7 Reasons School Social Workers Should Blog
Since starting SchoolSocialWork.net, nearly one year ago, I have realized there are a number of benefits to blogging about school social work. While blogging isn’t for everyone, I think school social workers can gain a lot from a blog.
1. Personal Branding/Web Presence
It’s commonplace for employers to Google a potential candidate’s name before approaching them for an interview. While searching for jobs this past year, I received favorable responses from interviewers regarding my blog. Having a blog allows you to show case your skills and establish professional credibility. Within a competitive field, like school social work, a blog can help you stand out.
Writing a blog has put me in contact with many, many people. I have had the pleasure of connecting with school social workers in all phases of their careers–from students to executive directors. Networking is essential in our field. It provides support, resources, and opens professional doors.
3. Professional Skills
I’ve learned a lot about technology in the past year. In a web 2.0 world, the knowledge and skills of web applications and social media are becoming increasingly desirable. These skills can translate into my social work practice in a number of ways. I can run a blog/webpage to share information about our social work department or community resources for parents. I can create online or hard copy newsletters to be sent home to parents. I can leverage social media to promote events at the school or increase the reach of a social norms campaign. Or I can utilize web applications to create surveys for program evaluation or a needs assessment. The opportunities are far-reaching.
In my efforts to research topics and share relevant stories via this site’s social networks (you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest) I am constantly plugged into the developments of the field. I am frequently reading news stories, discovering resources, and improving my knowledge base. Running a blog keeps you “in the know”.
5. Increasing Awareness of the Field
My blog is frequently visited by non-school social workers. Many times the visitors are professionals or students from related disciplines. Blogging gives you the ability to shape perceptions and increase the awareness of what school social work is all about.
6. Ethically Obligated
Ok. So while you’re not obligated to blog about school social work, blogging about the profession does coincide with the NASW code of ethics
5.01 Integrity of the Profession
(b) Social workers should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge, and mission of the profession. Social workers should protect, enhance, and improve the integrity of the profession through appropriate study and research, active discussion, and responsible criticism of the profession.
(c) Social workers should contribute time and professional expertise to activities that promote respect for the value, integrity, and competence of the social work profession. These activities may include teaching, research, consultation, service, legislative testimony, presentations in the community, and participation in their professional organizations.
(d) Social workers should contribute to the knowledge base of social work and share with colleagues their knowledge related to practice, research, and ethics. Social workers should seek to contribute to the profession’s literature and to share their knowledge at professional meetings and conferences.
Blogging for money is a difficult gig, especially in a niche topic like school social work, but some extra income is possible. There are a bunch of ways you can monetize a blog. A google search on “make money blogging” will produce a zillion results. There are some social workers who combine really excellent content and sell products that they create. For an example, check out the One Stop Counseling Shop. This school social worker posts great, informative articles and sells well-designed digital products.
The field is wide open for school social work bloggers. I’ve only come across two other blogs dedicated to school social work. Compare this with the 70+ blogs by school counselors. Plenty of room to get your stuff seen and ranked by Google.
If your interested in writing online and getting your name attached to something related to the profession, but aren’t ready to commit to running a blog, consider writing a guest post. I’m always looking for people to share something on SchoolSocialWork.net.
If I’ve lit a fire under you and you’re ready to jump in, but don’t know where to begin, contact me. I’d be more than happy to get you started on the road to blogging.
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