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How My Biology Blog Landed Me My Dream Job

By Leslie Samuel
38 Comments

Yeah, I know. It’s not what you want to hear about on a blog about Blogging and Entrepreneurship. Who comes here to know how to land a job? Isn’t the entrepreneurial dream never to have to work for anyone but yourself? Isn’t it all about working smart and not hard? Can you be an entrepreneur and still have a full time job?

The fact is, for some “entrepreneurs”, the end goal isn’t ONLY to work for yourself. I fit in this category. I’ve started an online business, and the main thing it does is that it supplements the income from my job as a teacher. It gives me the ability to do things I wouldn’t be able to do without my own online business. However, there’s something that I’ve realized that I can’t deny – I’m a teacher, and I LOVE teaching. Not only that, but I love teaching at the university level, and ever since my days in grad school, in the recesses of my mind, I knew that it’s what I wanted to do.

My Educational And Teaching Adventures

When it comes to education, I’m somewhat of a sucker for punishment. I did a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and went on for a Master’s degree in Neurobiology. I LOVE neurobiology, physiology and all of those kinds of subjects (yes, I’m a nerd). However, there was a significant problem – I HATED the research (or I thought I did).

Although my Masters Research involved traveling to the beautiful country of Germany for two summers along with all kinds of cool stories like playing piano for a gospel choir, staying in a Fraternity house for $80 a month with a chef that came in once a week to feed us AWESOME food, and hiking through the Hartz Mountain, it also involved coming back to a small research lab dissecting crickets and doing electrophysiological recordings for up to 14 hours in a day – YUCK!

It was at that point that I abandoned my dream of teaching at the University level. I loved the people, but hated the crickets (and for me, that represented the research). When I was offered a job as a High School science and Math teacher, I decided to jump at it. Teaching, without the research – YAY!

This is where the 2nd problem came – I was also teaching things I wasn’t passionate about, and it wasn’t at the level I enjoyed. So, I decided to do something about it. I wasn’t qualified to teach at the university level, but I was going to teach University-level stuff whether it was my job or not. How? By blogging of course . . .

My Blogging Experience

Since 2008, I’ve been actively blogging and have been having a decent level of success. Working part-time on my blog, I have been able to net anywhere between $500 and $3000 per month, much of which has been relatively passive. Not a ridiculously large amount like many others, but enough for me to feel like I know what I’m doing.

I learned about SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Traffic Generation, Building a list, and all of those phrases the readers of this blog have come to know and love (hopefully). What I eventually realized was that I could take those same principles and apply them to Biology.

So, I started my Biology Website, where I started making short video clips teaching the content I wanted to teach, with no one telling me what I could or couldn’t do, and it was very exciting. The website grew quickly, and my videos are being viewed anywhere between 1,000 and 2,600 times daily, thanks to a lot of what I learned in Gideon Shalwick’s Rapid Video Blogging Course.

Not only that, but I started receiving emails, almost every day, from people all over the world who have been using the site and finding a tremendous amount of value in the content. These people included University Students and Professors, Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses and a variety of other professionals who have been using them as an integral part of what they are doing, or just as a tool to help them remember the things they forgot from Medical School or University.

The Bad Story With A Good Ending

Back in April, my father was diagnosed with a serious neurological condition, and was sent to a special hospital in Colombia (the country). Because we weren’t sure how things would go, I went down there to spend a month with my family. He was in an induced coma and was paralyzed to where he could hardly move his arms and legs even before going into the coma. While there, my main task was to help him with his Physical therapy. While he was in the coma , I would exercise his arms and legs twice daily, to help speed up his healing process, and when he was taken out of the coma, the exercises continued.

During this relatively stressful period in time, there was a topic of discussion that kept coming up. My mother and aunt would constantly tell me that they thought that I should be a Physical Therapist. I actually let them know that it was something I had considered in the past, but that I knew that my calling was to be an educator. However, if there were one Profession I would want to do in the Health Care field, it would be Physical Therapy.

At a certain point, with a lot of prayer, and some serious miracles, my dad’s condition took an abrupt turn for the better. We were planning for him to be in the Hospital for a few months, but in about a week, so many good things were happening that he was moved out of intensive care, into a different hospital, then to a hotel, and was then sent back to our country. The details of all of that would take many blog posts to get into, but the short version is that we’re praising God for the things that happened.

