Case studies of people who blogged their way to a new job.
In the past, I’ve told you how I regularly receive job offers because of what I’ve done here with JobMob, and a big part of that success comes from having done the Blog Mastermind course when I started blogging (a phenomenal course which has since been refreshed).
While my story is about building my personal brand, showing off my expertise and growing a network, the best fit for you might be different.
To inspire you, here are many other bloggers’ stories on blogging to job search success.
Case study #1: blog a hobby into a career"My blog was more helpful in my job search than my degree was"Click To Tweet
Name: Allison Hitz
Job acquired through blogging: Digital Content Strategist
Personal blog: The Book Wheel
“I leveraged my personal book blog to get a job with a company who who works with authors. Interestingly, I recently graduated and my blog was more helpful in my job search than my degree was.
I recently graduated with my Master’s of Public Policy but have been running a book blog for the last three years. Despite two relevant internships to my degree, those interviewing me were more interested in The Book Wheel than they were my education.
After a bit of job hunting with zero success, I decided to look into jobs that were relevant to the publishing industry and found a job working with authors, doing much of what I already do with my blog. I find it pretty amusing that my personal hobby was more beneficial to my career than my degree and while it’s disappointing, I love that I was able to follow one of my passions.”
Case study #2: blog to track and focus on interested employers"Having a URL that showed the company’s name helped create a connection with them"Click To Tweet
Name: William Anderson
Job acquired through blogging: Director of Marketing
Personal blog: Wiljr.org
“I use my site to own my public (and sometimes private) voice, while using other sites (iTunes and Soundcloud, Twitter and LinkedIn, etc.) as additional distribution channels. The idea being that at the end of the day, people can learn more about me on MY website.
I used my blog to help me find my current job (going on three years in August!) by creating a specific landing page (similar to this one) that targeted those skills that seemed most relevant for Align [From Jacob: his now-employer]. When I applied for the position, having a URL that showed the company’s name helped create a connection with the company and the location while also showing off my technical and marketing skills.
Adding Google Analytics to track domains and networks that were hitting specific sites helped me refine which companies were more interested and that I could follow up with.
When I came in to interview, the companies knew about me and I knew about them, allowing us to concentrate more on gaps and matching skills.”
(William even used his blog to get a new kidney!)
Case study #3: blog to build an online presence and show initiative"He gave the fact that I was a writer and blogger extra weight when I interviewed for the position"Click To Tweet
Name: Kevin Espiritu
Job acquired through blogging: Head of Marketing
“The writing I did on my blogs got me connected to a buddy, Justin Mares, who I met up in San Francisco while doing some networking for a startup that I co-founded in early 2014. He introduced me to Zach Obront, who ended up being the co-founder of Book in a Box with Tucker Max.
When my startup failed at the end of November, Zach had reached out to me looking for a marketing person for Book in a Box because he’d read and liked a few of my pieces (he has a blog of his own). Tucker, being a writer, also gave the fact that I was a writer and blogger extra weight when I interviewed for the position. My interview was AWFUL (I’d never done one before in my life) but the fact that I’d been proactive enough to build a little online presence and show initiative in that way was the tipping point that led to my hire.”
Case study #4: blog to show off your skills and expertise"I made myself my own job to blog once a day while I looked for work"Click To Tweet
Name: Jonathan Alonso
Job acquired through blogging: SEO Analyst
Personal blog: Jongeek.com
“I had a CV website that did nothing but send users to view my resume, portfolio and letters of recommendations. All of it was just information sitting there with no real fresh contribution to what I really do. So I made myself my own job to blog once a day while I looked for work.
The blog was centered in the SEO industry and I would lay out tactics, new strategies and other methods to use in a successful digital marketing campaign. During interviews, I would bring up these case studies and blog posts and it was like having a promoter on the Internet showcasing my true skills instead of just me saying it in a 10 minute conversation. Soon almost 80% of my phone interviews became in-person or over Skype.
(Another marketing tool I used was social media. Using inbound marketing tactics, I boosted and advertised my posts and had clear calls to action like “Hire Me” or a small bio after the article with a 1-800 voicemail phone number.)
