By Guest Blogger Robbi Hess
The other day I had someone ask whether they should blog. My first response was, "Of course" but I tempered that by asking why he wanted to blog. He said he was going into a PhD program and wondered if blogging might help him in gaining credibility. He also wondered whether spouting his political views might hurt him in obtaining job offers. My answers were, "maybe and possibly..."
Blogging can set you up as an expert in your chosen field whether it's baking, writing, hot air balloon-making or dog walking. If you have the knowledge and background in a particular area then, blog about it. If you can write humorously on a variety of topics, then go for it. There are some blogs I read to be entertained and others I read to learn and others I simply pop by to see what's going on in the "neighborhood."
I do go to political blogs, weather blogs, and myriad others -- that's the beauty of the Internet, there is something for everyone.
When I blog, I occasionally have written on controversial topics but they are topics on which I could defend my position if I had to. I have never written something simply to garner feedback and readers. There are enough blogs out there that do that without my having to.
I told the man who asked me about whether having a blog and writing about controversial topics could hinder him in a job search that it depends on the employer. Certainly everyone has read about those individuals who blog about how horrid their job is and then get fired for it. The same could be true if you are going to see employment at an ultra-conservative office and you are blogging about extreme liberal ideas -- it could prevent you from being hired. Is it right or just? Who knows, but it just is.
My bottom line advice to him was, if you have something to say and want a platform to say it, then blog about it. If you want to be the go-to expert in your field then blog about it. If you're a bit nervous that your blog could hinder your job aspirations, then temper your posts. But, by all means blog!