The Invitation

When I got back home from Colombia, there was a letter in my mailbox from the university I attended. It was an invitation to teach Anatomy, Neuroscience and Pathophysiology, in one of the top Doctor of Physical Therapy programs in the United States. When I received the invitation, I was quite surprised. I was not a Physical Therapist, nor did I have a PhD. In the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think how much of an “interesting coincidence” it was, with everything I had been experiencing.

Well, I decided to apply. Yes, I was unqualified on paper, but I thought that my blog would give me some leverage to where they would at least consider me as a candidate. Then I called up one of my former professors for a recommendation. He went in to speak with the chair of the department, and then told me that I should consider taking a trip to the university to talk with the chair of the department, and show him the stuff that I was working on.

The Importance Of My Blog

Based on the recommendation of my former professor, I made an appointment and went to speak with the department chair. We had a very interesting chat. At the end of our meeting, the following was clearly established:

The Interview And Job Offer

Then it was time for the interview. I came into a conference room and sat at the head of a conference table that was surrounded by eight highly educated individuals, most of which had PhDs and DPTs (Doctor of Physical Therapy) ready to grill me with their questions. I started off with an opening statement, highlighting my passion for Biology and the success of my website. I let them know what was happening at my site, and you could see their faces light up.

Then they asked me all kinds of questions. I answered. I was cool, calm, and collected, with the confidence that whatever happened, I would leave the situation a better person.

Now, I know that I didn’t do a great job with building up the suspense in this article. In fact, you knew the result by reading my title. Yes, I did get the job. In fact, it was a unanimous decision which, from what I understand, doesn’t usually happen in these committees.

Why did I get the job? For a number of reasons. However, one of the main reasons was that I used my blog to demonstrate authority. In fact, I can proudly say that because of my blog, people all over the world have come to see me as an authority when it comes to biology.

Does it mean that my blog is perfect? Nope. In fact, I make mistakes in my videos and get people saying things like “Umm, actually, that’s all wrong!”. Then I go in and correct the mistakes (sometimes). It’s a learning process, and I learn as I go, and then I share what I learn with people all over the world.

If you would like to listen to this full story from my podcast, go to the podcast episode on my blog of How I left My Job because of My blog.

The Importance Of Blogging

Without a shadow of doubt in my mind, I now firmly believe that Blogging is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your industry/niche today. It’s a way of building credibility, nurturing relationships, and gaining an audience. These are factors that can help anyone accomplish their goals.

Your goal might not be to get a better job. In actuality, that wasn’t my goal with my blog either. My plan was to eventually quit my teaching job and do internet marketing full-time. However, that was me settling because I didn’t think that teaching at the university level was plausible. For me, to a certain extent, doing internet marketing full-time would be settling. I know what I’m called to do, and now, because of my blog, I can do it.

I don’t know what your goals are, but I want to encourage you to take this blogging thing seriously, because it has the potential to do great things.

My Recommendations

My first recommendation is that if you don’t have a blog, START ONE NOW. The concept of blogging is still young enough that most people don’t know how to do it well. You’re reading this blog, so you have access to resources to help you get started and to do it well. In other words, you’re at an advantage.

At the risk of sounding like I’m writing this because this is Yaro’s blog, I HIGHLY recommend that if you haven’t taken his Blog Mastermind course, you need to get in on it. Without Blog Mastermind, I would NOT be where I am today. It gave me a strong Blogging foundation as a blogger, and has made me comfortable enough to start a blog and establish myself as an authority. The biggest thing is that it helped me to avoid making some of the common mistakes most bloggers make, and that is worth it’s weight in gold.

My final recommendation is that if you are into video blogging, check out Gideon’s Rapid Video Blogging Course. It has really done a lot for me, especially when it comes to my Biology blog, and has helped me to go from hardly any video views to over 1,000 daily views in less than two months. Online video is thriving right now, and Youtube is allowing a lot of people to Crush it!

Remember that you can’t keep doing the same ‘ol thing and expect to get different results. Well, you can expect it, but that’s the definition of insanity. Take action! Give yourself a kick in the butt and get going.

Your Comments

Have you started a blog already? If so, are you having success with it? If so, what has blogging done for YOU? Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time!

Leslie Samuel

About Leslie Samuel

Leslie Samuel is a blogger who believes that the internet can change the world. He runs an Interactive Biology website that Makes Biology Fun and teaches people how to grow their online business in his Learning With Leslie podcast. He also runs a Become A Blogger - A blog dedicated to helping people Change The World with their blogs. Follow Leslie Samuel on Twitter.

