It’s funny how something that starts out as just a hobby can quickly become one of the most important things in your life—but if like me, you’re passionate about writing, blogging can offer a creative outlet like no other.
There are not many ways for young media and journalism lovers to make their voice heard in the sea of graduates flooding the UK, but blogging offers a chance for complete editorial control and a way to really have some fun with publishing – where else can we find that in today’s media? Blogs offer a something very different – a chance to air your own opinions on any topic without fear of being edited.
Audience ‘wants more’
It’s not surprising after the way blogging has exploded over the past 12 months that more people are setting them up and more companies are starting to use them alongside their websites. The web world has changed from the days of glossy websites and news bulletins—now it seems people are looking for something more personal.
In a world filled with faceless publications, it seems the average reader wants a little more – they want real people who are approachable and accessible with real opinions not the same old regurgitated rubbish.
When I started my blog, Absolutely Lucy was more of a diary and an outlet for what I really wanted to be writing about. I was writing outside of my full time job at a newspaper where I was employed to write neutrally and to share the opinions of others. Blogging gave me something different and perhaps that why it has become such a big part of my life.
When I gave up my job and decided to travel the world solo a year ago, it made sense to turn Absolutely Lucy into a travel blog and it quickly became more than just a hobby. It was a way for me to keep writing while I travelled, to build a portfolio and to share every experience and incredible moment with friends, family and anyone else who read it.
— Lucy Ruthnum (@Absolutely_Lucy) December 20, 2015
Expanding your skills
Don’t get me wrong, only a very small number of people were actually reading it to begin with but now it couldn’t be any more different. Writing the blog has become an amazing way to recap my adventures, to immortalise them on the page and to share them with other travellers. I love the process of sitting down and writing about all the moments that have made my trip. It gives me focus and a way of engaging my brain even when I’m not working, and it gives me goals. I love having something to work towards and to succeed in.
Winning the highly commended award in travel at the UK Blog Awards just six months after starting to blog about travel was an incredible motivator and it was amazing to be recognised for my hard work.
Blogs are a great tool for nurturing a media career, especially if you are struggling to gain enough experience. They teach you amazing skills like website management, editing, photography and photo editing, coding and all that comes with working freelance. You suddenly have a reason to practice your writing every day and you know practice makes perfect. They can also help you develop your contacts and to begin working with brands and companies.
As I already mentioned, blogs are fantastic to use as a portfolio of work and will show that you have been actively working in the media and writing even if you have had a bit of a career break while travelling or for other reasons.
Blogs will help you to get your name and your opinions out there, they can be a good way to interact with other media and can even help secure you further work. Blogging as a hobby has helped secure me a range of paid work for big brands, a job offer and opportunities to write for other publications. Not bad for something that started out as a hobby!
After just over two years of blogging, I’m happier than ever that I set up that WordPress account and tried to make sense of it all. It’s had a huge impact on my view of the media and has really shown me that perhaps working freelance would be the best route for me in future. I have learnt so much along the way – not just about blogging but about what I am capable of.
Trust me, it’s no easy task to keep a blog going when you’re travelling the world and have so much to distract you, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s a constant changing industry and blogging is an exciting development. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Do you blog? How has it helped your prospects in the media industry? Have your say in the comments section below. To submit a question for Mastering Media, click here or send an email to Acting Media editor Alex Veeneman.