5 Real-World Advantages to Being a Blogger

I'm assuming I don't have to convince you guys that being a blogger is amazing.

You get to meet tons and tons of likeminded people, you have your own personal little corner of the internet that you are overly proud of ... and your social media stats, no matter how paltry in blog-world, are super-impressive to your real-world buddies.

(I know, I'm transparent, competitive and vain. Shh.)

But these are all internet-based advantages. What's the point of all this when we inevitably have to log out, close the laptop and step into the big, scary wide world? Well, I have some suggestions:

#1 ~ The CV boost is insane

Okay, my friends, story time.

A little over six months ago, I was hardcore freaking out trying to find myself some work experience. I applied everywhere I could think of that would be mildly interesting, be that publishing houses, libraries, bookshops ...

I'll be honest, I wasn't casting the widest net in the world. But when I was offered to come in and interview at a local bookshop (which, thanks to fiddly insurance stuff and already having said yes somewhere else, I didn't actually do), I discovered that the girl who sat next to me in science had also gone for one there.

The first thing her interviewer said to her was "oh, are you the one that has a blog?" And she is absolutely, definitely not a blogger.
The "blog" part of my CV had stood out so far in the mind of whoever was reading it that it sounds like they were attempting to apply it to anyone from my school who happened to walk through the door. It might not be this dramatic every time - and I'm keen to emphasise that she had not been asked to interview thanks to any of my skills: they were jumping at the chance to have her even without the blogging thing - but it illustrates just how much potential bosses love bloggers, particularly if their blog is vaguely related to the industry they're applying to.

If you're writing a CV and trying to come up with some skills you could demonstrate through your blog, I would go with:
  • commitment
  • social media skills! (seriously, they love this, particularly if you have expertise with stats)
  • photo editing? video editing? HTML manipulation? GIF selection? Whatever it is that you've had to somehow figure out between headdesks in order to make your blog look pretty.
  • you can write things
Hang on, no. I have to expand on that last point.

#2 ~ You get some great writing practice

I've low-key dreamed of being an author / writer / story-making person for a very long time. Imagining things is one of my favourite things to do, I love reading and everyone I know has always encouraged me to write ... but I find the idea of sitting down with a blank word processor not just terrifying, but lonely. I'm getting better now (thanks to the amazing practice that is blogging) but it turns out that I will only sit down and actually write something if I have a deadline and immediate feedback available.

BLOGGING, MY FRIEND.

And this doesn't just apply to people who might want to write books in the indeterminate future. Blogging gives us a very specific skill: an ability to write for an audience who have limited time and a lot of possible content out there to read. This skill can be applied everywhere, because you have both adaptability and your own style. Texts. School assignments. Emails (especially ones that are asking for something). You can use it for networking, getting your point across ... missing cat posters ...
In a way, it's not even writing practice. It's communication practice. And if you've figured out a way to live your life in the world without communicating in any way whatsoever, then please let me know.

#3 ~ I don't think there's a better way to learn about your subject

My absolutely encyclopedic knowledge of many, many random things is almost entirely thanks to blogging. Obviously, I can tell you about the current YA market and what's about to release, but also how the publishing industry works, the politics of diversity in media, what it takes to be an author in an ever-changing world ... and a lot of other, much weirder things besides. 

What I think blogging does is two-fold. It exposes you to people and channels chock-full of incredibly specific knowledge and news - stuff that there is no way you just stumble upon - but it also gives you an obsessive enthusiasm for the whole topic. You get introduced to all these people who care about it just as much as you do, and it creates a sort of frenzy in which you all get more and more excited about the whole thing.

We become slightly dangerous, quite honestly.
I was always obsessed with books, otherwise I guess I would never have started this blog in the first place, but what I've been experiencing in the last few years is next level. I never walk into a bookstore without at least three recommendations to sniff out. I always know when my favourite author has a book out. I drag my parents to conventions maybe twice a year.

All this is very book-centric, of course, but it applies everywhere. It's tech bloggers who can tell you exactly what PC to get and why. Fashion bloggers are the ones who know which boutiques to check out. And if you need a great recipe, you'll find something a lot more original by talking to a food blogger rather than a cookbook.

Basically, blogging gives you superpowers. So obviously that's an advantage wherever in the universe you end up.

#4 ~ It gives you an excuse to buy stuff

This actually could be a disadvantage, since having an excuse to buy stuff also means that you buy a lot of stuff. Money-wise, it's probably a bad idea.

But having an excuse to read books also means that I can spend way more time in bookshops than is strictly necessary, pre-order the latest books at extortionate shipping prices in the name of ensuring I am 100% up-to-date, and feel no guilt! I guess strictly I don't need to feel guilt anyway, since it's my money and I can do what I want with it, but it's nice to have justification when the parentals are rolling their eyes at being dragged into yet another room full of shelves.

"Yes, Mum, I do have to go in despite having been in another branch of the exact same shop less than half an hour ago. It's research."

#5 ~ It's ... fun?

Yeah, sounds kind of obvious. But think about this. Having fun doesn't just have short term effects (you know, excessive smiling, the odd peal of laughter, generally being a happy lil' sushi roll) - it also means you're looking after your mental health by making time to do the things you love. In fact, it's kind of impossible not to make time for the bloggersphere - because, never forget, it is EVERYWHERE - and I really love that. It's so easy for a lot of other hobbies to slip away, no matter how much you love them, just because you feel like you can't justify the time required in your already-busy life.

Please don't do that with blogging. Obviously, if it's too much for whatever reason, you can take a break. Don't feel forced to keep going if you aren't enjoying yourself, because that's not beneficial to you, your brain or the people around you. But if you do love it, make time.

There are so many real-world advantages to benefit from!

***
In the comments: What day-to-day advantages have you discovered being a blogger has given you? Where have you gone that you never would have been able to reach otherwise? And which of these advantages do you think is the most beneficial?
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6 comments:

  1. Ooh, I've seen lots of posts about online perks to blogging, but this takes it to a whole new level! It's definitely great practice for writers, especially for those of us who have very little patience. You can write super short articles and still get great writing, editing, and promoting practice.

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly what I love about it! And you're right, I hadn't even thought of the whole promotion side of things - I've learned how to edit photos, best use hashtags, keep track of current events ... and all with basically no patience whatsoever!

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  2. You forgot the friendies and the mental health benefits! I'm not much of a socialiser, but I've met such awesome-sauce people online who are 100% beautiful and supportive - and my blog is *such* an awesomely huge lifeline for me, it keeps me motivated and gives me a major self-esteem boost (because it never fails to surprise me that people are interested in what I have to say!) :)

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, those are both great advantages! I hadn't really considered the mental health stuff - mainly because I spend a lot of my time tearing my hair out due to blog stress - but I remember feeling exceptionally down in the dumps during my blogging break because I missed the community so much. You may be on to something here.

      (Also, never forget that we are absolutely interested in what you have to say. What you have to say is awesome.)

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    2. *makes incomprehensible 'awww she's so sweet and lovely' noises* :)

      Delete
    3. *strokes your head to calm you down*

      Delete

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