blogs, with focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (videoblogs or ‘vlogs’) and audio (podcasts).

The beauty of blogs is that anyone can set one up; so if you have an area of passion or expertise to showcase, then starting blogging about it.

Blogging has lots of benefits for businesses and for an individual’s career. If done well, blogging can boost your career prospects greatly.

“Today’s job market is so competitive that you have to do as much as possible to stand out,” says Alison Doyle, author of Internet Your Way to a New Job: How to Really Find a Job Online.

She adds, “Your blog can convey more to a hiring manager than a resume.”

Starting a professional blog shows potential employers that you’re engaged in your field, eager to learn, and committed to keeping up with industry trends.

Are you thinking about starting a blog and wondering how blogging would pay off in your career? Then the following guide would be useful for you:

Blogging can raise your professional profile and impress prospective employers. Bloggers (the owner of a blog) are known to blog about what they are good at, an area of expertise in their field/profession. When you blog regularly, before long, you would become recognised as a thought leader in your field. This, in turn, impacts on the tendency to be approached by potential employers who may be on a search for your skills/expertise.

Keeping a blog demands a lot of dedication, time management and self-discipline, all of which can be a valuable resource to employers – meaning you get first mention on an employer’s hiring list.

Blogging can give your career the desired edge it needs to stand you out as an expert in your field. If you go about blogging the right way, it can be a bonus to your career. Blogging can help you build your reputation, increase your expertise, assist you in keeping up with what’s going on in your industry, and give you a place to showcase your knowledge. And if you are blogging about your field, you will build credibility as someone who, at a minimum, has an intense interest in and passion for the field. Before long, you would become the ‘go-to-man’ in your field!

This, I can attest to. Try to Google ‘Social Recruiting in Nigeria’ now, and you will find most of my i-punch articles on the first page of the search page.

Blogging would help you gain access to more experts in your field. Blogging can also make you part of a fairly select community of colleagues/fellow experts – people who will trade ideas with you, help you network, and serve as a sounding board. This can enhance your ability to have access to career opportunities that exist in your field and give you competitive advantage. Every blogging category has a community of like minds. My advice to you is that, find the community of experts in your area of blogging passion and flock with them.

Blogging skills are basic requirements for some jobs today. The fields of journalism, marketing communications and public relations (or reputation management) have gradually left the print media, with new or online media as their new home. This connotes that any individual that hopes to stand out of the crowd in these fields must take blogging seriously. A single blog post is all you need to make a difference in getting that job offer or otherwise.

Blogging comes with no cost at all; you can start blogging for free now. To start a blog is free, all you need basically is a blogging sites that offer free blogs for use. Top among such free blogging sites are WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, etc. When you do set up a blog, do use your name to keep true to your personal brand online and so you can be known for your expertise. A free blog can suffice till you can set up your own domain blog.

In conclusion, blogging has ground rules and you must abide by them for success. Some of the blogging ground rules include, among others, keeping your blog professional and truthful; keeping it interesting with useful information; and remember to put in the time to blog regularly. Your goal is to attract the interest of people who can help your career, right? Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want a recruiter/hiring manager to read. Abide by the ground rules and you can blog your way to career success.

While blogging isn’t for everyone, if you put in the time to do it right, it can be an immensely useful tool to build your career and reputation.

Now you know, go ahead and start your own blog today, as I hope to read from you soon.

Copyright PUNCH.