Talk To Me
is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.
Everyone who runs a blog, no matter how big or small, knows that a lot of work, time and discipline goes into it. Depending on your blogging style and your niche, you’ll have to at least think about the following points to varying degrees:
- content production: how often do you post what, how polished does it need to be and when do you have the time to actually write it?
- social media presence and marketing: do I need to get pinterest even though I’m more comfortable on twitter? Does it make sense to create a facebook page for my blog? Will people actually follow me? Whether we play the social media game or not
you win or you die; there is no middle ground, most bloggers have thought about this at one point or another and a lot of bloggers spend huge chunks of time devoted to their social media presence.
- platform: should I go self-hosted or use an existing platform? If I go self-hosted, how much do I have to pay? Should I learn some code myself, or should I dish out for a customized theme? Do I need to know Photoshop to make a blog banner? Can I just use a free theme?
- networking: how much time do I have to reply to comments and comment back? Can I approach bloggers who have a bigger following than I do without making a fool of myself, or will they think I’m a total dork?
These are just a few of the points that can face you when you run a blog. Of course it is always your decision how much time you put into your blog, but creating and maintaining a blog consistently takes a lot of discipline and creativity. It can, however contain personal information, informal writing, or controversial opinions, which is why I’m interested: do you put your blog on your CV if you have one, and if you don’t, would you put it on your CV if you had a blog?
Some people view their blog as a hobby they have on the side, some people turn it into a job and treat every aspect of it professionally and a lot of people are somewhere in between. Personally, I consciously try not to see my blog as a job, which means I don’t worry too much about having a consistent schedule or only sharing my most polished writing. Could I produce posts that are more structured, precise and informative? Yes, but it’s not my job, so I’m going for a convoluted thought process meets wacky humor meets sometimes-obscure references style instead. Some of you seem to enjoy it, and if it brings a smile to someone’s face somewhere my job is done.
I love interacting with commenters, fellow bloggers and random people on twitter, but I don’t worry too much about gaining new followers or producing viral content, because, again, I’d have to put in more thought and time than I am willing to do right now. I love writing and sharing random thoughts or reviews, but I’m also studying for a degree and working, so this is what I do with my free time to relax. Or to procrastinate while feeling productive, but let’s not split hairs. I like to think that I’m professional when I interact with publishers, and I actually love exchanging professional emails and communicating with people, but that’s about the extent of my professionalism.
Otherwise, I’m laid back and I share some (but not all) personal information. For example, I wouldn’t gossip about a current employer or share disadvantageous stories about friends and family, but I will tell you about what I think of a certain book/movie/public issue without reservations. I also talk a lot about how I procrastinate, which is probably not the best impression I could make on a future employer, but it’s all for the sake of fun and whining, so I’m hoping my accompanying academic and work-related testimonies show the fact that I can, sometimes, actually be an organized, productive human being. For a day every two months.
All of that might make you think I wouldn’t put my blog on my CV, but I do. Currently I’m applying for MA programmes, but I have also used it on job or internship applications before. Sure, sometimes I’m worried that someone will actually check it out and find one of my ten thousand accidental spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. They might also think I can’t be professional, because I’m informal on here, or disagree with the fact that I share some of my life online. If it’s a media position, they could judge me for my amount of followers and comments, or the design of my blog.
So if my blog could be detrimental, why do I share it? Well, I believe that it also shows skill, creativity and discipline and proves that I can be productive even when no one’s paying me for it. It’s “living” proof that I have basic knowledge of CMS and HTML and can produce content on a regular basis. As to the content itself… well, if someone doesn’t want to give me a chance because they fundamentally disagree with something I said or don’t like the fact that I have a blog in the first place, it probably wasn’t meant to be anyway. And who knows, a blog and the fact that you seem to have some computing skills might be the exact thing that gives you an advantage over someone else.
Do you put your blog on your CV? If you don’t have one, would you put it on there? What do you think are the criteria that decide whether a blog belongs on a CV for you? Have you ever had any good/bad experiences with putting your blog on your CV? If you’re in a position where you review applicants, how would a blog on an applicant’s CV influence your decision? I’m interested to read what you think, so let me know your thoughts below!