Living 1-2 hours from Orlando is stressful since Melbourne (Florida, were I live) is really scarce when it comes to Digital Marketing positions, but because of my blog strategy, I was able to land a job 25 minutes from home, allowing me to have a better quality of life and more time with my family.”
Case study #5: blog to be memorable and build rapport with employers"My blog helped me stand out and gave the hiring manager something to remember"Click To Tweet
Name: Anna Rice
Job acquired through blogging: Senior Publicist
Personal blog: The Blonde Banana
“A couple years ago I was already working full-time in public relations, but was dying to break into an agency that would offer me the chance to gain experience in the field I was truly passionate about: travel.
I found the perfect PR agency with a mix of fashion, outdoor and travel clients and sent in my resume along with a cover letter linking to my blog, The Blonde Banana, which is about seeing the world on weekends and in 24, 36, 48 and 72-hour stints.
Even though they weren’t hiring at the time, the hiring manager was impressed by how well my interests aligned with their client base, and called me in for an interview. During the interview, she revealed that she was actually hoping to hire someone soon but hadn’t posted the job yet. She asked if I would be able to complete a writing test by the end of the weekend and I had to inform her that I was going to be in Ecuador for the weekend, but that I’d work on it as soon as I returned. Instead of being annoyed at the inconvenience, she thought it was really cool that I was willing to travel to Ecuador for the weekend, which sparked a discussion about my blog.
Long story short, I landed the job and once I was hired, I was frequently asked to contribute to the company blog and help out with social media initiatives because of my expertise. I won’t say that my blog got me the job, as I think my background in the PR industry played a larger role, but it definitely helped me stand out from other candidates and gave the hiring manager something to remember.”
Case study #6: blog as personal showcase"My blog is not only a creative outlet for me, but serves as an online portfolio"Click To Tweet
Name: Vanessa Labi
Job acquired through blogging: Digital Engagement Specialist
Personal blog: Babesicle
“I’ve been blogging for the last few years on my personal style blog, Babesicle, and I believe it’s helped me get my current full-time position as a digital engagement specialist at Creative California, a digital marketing firm based in Sacramento, CA.
My blog is not only a creative outlet for me, but serves as an online portfolio for the type of web writing, promotion, and social media marketing I am capable of. It has helped to get my foot in the door, so to speak. My boss, Creative California founder Josh Rubin, was more apt to meet with me for an interview because he was able to see my face and “get to know me” a bit online rather than simply browsing my resume and LinkedIn page.”
Case study #7: blog to build credibility and prove your track record"The blog changed the discussion from being about me to being about how I could help the employer"Click To Tweet
Name: Steve Robins
Job acquired through blogging: Director of Product Marketing
Personal blog: Solutionmarketingblog.com
“My blog helped transform my last job search. The blog changed the discussion from being about me to being about how I could help the employer, which was much better.
Before I started the blog, employers would ask me “what other companies have you talked to? How is the search going?” etc.
But once I started the blog, people focused much more on that instead. Interviews often started with something like “I read your blog and really liked your post on solution marketing,” which gave me instant credibility with the hiring manager. That helped change interviews from Q&A about my background into more useful discussions about my opinions and how I’d help the company.”
Case study #8: blog to grow your personal brand"I used my blog as a launchpad to build my personal brand"Click To Tweet
Name: Dominique Jackson
Job acquired through blogging: SEO Manager
Personal blog: Dominiquej.com
“I used my blog as a launchpad to build my personal brand, showcase my knowledge and skills and build my portfolio. That allowed me to showcase my experience when I was interviewing for my current job as an SEO manager.
I didn’t have a college degree and or experience doing SEO work for clients like I’m sure most of the other candidates had. But my blog showed the company I was interviewing with that I understood the ins and outs of SEO, had strong writing skills, and had some real life experience with online marketing.
An interesting thing that I did was use my blog as a way to get guest blog posts on some well known sites. Those guest blog posts gave me even more credibility during the hiring process because it showed the company that I knew how to build links legitimately and showcased my writing ability even more. I included links to all of the top guest posts I did as well as my blog in my initial email to the company. That helped set me apart from other candidates right off the bat, because I wasn’t just sending a resume.
