When people ask what I do (in the offline world) and I say “Blog” the person often looks confused, but once in a while someone will say, “Did you go to school for that?” Sometimes other writers will ask this same question on forums. The answer is no. I sure didn’t go to college for blogging.
Yeah, it’d be cool if there was a blogging major, but so far as I know, there’s not. As noted previously, I may not have started blogging had I not gone to college, but in general, blogging, and most writing in general, is free from the whole college degree issue.
I’ve written everything; magazine articles, web copy, proposals, business brochures, company handbooks, resumes, blogs, and more, and not once has a client asked, “Hey, do you have a degree?”
What do you need to blog?:
Of course you’ll need to like writing, or you’ll be miserable, but that’s sort of a given. Besides the basics that you need at any job – i.e. stuff like ethics, people skills, and time management skills, I think it all boils down to two main qualities; experience and personality. By experience, I mean experience in your topic. If your experience comes from college, fine. But your experience also may come from life, an employment experience, or a challenge you faced at some point. Personality is not a total requirement, but you’ll be a better blogger if you have a unique outlook on your topic.
You may disagree, but why I read a blog, is almost always for one of the above reasons – the blogger is smart about their topic, or has a unique personality, or both. I rarely keep reading blogs by blogger that don’t meet both.
In my case, I think that college did help me a bit in terms of being a better blogger. For example, I write a pregnancy blog, and the fact that I went to school for nursing helps. I know all that fancy science gibberish, and can rattle off meds and procedures. In other ways college was a total waste of time; considering what I do now. My minor was in technical professional writing, plus I have a degree in math, but I don’t feel that either have helped my blogging career. Trust me, no client will ever ask you jack about math. I keep waiting…
Life, volunteer, and job experiences have landed me far more blogging gigs than my college experience probably ever will.
What about you? What’s landed you more blogging work – college or life? Or maybe you think bloggers should have some sort of writing degree – if so let me know in the comments.