bloggingThis is a guest post by Stephanie Seibel.

The thought of starting a blog has probably crossed your mind once or twice. Putting your voice out on the internet can sound a little scary but can you really afford not to be blogging? Could sitting this one out cost you exponential career growth?

If you’re on the fence, here are six ways your competitors are already catapulting their careers with this modern career development tool.


Stand Out in a Crowded Labor Market

Whether you’d like to work for an employer or be your own boss, you’re rolling with the largest, most educated workforce to date. You may have credentials and a slick resume or bio, but your future employers, clients and/or customers have millions of other equally-qualified options to choose from in our increasingly global workplace. Even if you think you’re secure in your current position, you never know when you may be on the hunt for new work. Having a professional brand and positioning yourself as an online authority figure in your industry through blogging helps you stand out. Who do you think is going to get that job, customer or client: the candidate who took the initiative to share their professional knowledge creatively or the candidate they’ve never heard of? Think of the reasons you invest in things. It’s probably because you are familiar with them, trust them, and like them. Let your future employers, customers, and clients know you exist, see your talents, and start to trust you now — long before you need them to pay you.


Clarify Your Unique Offering

The top two reasons clients tell me they aren’t blogging are: 1) they don’t think they have anything valuable to share, or 2) they aren’t yet clear about their professional mission. These excuses simply don’t cut it anymore. No matter where you are at in your career, you have wisdom and opinions that can be helpful to someone a few steps behind you. No matter how far along you are, there is something you are passionate about, even if you can’t see the big picture yet. No matter what’s listed on your resume, you have the ability to learn and curate content based on what you learn. This is why I tell clients to start with what they do know today. Teaching is one of the fastest ways to clarify what you love, what you are good at, and what you uniquely have to bring. Most bloggers have to blog their way to their professional niche. A creative writing professor once told me, “you have to write your way through a lot of junk before you find your true message.” Even when you do find your professional vision, the reality of the 21st century work world demands that you never stop refining your craft anyway. Starting with a vague message is not only okay but a practice that will help you hone in on your calling faster. As you grow and come to better understand your professional purpose, your readers will evolve with you.


Learn Highly Sought-After 21st Century Skills

Depending on how deep you want to go down the blogging rabbit hole, becoming a blogger will give you opportunities to learn skills such as: copywriting, digital marketing, sales, social media, website design, graphic design, video production, search engine optimization, entrepreneurship, freelancing, and so much more. Through the means of online tutorials and courses, anyone can obtain working knowledge in any or all of these areas — quickly and for zero to low cost. No matter what you wind up doing in your career, these are highly sought-after skills that will serve you greatly.


Build Credibility

Guest posting on other blogs (as I am doing right now), is one of the simplest ways to grow your credibility. All major websites need content for their blogs and by providing that high-quality content, you’re not only helping out websites and readers but building valuable connections and gaining exposure that you simply can’t get off the bat in the real-world. With time, dedication, and quality submissions, some guest bloggers build large followings and may even be asked to become regular contributors for authority sites, receive job offers, project proposals, or even publishing deals. Some bloggers have used this technique to rise through the ranks and become all-stars in their industries.


Connect With Key Influencers

While in-person networking is of course still very important, today’s leading professionals are leveraging social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to make alliances —  for interviews, podcasts, guest posting, mentorship, internships, job and business opportunities, collaborating on projects, crowd sourcing talent and ideas, and so much more. Having a blog gives you relevant content to share and builds credibility on social media platforms so that you can join in the conversations that your industry’s key influencers are having. One of my favorite things about the internet is that it’s now easier than ever to not only pinpoint the most influential figures within your industry but to talk to them directly. These kinds of alliances can do wonders for your career.


Make Money

While a blog itself is not a business, many bloggers eventually choose to turn their website into a business by selling products, services, subscription programs, or through the use of affiliate marketing and other forms of advertising. Whether or not you plan on becoming an entrepreneur or freelancer in this lifetime, having it as an option could prove incredibly valuable given our current labor market. When most employers can no longer promise job security, some economists say that having the potential for multiple streams of income is a smart move right now. I like to think of a niche audience of readers with common interests and challenges as a modern day “safety net” — something you could monetize at any point if you desired. Loads of successful people are creating their own job security through side-projects and businesses or full-time entrepreneurship. While full-time entrepreneurship isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, building an audience over time is never a bad idea, in case you ever want to leverage it.


You have a professional message to share and there’s no better time to start than now. Your career (and your readers) will thank you.


About the guest post author:

StephanieStephanie Seibel, CPC, is a certified career coach for millennials and founder of She specializes in teaching young people about the alternative career options available today and helping them custom-design careers that are both meaningful and successful.

You can follow her on Twitter @RedThreadCoach