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38 Comments

  • It happened to me also - even though I am not really inclined to work in a job - I also sometimes get invitations for jobs, because they have seen that I am somewhat familiar with html :)

    ‘I do think that blogging can be great for building relationships in general’ and for example get in contact with somebody to team up with to work on mutual projects, or find somebody that you can network with to ask for advice or give advice.

    It’s my experience that it can also help in discovering special knowledge that I didn’t even recognise I had, or to just make new connections that can give new insights into something. Today I actually wrote on a blog writing some advice to an other blogger, and that way realised, that besides making Online Publications I also have more experience with also making actual (Physical) Publications and Publishing than only Publishing blogposts online, and selling a tiny little eBook Online, Something I hardly ever really realised that much before.

    All the Best,
    To your Happy - Home Business - Inspiration,
    HP

    • Excellent point HP. It is really all about building relationships, and that can definitely lead to mutual projects that can help grow your business in so many ways.

      Thanks for your input!

  • Sometimes you have to strap up your shoes and do something totally different to stand out..when you take risk like that then Good things will happen bro..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • And blogging is definitely a way to stand out. A lot of people do it, but most do it wrong. That makes the good ones really stand out!

  • I was invited to teach kids Japanese thanks to my blog. I still have no idea how to do it well but I found out I liked the job though never thought of teaching.

    • I hear you Anastasia. I’m actually going to be teaching classes I’ve never even taken, which is kind of crazy. But hey, you get used to it (hopefully, lol).

    • Hello Anastasia, ‘Domo Arigato’

      (My mother did teach Japanese Flower arranging (Ikebana)) So that’s why I now also fluently speak Japenese, euh…, only kidding, only know a few words. :)

      Anyway,

      Thanks for writing this reply because it reminded me of a post I did a year ago, where I wrote about the fact that somebody asked me if I would like to teach Sales Skills to his Sales Team. This request came up during
      a Conversation after playing Tennis. In that post I also wrote about ‘To Teach or Not to Teach’ and about one of the Sales Strategies that I do think brought me Sales Successes in the past. The Strategy to make selling itself, - the Sales Conversation - interesting and enjoyable. (you can find this post at: http://hpshappyhomebusiness.blogspot.com/2010/08/what-sales-strategy-do-you-have-for.html ) I do think that with Blogging it can be like something similar as a Conversation. As I wrote in a previous reply about how I think that blogging can be great for building relationships….,

      I do think that especially
      Conversational Blogging
      Can offer great opportunities
      for establishing realtionships.

      Somewhat similar as ‘Courtship’ in a Romantic Relationship only than seen from a Business perspective, aimed at looking for possible way’s for Mutual Support.

      All the Best,
      To your Happy - Home Business – Inspiration,
      HP

  • Major congrats Leslie! Your story proves the amazing value of a blog. It’s a living CV and it directly captures our skills, experience, viewpoints, values, and knowledge which can be shared globally with billions of potential customers and employers eyes. Best to keep it polite, informative, upbeat, and showing level headed understanding but it’s so true that you never know who may be reading or what they may do with what you’ve blogged. Your blog has been a roaring success in that the trail led back to you and the very dreams you always had. I wish you much luck with them.

    • Thanks John. That’s exactly what it is – “a living CV”. Never really looked at it that way, but it makes so much sense.

  • Leslie, your article is very useful for everybody, thanks a lot.

    • You’re very much welcome Nick. Glad it helped!

  • Hi, Leslie,
    Congrat! It didn’t just come anyway…it’s out of your hard work. More power to your elbow.
    Alphonsus

    • Thanks Alphonsus. It did take a lot of hard work, but it’s so worth it!

  • Yup I have already started a blog where I am passionate about a certain sport. For personal reasons I won’t mention said blog but I have been doing it for a little over 3 years now, its been quite a journey to say the least. I know one day if I continue to work at it, I will get to where I want to be. Reading your post has opened my vision up a little bit in that I can actually do it. I just need to continue to build my authority, and showcase my abilities, and that alone should be a great voice of reasoning when I finally try to get a job.

    -Jean

    • That’s awesome Jean. All the best with your sport blog. It can be a tough process to get things going, but it can be very worth it over time. Slow and steady wins the race :)

      • Thanks Leslie! Working hard and consistent at it, slow and steady wins the race, with alot of patience mixed in there too when things aren’t going the way you want them to!

        -Jean

  • That is a truly inspiring story. Lets hope you get even more success.

  • Thanks for this great post, Leslie. (Brace yourself for the shameless self-promotion) I recently started my own blog about my food addiction and the link between food addiction and the obesity in our culture. Building a readership continues to be very slow, but your success is inspirational. I guess I need to keep plugging away!

