Using a blog as a career portfolio can make a huge difference for your long-term success in your industry. It helps you broaden your audience outside just your internal organization but can also open the door to networking, consulting, coaching, and speaking engagements.
I started a blog about technical topics related to the software I use at work, answering the most basic questions about the software back in 2019. The blog has grown rapidly and has put me in touch with people in my industry all over the world as a result.
Building a blog to showcase your knowledge can do the same for you. It also helps you build up the following:
- You build a platform for yourself to show off your knowledge and skills
- Consulting and coaching gigs are made possible from your traffic
- A living resume of your knowledge and understanding of your industry and specialized topics
It takes hard work, but can have serious rewards in the long-term.
Don’t Expect Overnight Success
Here’s a quick snapshot of one of my newer blogs that I’ve been growing slowly through SEO for the past year. As you can see, I’ve been posting on the blog since roughly June of 2019 and only in 2020 has growth and traffic to the blog really picked up any momentum, and even then, the traffic volume is small from Google.
This is normal.
When you start blogging, most bloggers have learned from experience that your blog can take at least 3 years before it is generating significant amounts of traffic from SEO. This usually happens because Google and other search engines are building up a profile of your content and strength of your domain over time so they feel comfortable turning on the fire-hose of traffic to your site.
While I rely on SEO and some technical forums to grow my blog as that is my professional expertise, many bloggers find success in Pinterest when trying to grow their traffic. Specifically, blogs on Personal Finance; Crafts; and lifestyle-related topics can do great on other social media channels.
You Can Make it Profitable
Getting to profitability means eyeballs. But don’t focus too much on this at first. First you want to write really good content that covers your expertise in detail. Think about maybe 25 topics you could write at least 1500 words about at minimum to get started.
These posts are meant to be cornerstone content on your blog and will have a likely lasting effect on your long-term success. Try to get detailed in your niche so you can validate to the world that you’re an expert.
Once you’ve done this – there are many potential revenue streams you can start working on to build up some cash-flow to help pay for the hosting and other small costs on your blog.
There are a ton of ways to monetize blogs. We’ll cover what I consider the top three
Ads Revenue – limited amounts of money here, but you can reach self-sustainable costs (hosting, domain, etc.) within a year if you hustle.
Affiliate Revenue – I highly recommend this. It pays much better than Ads if you do your homework and build the right kind of articles for your audience. Once you get a good one, you can generate easily $1/day to $2,000/day on the high end. This scales and can be a significant revenue generator over time.
eBook Sales – Write a 25 to 100 page eBook and start selling it on your site. If you sell a $10 book and have 1000 people a week on your blog, and only 5 people buy the book – you’re making about $50/wk. Considering your hosting and domain per year may only be $200, you can quickly break even or start making a profit on your work.
You can have any combination of the above, or all three, but the best thing is that you just get started writing about your niche and what you’re passionate about to grow your traffic.
Turn Your Blog Into A Consulting Sales Lead Funnel
This is critical. Not just for generating income, but also to start building your blog up as a proper business or side-hustle that can bring you valuable income but can also help you eventually scale your blog into a business. Your blog is your platform and if you do it the right way, you can drive your platform into serious business.
There are some simple strategies for setting up several pages on your blog that people can quickly see on every page and that they’ll want to engage with.
The first of these is a basic “Contact Us” page. Not only is this important to Google’s algorithms, it helps your users immediately get in touch with you – so long as you set it up correctly – and while most of those people reaching out will be asking questions or maybe the occasional bad review – some of those people can be interested in working with you.
As a more obvious option – add a “Work With Me/Us” Page in your main menu of your blog. Nothing is more obvious than this and it will filter out a lot of the noise that a Contact Us page can bring.
Use Your Portfolio to Quit Up
We’ve mainly talked about the long-term benefits of having a blog in your industry, but if you really focus and build a quality site it can help you get an even better job or a large promotion in your current company.
I’m a big fan of the strategy of “Quitting-Up” or job-hopping to get the biggest possible salary increases you’ll likely ever see. In my experience, I’ve seen some salary bumps up to 35%+ from changing employers.
Blogging can help you with this.
It’s your digital resume and over time the people who are cruising your content will know that you’re an expert in your field because they’re using your knowledge in some way every time they read your content.
Being able to walk into an interview and point to 50+ articles that you’ve written on your expertise or industry helps validate to employers that you’re passionate about your field and that you know what you’re talking about and have researched critical topics.
Have People Write For You
Experts usually employ people. You should employ people to write for you, and often for free. This is mutually beneficial for both parties. But for you, it builds a showcase of your competence as an editor of content of other people and shows that you not only are knowledgable, but that you can attract talent to work with you as well.
I recommend doing this once your blog starts to generate significant enough profit for you to reinvest that money into other people making content. This can help you scale the size of your site quickly while gaining more traffic.