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How to Blog and Keep Your Job

You can blog about anything, but if you blog about work, you need to do so safely. Blogging about work can get you in trouble. Many bloggers have been fired for writing blogs about their job, for identifying themselves as employees of a particular organization, or for posting photographs taken at work or in work uniforms.

Here are a few tips you can use to protect yourself when blogging about your job:

  • Regardless of what you blog about, don’t blog at work. Using company time and resources to write a personal blog is a clear violation of most employment contracts and will get you disciplined or fired even if all you do on your blog is sing your boss’s praises.

  • Find out whether your workplace has a blogging policy. If your boss doesn’t know, consult with the HR department. In some cases, a policy might be in place that makes certain requests of your blogging behavior, and complying with them might be your choice. Give some thought to complying with them and have good reasons if you choose not to.

  • Ask questions about your employer’s blogging policy if it’s unclear or incomplete. Find out whether you simply can’t discuss certain subjects and whether you can identify yourself as an employee.

  • Be smart about what you choose to say about your work and your colleagues. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying what you write in public, don’t put it on your blog.

  • Don’t reveal trade secrets. This includes confidential information about how your employer does business that will impact revenue or reputation. If you aren’t sure whether something is bloggable, ask whether you can blog about it or run it by your boss first.

  • Review other rules and regulations that might impact what you can blog about. For example, some employers have policies about taking photographs of the workplace or revealing addresses or buildings that seem unrelated to blogging — until you put those photos or information on your blog.

  • Consider including a disclosure statement on your blog. You want to make it clear that you’re blogging for personal expression and not as a representative of your employer.

Blogging anonymously (although a good idea if you want to criticize your employer) isn’t a real guarantee that you won’t be caught, particularly if other people in your office know about your blog. And most employers today are aware that blogs exist and are fully capable of typing your name, their name, or the company name into a search engine and finding blogs that talk about them or their company.

Some bloggers identify both themselves and their employers on their personal blogs. It’s certainly transparent to do so, but it isn’t necessarily wise. For one thing, if you blog about your work place and you name your employer, you might be perceived as blogging on behalf of your employer. This isn’t fair, but it’s true. Most people won’t think you’re a mouthpiece for your company, but they might associate your thoughts and opinions with your employer, and generally speaking, employers don’t really want to be identified by the political agendas, family relationships, or dating habits of their employees.

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