    • Keep plugging away indeed David. I know how it can be to get a blog off the ground. Sometimes we need to adjust how we do it, but many people fail because they give up too soon. Blogging isn’t an instant success game (at least not usually). It’s a process.

      All the best with your blogging efforts!

  • What an inspiring story dear. I’m glad you have found your niche. Do stick to it and explore it the more. It pays to solve problems and the reward is passive income.

    • Thanks for the encouragement Michael. I will definitely be sticking with this niche and drilling down deeper into it!

  • Great post. Persistence is very important with blogging.

    • It is indeed very important with blogging (and just about anything else in life)!

  • This is interesting. I just came across your biology blog 2 days ago, and then I randomly came across this. I’ve been trying to take my own biology blog to the next level (www.beatricebiologist.com), so this is very helpful advice. Congrats on your new job!

    • Heyyyy, a fellow Biology Blog. Very cool. Checked out your blog – I like it! Very cool. You should do a comic for mine :)

  • Nice work Leslie. Blog = authority; I like it. Better than a Business card or even a CV.

    Service = Fulfillment. Your blogs serves people and of course serving people in person (teaching for you) gives even greater fulfillment.

    Nice one.

    • I agree with you there. And it’s also much sexier than a business card or CV ;)

  • My dream job is to just make a living blogging, i have yet to achieve that. I think one day it’ll come to pass and determination is key. Congrats to you though.

    • That’s a goal that’s very achievable Sokun. It definitely does take determination, but also Guidance. Find a good mentor and make it happen!

  • My friend i am also a biologist, and your work is fantastic. I have a site biologiaonline.gr . I am from greece and i offer online biology lessons. I would like to leasten your advises. I visited your site and it is fantastic, but i didnt andestand how you earn money from it?

    • Heyy, a fellow Biology Blogger. That’s awesome. Glad you like my site. Actually, my focus isn’t making money right now. I just want to grow the traffic to where it’s the #1 Biology Resource on the internet.

      However, last week, I did my first Affiliate Promotion. I sent out an email promoting an affiliate product that is biology related and it did pretty well. I will probably be testing other monetization strategies in the future. However, the focus for right now is providing value.

  • What an inspiring story, Leslie! It gives me hope that I can make something more of my crochet blog. I originally got into blogging because I love to crochet and I love to write, but as time went on, I realized that I could be doing a lot more with it. While I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I’ve learned a lot, too, and it’s been a rewarding experience.

    Much continued success with your job and your blogging!

    • We learn so much from our mistakes Patrice, so I’m with you there. I’ve made many mistakes myself, and they have helped me to accomplish what I’m accomplishing now.

      There are MANY people that are into crochet, so I can definitely see a lot coming from a blog on that topic. Wishing you all the best!

  • Hi Leslie,

    This is one of the most relevant blog posts that I have ever read! I started blogging a few years ago and currently have 3 blogs about different, but related, subjects (food and history). I got into Internet marketing at that time to learn how to structure my blog properly and expand it, but to tell you the truth, Internet marketing bores me to tears! So much of the information I see is focused on Internet marketing as an end in itself, using Internet marketing techniques to sell Internet marketing products that teach Internet marketing techniques. Your blogging experience is one of the only ones I’ve encountered that has provided concrete information that can be used in a field that is not just an extension of Internet marketing. Thank you for laying out the steps you took in using your blog to serve *your passion* as well as your readers, and not by charging huge amounts of money, or stealing content from other sites. Your blog truly represents what you know, not what you can gather from other people, and that’s why it’s so effective at establishing your authority. The focus of your blog is on the content, not the ads for products and services, which are just plain intrusive so many times. It’s encouraging to see that a site like that is a success!

  • Congratulations, Leslie! Having a blog allows you to do advertising, public relations, and brand promotion all at the same time.

  • What do you do about students who talk too much? Are there techniques you have for dealing with distracting comments or comments that do not move the discussion forward?

  • Small, small world it is. I have come across your website as a former biology teacher, and now -due to a series of events- I find myself searching for tips on blogging to improve my small business…only to find the best info, ironically, is from you (and entrepreneurs-journey.com) as well!

    As a teacher and now a student of this new endeavor, a HUGE THANK YOU for your efforts in both!

    Kate

  • Sam

    I too have a biology website and I a trying to become like you. This has been an inspiration because not always does something like this happen. I think it is the first time somebody has found a job because of his blog. If it happens to me, I’ll be as happy as you. Thanks for the inspiration.

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