Since November 2013, I have kept a blog on global news stories; it started because I hope to work as a journalist once I’ve graduated, and since I am not studying for a journalism degree, I decided to keep a blog to both practice writing articles in my area of interest and build a portfolio I could show to potential employers.
I had toyed with blogs before on several sites, including Alive Not Dead and WordPress, but ultimately I chose to begin my current blog on Blogger as it linked in so easily with my Google+ account as well as Twitter and Facebook. Other people prefer WordPress, saying that there are more options to personalise the blog, but as I only need to upload news and share the links, the ease of using Blogger is a big plus for me. On Google+ you have the option of joining communities who share similar interests to you. I joined several blogging groups that allow and encourage the sharing of blog posts, so whenever I have written a new blog post I share it on their pages as well as pinning the link to the top of my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline.
Through these methods I have steadily built a small readership, and with every post my audience stats gradually climb, as does the amount of followers I have on Twitter and Google+. The communities are also an excellent place for you to ask questions about blogging, getting traffic to your blog, and learning the ins and outs of using blogger, AdSense and how to avoid being labelled as a spammer. You might also find other blogs on a similar theme to yours and through this build connections who one day may ask you to write a guest post for them, or whom you can ask to write a guest post for your blog. The greatest benefits I have found in using these particular platforms is how easily they all link together: I have linked my Twitter feed with my blog as well and this allows followers from both sites to easily find and read any updates that I post on either page.
In the spring of this year, I emailed newspapers applying for internships. I included the link to my blog and was offered a post at a newspaper in France. Unfortunately, I had to turn down the opportunity, but it’s proof enough for me that putting effort into an online profile and regularly posting updates is worth it. It shows you are being proactive while also allowing people to contact and interact with you.
As long as you are willing to spend time and effort on beginning and building a blog, and you are willing to spend time plugging your blog in communities online, you will build a growing readership. I still consider myself a beginner, and I have already seen interest and had offers for internships from two countries; if this is what I can get after a few months, then the only way is up. I’ll continue to blog and share my posts through social media as it’s certainly a valuable tool that helps me to get to where I want to go.