I think I need to start with what a Lifestyle Blogger is.
I touched on this in a previous post where I shared the Oxford definition of blogging:
Blogging (v): to write about an event, situation, topic etc in a blog.
Being a Lifestyle Blogger for me means that I write and publish lifestyle content such as great places to eat or drink, recommending an experience or generally talking about my personal interests and everyday existence. The bottom line of why I have decided to become a Lifestyle Blogger is to help people maximise their lives through whatever method I can, whether that be through food, movies, beauty or positive mindset. Don’t forget, you only have one life!
With this however comes the look of surprise and confusion when people ask what I do (basically because of not being sure of what it actually means), when I tell them I am a blogger. More recently however, I do have to say that my response has been much more encouraging, one of admiration and respect. Now of course I would love this to be a full-time job one day but since the launch of niccimcshane.com in April 2016 it has been my part-time job, one which I spend a lot of my spare time thinking about and prepping for.
Which then leads to a question which has come up more recently, “Can being a lifestyle blogger bruise your career?” Whatever we put out into the blogosphere is global, anyone can read it so in one sense yes you are open to criticism but you also have the opportunity to have a voice, connect with and touch so many people. I get why I was asked the question as I still feel that people fear what they put on social media due to future employers or universities scouring your online presence concerned about adverse opinions or undesirable behaviour which could come back and bite them.
I do believe that this depends on what kind of online presence you have. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions and share information but it’s important this is beneficial and valuable to others. In this day and age yes, people are more careful about what they post and my personal opinion is that people want to be perceived as good individuals and any reputational damage really can have a negative and sometimes unrepairable impact. Personal branding is discussed a lot now, people invest a lot of time in their LinkedIn profiles to portray the right image, one which would be appealing to a potential employer or even to enhance their profile within the current firm.
The most important question for me is not whether being a Lifestyle Blogger can bruise a career but is more a case of do we care about our personal brand? We can all of course spark a healthy debate online which is a fantastic way of gauging opinion and if you are not posting outrageous content which is offensive to your employers, colleagues, friends, family or the online world then surely that can only enhance you as an individual and can also benefit your firm.
- A blog can be eye-catching, favoured and drive more interest and clients to your firm.
- Colleagues and employers admire and respect you for the additional drive and time you put outside of the office into developing your online presence and personal brand.
- Your discussions and opinions give people an insight as to how open and honest you are which can lead to clients wanting to do business with you or more authentic conversations with colleagues.
- Your lifestyle recommendations or experiences could drive enthusiasm and generate interest within colleagues to try the same restaurant, for example.
- Your discussions and opinions could irritate your employers/colleagues or even clients who may read your material.
- If your blog becomes priority to your full-time job and your work suffers.
- Your blog could reflect negatively on your firm if detrimental comments or content is shared.
There are of course pros and cons but it all comes down to what it is you say and how you say it. Of course this is just my opinion but I believe that bloggers really can enhance their professional career by highlighting knowledge and experience within their niche. Don’t forget colleagues and employers are all still humans, they still like to eat at nice restaurants, have a favourite cuisine, read reviews on the latest movie…the list goes on.
I guess my advice would be to ensure you look after your own personal brand, stay true to what the objective of your blog is all about and don’t post incriminating or offensive comments.
I do however welcome any other suggestions or thoughts on this, please do let me know your thoughts as it is such a sensitive topic.
So hey you, yes you..I want to thank you for reading my post. Whether you’ve stuck around since the beginning of my journey or whether you’re new to my blog, thank you for reading and supporting. I genuinely appreciate it.