For most bloggers, the most direct way to acquire blogging credentials is to build a blog and start blogging. Like you, I never considered the alternatives until a digital/social media strategist colleague, with copywriting experience and a degree from a top creative writing program, discussed wanting to blog professionally. Her one obstacle: She didn’t want a blog of her own because she didn’t feel that she had enough to say on her own. (Note: This can be a challenge for bloggers until they start building their confidence.) That got me thinking about how she could get experience without a blog of her own.
Here’s five ways to gain blogging street cred without having a blog of your own. While these tactics are targeted at people who want to break into professional blogging, they can be help you build your own blog and expanding your credibility.
- Volunteer to write for your company blog. While many marketers think that a corporate blog should be at the heart of their social media marketing, it can be difficult to enlist support from other employees. Therefore, if you’re looking to build your blogging porfolio, you’ve got a tailor made opportunity. Even better, you can negotiate getting this activity integrated into your job function. Or if your firm already has an established blog, volunteer to contribute.
• Build your blogging portfolio.
• Incorporated into your existing job.
• Doesn’t build your brand. (You’re building your firm’s brand.)
• May need to write frequently if you’re the only person blogging.
- Be part of a group blog. This type of blog is run by a small group of people, each of who actively contributes on a regular basis. Social Media Examiner was started on this basis.
• Establishes blogging credibility.
• Only write once per week.
• Pools your influence and reach.
• Don’t own house file and/or revenues.
• Builds group’s brand, not your brand or business.
- Contribute regularly to a third party blog. This type of blog is similar to being a columnist for a non-blogging entity. You write once-twice a month and have a page with your bio and links to your column. Content Marketing Institute is an example of this type of blog.
• Establishes blogging credibility.
• Has pre-existing audience, which you can leverage.
• Requires limited writing.
• Don’t own the house file.
• Doesn’t build your business or brand.
- Ghost write for a third party blog. This option allows your writing to shine but it doesn’t have your name associated with it.
• Supplies experience blogging.
• Provides revenue.
• Doesn’t build your brand.
• Doesn’t provide any association such as an author page.
• Is difficult to prove that its’ your work without a recommendation.
- Write guest posts for a variety of blogs. Unlike being a regular columnist, you’re writing a one-time post. It’s important to build your reputation and that of your host. In this case, you’re spreading the wealth in terms of your writing to a variety of different blogs.
• Provides broader exposure to diverse audiences.
• Expands your reach through the use of adjacent niches.
• Don’t get paid for your work.
• Don’t build your own brand.
In reviewing these blogging alternatives, did you see the common threads? These blogging alternatives provide valuable experience and great exposure but they all have one drawback. You don’t build your own brand and/or following. If this last point is an issue for you, stick to your own blog.
Are there any other ways that you suggest for getting hands-on blogging experience without having your own blog? If so, please add them to the list.
Here are some related articles on blogging.
Need more blogging support? If so, tune into #BlogChat on Sunday evenings at 9.00pm NY time.
BTW, if you’re looking for a great writer to add to your team, please email me and I’ll put you in contact with my colleague.
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