What better way to beam out your personal brand than to start a blog? More and more people are setting up blogs and the trend is not going to wane. Some career experts argue a blog is a prerequisite for a successful career, I am not fully convinced of that but I would certainly recommend you look into it. Blogging is simple, quick and most often completely free. This post will give you the reasons why and ways how to get going.
Why should I blog?
Just like you should work on personal branding right now, a blog will set you up nicely for any eventualities in your career. This is your chance to tell the world what you do and how you do it.
You might already have online profiles on Linkedin and other platforms, you may be featured on your company’s website and think this is enough. That is a great start but what you haven’t got there is full control of your own digital footprint. By having your own blog, you decide exactly what goes up and how it looks. It is your corner of cyberspace and your blog is your castle.
Your blog will increase your online presence and will be how you get found on search engines like Google. Imagine how beneficial it would be when a recruiter or hiring manager runs a search on you and sees your blog which clearly demonstrates your knowledge in a particular field.
Another great reason to blog is that whatever topic you choose to write about, you’ll find that you soon become an expert in the field. You have to come up with new content and you will have do a fair amount of research. Whilst doing this you will read and learn more about your subject out of necessity. Your blog will basically force you to learn (and write) more and in the process this will aid your own personal development.
Furthermore, blogging will lead to opportunities that you could never conceive. As your blog is out on the web, you will become part of an online community of like minded people. This network can lead to all kinds of exciting new ventures for your career. I know people who have been ‘discovered’ from their hobby blog and landed good jobs thanks to their writing.
What to write about
You can write about anything but if you want more readers than your mom, you best pick a topic that is interesting to the reader. Think to yourself, what is the purpose of my blog? What will readers actually enjoy and what will help them solve problems in their daily life? You can write about your hobby or work for instance, something that you want to share information about. A good piece of advice is to write about something you know a lot about as you can then easily come up with new content.
What to name the blog
When you have decided what to write about, you’ll want to pick a name that corresponds nicely to your content, giving potential readers a nice little heads up. Lots of names are taken so you will have to use your imagination. You can also opt for naming it after yourself but this says very little about your blog unless you are famous and your name can pull the crowds.
This can be the hard part. If you want people to come back to your blog, you’ll have to keep churning out valuable content. The key here is consistency, whether you write a post once a week or once a day, your readers should know what to expect and have a reason to return.
What technology to use
I am not going to get techie on you but I can recommend WordPress as an excellent blogging platform for anyone with some technical understanding. WordPress is a bit like Firefox or even an iPhone in that it has lots of add on applications and plugins, allowing you to change things round to your liking.
If you want the simplest form of a blog, go for Google’s Blogger application, which will have you up and writing in less than two minutes. There are a few limitations with Blogger but if you’re an absolute novice it’s the way forward.
These applications are both free by the way. You will also probably want to get your own domain, which will only cost you about $10 from domain registrars such as GoDaddy.
There is no magic formula, silver bullet or quick fix to making your blog a success. I am not a grand master of the craft myself and I can only say that hard work and consistency is what has paid off for me so far. I hope that you will consider starting a blog and you will find that there are numerous resources online to help you. If you already have a blog going and could do with some advice, have a look at my buddy and fellow Londoner Marko Saric’ excellent blog about blogging aptly named HowToMakeMyBlog. Here’s what he had to say at the most recent Social Media London meetup:
Good luck and see you in the blogosphere!