I recently completed my 12-week stint as a GovLoop featured blogger, and it’s been a blast! So if you’re considering applying for a future featured blogger spot, I’d like to share my experience with you. Being part of the GovLoop blogging team was a very enjoyable part of my autumn, even though I have a full-time job that already keeps me busy, even though blogging is an unpaid gig, and even though each blog took me a few hours to compile. Because I enjoyed my blogging experience, I plan to continue sending in blogs to GovLoop as time permits. What made blogging for GovLoop so enjoyable?
Here are my “top 5 benefits” of being a GovLoop blogger:
1. Writing Practice
If you’re interested in blogging, you are probably already a writer of sorts (I am). The “catch 22” of getting writing gigs is being able to provide “clips” of items you’ve already written and published. So you need published clips to apply to write published clips, so where’s a new writer supposed to gain experience? My 12-week blogging session with GovLoop provided 12 new clips for my writing resume, which could potentially be leveraged into additional writing gigs. That alone makes the blogging worth it!
2. Deadline Management
Just because you can write doesn’t necessarily mean you can manage to meet writing deadlines. Being able to research, draft, add links, add photos, and finally produce a final blog every week by a given day is wonderful experience if you generally only write “when the muses speak.” This type of writing, while still creative, is more similar to journalism than writing that best-selling novel, but is a very useful skill for marketing yourself as someone who can “write on demand” and stick to a schedule.
The featured bloggers within each session are in a cohort that shares a facebook group, as well as ideas and suggestions. I’ve really enjoyed (virtually) meeting and discussing topics with the bloggers within my cohort. If we were closer in physical location, I’d love to network with them in person. I hope to continue to stay in touch with others I’ve met through this opportunity.
My 30-something daughter will tell you that the correct term these days is not “bling” but “swag,” but in lieu of dollar payment, GovLoop bloggers get a cool T-shirt, lanyard, stickers, and a button, in addition to the above mentioned experience. If I’m walking in downtown Washington, D.C., some day and see someone in a GovLoop T-shirt, I will immediately feel a kinship (and hope that if that happens, I’m also wearing my GovLoop T-shirt!).
5. Exposure and Opportunity
Last, but definitely not least, you can’t beat the exposure from blogging on a site the size of GovLoop! Well, maybe if you are able to blog for Huffington Post, but hey, this likely beats any blogging you are doing on your own personal website! Here’s my story: I always “shared” my blog posts on Facebook and on LinkedIn, and one of my posts caught the eye of someone who was organizing a conference. He contacted me and asked me to be on a panel discussing my topic of camaraderie, but he couldn’t fund my participation. I asked management within my agency if they would fund my attendance (the topic was only loosely related to my actual job) and they agreed! Their agreement came with a “catch;” I will need to assist our commander in implementing changes related to camaraderie – perfect!!! I’d want to do that anyway! So because of the blog and its exposure, I was able to go to a conference in the Washington, D.C., area and network with people out there about my topic on my employer’s dime. Now I am broadening my camaraderie blogs into a paper, and adding in more references and information from our own internal “command climate surveys” from 2015, 2013, and 2010 (and more, if I can find them). So you just never know where your interests will lead you!
I’ve really enjoyed blogging for GovLoop, and plan to weigh in with additional blogs about topics that mean something to me, and hopefully to you as well. My advice to any readers who also enjoy writing is to apply to be a featured blogger at the next opportunity. You just don’t know where your writings may take you!
Great feedback. Thanks for sharing. Were you asked by GovLoop?
Thanks Andrew! No, it wasn’t GovLoop that asked for my participation, but the Northeast Conference on Public Administration.
The series was very informative and easy to read since you wrote in a style that you would speak in. I’d love to hear more about how to become a guest blogger for GovLoop!