Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Start a blog

Now, I know what you're thinking.
"This is only the third post, what does she know about writing a blog?!"

The fact is that I've been itching to start a blog for some time. However, because I knew it would be something prospective employers would look at, I didn't dive straight in. I wanted to carefully pick a theme that was credible and that I cared about, so that it wouldn't become a chore to write. If you're going to write a blog, you have to have a theme.

I looked around at other people's blogs to see what types were out there.

The 'me me me' blog
This is probably my least favourite kind of blog. These blogs can include the most mundane and trivial information that is really only fit for a melodramatic teen journal, which in itself should have an upper age limit of 15. I've come across a few in my time and they're definitely not my thing. I don't feel that anyone wants to know what I'm doing this weekend or what I had for breakfast.

HAVING SAID THAT...if done well these blogs can be fascinating; like a digital age Bridget Jones' Diary. A 'me me me' blog that I've really enjoyed reading is Nothing But Bonfires by Holly Burns. Take a look. It's addictive.

The expert-in-their-field blog
I haven't read many of these, as personally I prefer to read books if I want to learn about something. Expert-type blogs can be very interesting though, particularly if they're accessible to novices. I don't consider myself an expert in anything (yet), so this wasn't an avenue I chose either. Some of my friends are just starting out writing subject specific blogs and I've found them very interesting and insightful. One of these is beckybeequal by Becky Bryce about sociological and equality issues.

The current affairs blog
This was an option I seriously considered, but decided to try out later in my career. I felt that by reporting national news on a personal blog I'd just be rewording the work of other people and reporting after the event. I also considered blogging local news, but thought that would limit my audience. Someone who has done this well is journalism student Phil Baillie, and Bristol graduate Zoe Griffin has made a successful career out of celebrity blogging.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of blog themes, but these are the three I've seen most often. If you're considering becoming a journalist, you need to pick a theme and get blogging as soon as possible. Having a blog is a good way of getting experience, demonstrating your passion for writing and showing your awareness of the importance of online media. Adding your blog link to your CV gives universities and prospective employers an easy way of accessing your work and seeing what you're about. You need to get your name out there somehow and the internet is a big place.