There's this notion that blogging is something that only crazy people do, people who want to post pictures of their cat or who have too much time on their hands. Businesses, or very important people, may do it, but its not something that normal people do. This notion needs to change.Everyone, at this point, has an online presence and reputation. Even if you avoid social media all together, there are always articles, documents, and your friend's content that can show up online under your name. Don't forget the possibility of someone having the same name, and a less-than-clean record, that could show up instead of you. You need something that can present what you want to present online and on search engines, and blogging is a great way to do that. Here's why blogging is crucial to your personal online reputation:
Show that You're an Expert
It's that whole conundrum with finding a job: you need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. Showing experience and expertise is tough without a job, but not impossible, and a blog is a great way to demonstrate both those things. For example, Ted Juch has a great blog on using Google Docs, and that's all that blog is about. Spreadsheets, documents, how to create them, and what you can do with them. Yes, it's geeky and niche, but no one else is doing it while many people have used Google Docs to do something at some point in time. Also, commitment to this topic means that Juch will be the go-to guy on anything Google Docs. It's too bad the blog hasn't been updated in a while, because a blog like that one is a great one to position yourself as an expert.
Work on Your Writing Skills
Nearly all companies, and all positions within those companies, seek people with great writing skills. It's a skill that's no longer reserved for English majors, copywriters, and marketing positions, but a skill that's hard to demonstrate unless you bring a portfolio to the interview (which isn't a bad idea). However, put the blog on the resume with the link, and the hiring manager can have a chance to see the blog and read a few posts. The blog will say a lot about your level of commitment and project management as well as your writing skills. Not only does practice make perfect, but there are tons of great resources out there (like this writer's blog) that specifically talk about how to be a better writer.
It's One Thing You Can Control
If you're applying for jobs, then you have to realize that hiring managers are looking at social media profiles and search results for additional information. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that 43% of hiring managers who research applicants on social media sites say they have found something that has cost a candidate a job. You can't always control what shows up under your name, but a blog is one thing you can control. Blogs also connect with social media sites, so if your Facebook feed regularly features your newly published posts, then that's what hiring managers are going to see (versus those partying pics and status updates about hangovers).
Don't forget that the more you write, and the better your writing, the higher it will rank on search engines. The more posts you create equals more pages to find online and more positive ways for others to find you online. Also, your name is one of the easiest things for you to rank for you, so if you don't like what you see today when you type your name into the Google search bar, then that can change if you decide to blog and to blog often.