My blog functioned (and still does) as the “hub” for my personal brand online. Aside from helping me land my current full time job as an SEO manager, my blog also gets me inquiries from people interested in having me do freelance work with them.”
Case study #9: blog to prepare for a desired career"Once I wanted another job, I realized that everything on my blog was perfectly aligned"Click To Tweet
Name: Sara Woznicki
Job acquired through blogging: Marketing Specialist
Personal blog: Astoldoverbrunch.com
“I started my blog not too seriously at first, but was supposed to keep an online portfolio for one of my classes in school, to demonstrate I knew the basics of web design. Once I had that live out in the interwebs, I figured I might as well make it worth having out there, so I started blogging randomly to keep it timely. Then the information got outdated on my portfolio, so I moved over to a WordPress site, and focused solely on the blog portion. I wrote personal pieces, some about the current job I had and some about how I was transitioning into adulthood (think “ways to save money” and really basic things like that).
Once I wanted another job, I realized that everything I employed on my blog was perfectly aligned with most digital marketing jobs. From a really high level, I had touched marketing (social media marketing, cross pollinating with other bloggers, etc), writing for SEO, content management, public relations, basic coding, and more. When I went into the job interview, I pulled up my site, told them my metrics and talked about how much I had learned from running my own blog. It was better than my resume and more impactful than just a portfolio. I was also able to demonstrate how I was able to take challenges and turn them into opportunities. For example, we were on WordPress and decided to move to Squarespace. That killed a lot of our site authority, so I was able to talk about how I tried to recover from that.
I can also say that continuing to run a blog also helps my current job with the connections I make, and learning about what gets people to read and subscribe. It’s been a really good test place for small scale ideas.”
Case study #10: blog to gain work-like experience"The experience I gained through my blog lead me to find my current job"Click To Tweet
Name: Jacqueline Colman
Job acquired through blogging: SEO Account Manager
Personal blog: Claws Up!
“After I graduated college, I worked two jobs that both required me to wear a uniform. As someone that values personal expression, I was looking for a new outlet to express myself. Creating a beauty blog was the perfect solution that allowed me to both create looks and write.
Blogging started as a hobby, but it soon became a passion. I started teaching myself how to develop and grow my online presence through the use of social media and SEO. That is when I knew this was where my career path was headed.
The experience I gained in social media and SEO that I acquired through my blog lead me to find my current job as an SEO account manger. I work for a company that helps both small business and larger enterprise clients to build and optimize their websites, and develop their online presence. As an account manager, I get to work with clients one-on-one to help them do what I love doing for myself – build their online presence.”
Case study #11: blog to shape people’s impressions of you"blogging has done amazing things for me"Click To Tweet
Name: Sarah Jukes
Job acquired through blogging: SEO Account Manager
Personal blog: Sarahjukes.com
“I knew any potential employer would put my name through google, so why not control exactly what they see?
I used social media strategically to brand myself, engage a wider audience and express my personality online. I still continue these strategies even after meeting my end goal of finding a job.
Here’s what I did. I ramped up my twitter feed and posted diverse but professionally relevant links. I added a layer of authenticity to my tweets by including a couple of words about why I thought the link was interesting or important.
But the biggest thing I did in this space was to regularly write on my blog. Blogging is one of the most powerful platforms you can use to control what people read about you and the impression they form of you.
To be an effective personal blogger, you have to be willing to share a little about yourself. The best personal blogs challenge the status quo, demonstrate logical thought patterns, express vulnerability, articulate a journey and demonstrate a commitment to personal improvement. Your audience, no matter how big or small, forces you to be that little bit more accountable for living with purpose.
Remember that blog post I wrote that went viral? That could not have come at a more perfect time for me. At the time it exploded I was in serious negotiations over my new job. To walk into a job interview and negotiations and talk about how something I wrote got 12,000 facebook likes in a day (yes, that really happened) made me look accomplished, competent and interesting.
Needless to say, blogging has done amazing things for me. It has opened up tremendous doors, ones I could never have dreamed about. I have met some amazing people thanks to this virtual space.”
Learn and copy their success
Blog Mastermind is a great course. Use it to learn how to quickly grow a blog so you can have the same success as the bloggers featured here.