Blogs. You know all about them, have heard your friends gush about their favorites, and maybe even visit a few on a regular basis. But have you ever thought about starting one? Whatever industry you work in, starting a blog can be very beneficial for expats in China. Here are four reasons why…
Despite all the wonderful technology we have in the world today, saving and organizing photos is still a bit of a hassle. By starting a blog about your life in China, you’re able to store full-resolution photos with a date and headline in an easily accessible place. Many sites also offer ‘archive’ options, so you can pinpoint pictures from a certain week, month, or year instead of scrolling through thousands of photos on a hard drive.
The other benefit is that if you’re posting pictures to your blog, you’ll probably be editing and cropping them so they look their best. Most of us expats in China are guilty of taking hundreds of pictures of our lives and travels, but rarely do we edit and touch up the select few that are actually good photos.
One of the main reasons I started my blog was because I kept getting emails from multiple people asking the same questions about my life as an expat in China. By keeping an updated account of my life, the food I’m eating, and the cool places I’m visiting, some serious pressure was taken off my inbox and my typing fingers.
Maintaining a blog about your life in China will make talking with your family and friends easier. For example, my mom will start phone calls off with comments about recent pictures I’ve uploaded. It’s an easy way cut the small talk and get straight into a real conversation, as opposed to asking, “What’s new?”
Besides keeping friends and family in the loop, a blog is a great way for expats in China to show future employers their understanding of Chinese culture. It’s also an easy platform from which to share your photography or writing portfolio, if such skills are important to your career progression. Another notable advantage is that maintaining a blog takes work. It requires creativity, effort, and commitment — three things that most employers are looking for in candidates.
As a writer and editor, I’ve found putting a portfolio online has been incredibly beneficial, just in the simple fact that it’s now so easy for prospective employers to check out my work. I strongly advise any aspiring writers or photographers in China to consider starting a blog about their adventures. You never know where it might take you!
China, for many outside of it, is a strange and exotic place that most only dream of seeing. As an expat in China, you have a unique opportunity to highlight your experience and offer insight to people who might also be considering making the life changing choice to come here.
Before quitting your day job and becoming a full-time blogger, realize that just like Instagram, the numbers matter. If you have a decent amount of traffic though, your blog could bring in some money through Google Adwords and the like, as well as through collaborating with other websites and trialing products and services. Not every blog is going to blow up, and most will be a slow burn at best, but there are plenty of ways to make money if you’re an expat in China with a popular blog.
Have I convinced you yet? If so, here’s how you get started:
If you haven’t heard of Squarespace or Wix, you probably haven’t watched enough Youtube lately. Besides these two giants in the ‘make your own website’ space, plenty of other options exist, including Wordpress, Weebly, and GoDaddy.
Before choosing a site to make your blog, focus on what kind of website you want to make, the kind of content you’ll be creating, and its purpose. Once you have that decided and have researched the best platform for your needs, making a site is as easy as ‘click and drag’. It’s worth noting that if you want a quality site or a unique domain, it will cost money, but not a lot in the grand scheme of things.
The hardest part about having a blog is coming up with interesting and engaging content on a continuous basis. The key is to be consistent. No-one’s going to keep coming back to your blog if there hasn’t been a post for a few months.
Besides time and minimal upfront costs, however, a writing a blog has very few disadvantages. So get out there and claim your piece of the world wide web!
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Keywords: Expats in China
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