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I always maintain that the main reason I was able to go into content/marketing after finishing a media degree at university is my blog. It’s been the focal point of many an interview, and is a tool that’s been really useful for showcasing my copywriting skills as well as a few digital marketing skills I’ve picked up over the last six years.
There are so many elements involved with setting up and maintaining a blog that it’s highly unlikely you’ll have all the skills you need straight off the bat. Perhaps you’re an amazing copywriter but you know nothing about Google Analytics, or maybe you’ve got an eye for design but social media marketing is a minefield.
Depending on why you started a blog in the first place, your skillset may need to develop quicker than you’d realised. I started my blog whilst I was bored at uni and wanted a creative outlet. Skills like Google Analytics, Adwords and affiliate marketing were alien to me, and it was only once I wanted to find out how my posts were performing and monetise my blog that I found I needed to acquire extra skills.
A blog is the ideal platform for testing out new theories and ideas in the world of digital marketing, especially if you’re selling something. I’ve never really utilised the money-making side of this space, something I regret on a near-daily basis, but I have learned an abundance of new skills like working on a mailing list, using social channels and creating resources for my audience.
Speaking of which, if you sign up to my mailing list you’ll receive my FREE guide to starting a bullet journal – a useful tool for planning your blog content!
How to start upskilling
I love learning new things so I researched pretty much everything when I first started growing this platform. I found that Googling the tech stuff worked well, but I also enjoyed finding blogs to read which offered help and advice to those starting out.
This led me to join a couple of Facebook groups full of likeminded bloggers sharing their knowledge. I now like to offer advice and experiences where I can as I’ve learned lots from others doing the same.
PROTIP: Always read the rules when joining Facebook groups, as often you aren’t allowed to share links to your blog directly or leave your email address.
I’ve also recently joined Grow and Glow, a community which offers its own resources created by experts. If you’ve really got no idea what you’re doing or you want to gain some more technical skill, I’d really recommend becoming a Grow and Glow member! You’ll also gain access to their Facebook group, which is honestly one of the most helpful I’ve been in.
What skills can I gain?
Just in setting up a blog you’ve no doubt gained some knowledge of how blog hosting works, maybe fiddled with some code, and got to grips with a Content Management System (CMS) like Blogger, WordPress or Squarespace. Perhaps you’ve designed a logo yourself, or set up Google Analytics or Google My Business. Whatever experience you gain from the day-to-day running of your blog could be the invaluable piece of knowledge you need to land your next day job.
My advice would be to try as many new things as possible. Want to dip your toes in to affiliate marketing? Just apply for a programme and see what happens! Wanting to switch up your photography? Buy some props, invest in good lighting or hire a photographer to take photos of you.
If you’re not feeling like you’ve learned a lot from blogging, why not write a list of the things you do on a weekly basis for your blog? Do you take photos, schedule tweets, market yourself on Instagram? I guarantee you’re doing more than you think!
Make sure you’re talking about all the things you do! If you’re hoping to prove you have the skills necessary for a certain job, shout about them on your CV and make sure you mention them in an interview.
If you’re just trying to grow your skillset, keep trying new things with your blog. There’s things I do now which are second nature to me, but I really struggled with when I first started out. Besides, it’s a lot easier to practice skills on a blog than on someone else’s website!
What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learned since you started blogging? I’d love to know!