Guess what? The world’s number one fear is not spiders, global warming, nuclear war, space invaders or even death. It it is in fact public speaking. Surveys keep confirming that presentation skills are vital to success in business and life, yet the idea of it somehow fills us with terror. If you can become that […]
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.
Good luck and see you in the blogosphere!
PS. Just in case you are wondering, this blog is built on Drupal just because I like to do things the hard way.
How are the bad economic times affecting the way employers hire staff? There are a few clear trends that we can see and I have decided to look at the five main ways of hiring people; adverts, recruiters, internal recruiters, networking and referral schemes to see what’s hot and what’s not. Here we go: Advertising […]
Two often neglected sections of a Summary section
Why should you fill it in? For starters, it gives the reader a quick overview of who you are, what you do, what you are looking for and most importantly, what you can do for them. No one is going to scroll down and scrutinize every position you have ever had or take their time to deduce what skills you possess by looking at your groups and associations.
You want to start out your summary with who you are and what you do most of the time. Then write what you can do for others and why people would want to engage with you. This is likely to be a list of achievements, and if so make sure you quantify them as much as possible. You want your summary to stand out and the reader to think they need to take action and speak with you pronto. In the example I have once again used Chris Brogan, his summary is a bit on the long side but then again he is spinning a lot of plates at one time.
Example: Chris Brogan’s Summary
“As president of New Marketing Labs, my role is to build and execute strategies for companies seeking to engage their community via the social web. We focus on four core areas: listening, content marketing, community management, and outreach programs. Acting as a hybrid social media PR/communications organization, New Marketing Labs extends your other channels into the new world of the web.
I also operate the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences, a series of events dedicated to educating businesses on the potential of Internet marketing and communications and featuring the brightest practitioners available. We run several single day Inbound Marketing Bootcamp events all over the US as well. (Contact me to discuss scheduling one for your area).
Outside of work, I speak at several conferences a year and blog about social media business strategy at http://www.chrisbrogan.com. My blog is in the Technorati Top 100 and the Advertising Age Top 20.
I am co-founder of the new media community conference series, PodCamp, and am co-founder of the Secret Society of Marketers. I am co-author of the New York Times Bestselling Trust Agents, with Julien Smith.”
So what’s specialities all about? This is a bit simpler than the summary as it’s only a bunch of keywords strung together for others to find you via the LinkedIn search tool. Think back 5-10 years ago when web pages were cluttered with keywords as it would help their search engine ranking. This is no longer the case on the Internet but still applies on LinkedIn.
The keywords can be your past titles, your skills and names of companies, applications, industries, countries etc that you have experience from. It can sometimes be hard to come up with more than 10 keywords so break out your thesaurus and have a look at your co-workers’ profiles and get some ideas. The example here is from my own LinkedIn profile.
Example Specialities (from my own profile)
“Social Recruiting, Personal Branding, Social Recruiting, Consultant, Trainer, Blogger, Speaker, Sales, Management, Recruitment, Headhunting, Resumes, CV, Cover Letter, Bio, Social Media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Writing, Technology, SAP, Marketing, Personal Development, Life Skills, Online Strategy, Toastmasters, Seminars, Germany, UK, Sweden, USA”
Call to action
As the title says, please do me this favor and fill these in as you will increase your chances of being found by anyone on LinkedIn. This not only applies to job seekers but to everyone that is open to opportunities in their industry. Let me know if you have any questions?
Be sure to check out HOW TO Make Google Love Your LinkedIn Profile as well.
Over 500 million users can’t be wrong, but they can do things differently. Whether you are a veteran or a novice on LinkedIn, a networking strategy is beneficial. This article looks at the three major types of networkers on LinkedIn and what your options are. In case you want more information about LinkedIn, check out […]
There can be no mistaking that the reason employers are on the hunt for new members of staff is a need. This need is not about you, it’s all about them and their need. Therefore you have to sell yourself and tune in to their WIIFM. The reason a manager hires somebody is to make […]
We spend a lot of time at work, from Monday to Friday probably more waking time in the office than with our families and loved ones. If we are to cope with this, we have to make sure we make the most out of our work time and enjoy it. 1. Positivity and smiling Positive […]
You may have an inkling that the time has cometh for you to seek pastures new, or you might just want to make sure that you are doing the right thing by staying put. Either way, go through these points and see if they apply to you. 1. Sense of purpose Does your job require […]
Coaching in general is an industry that has grown exponentially the last decade or so. It all started in sports, where the best athletes made use of a coach to improve their skills and to stay ahead of the competition. Coaching has spread to our everyday lives and nowadays you can be coached on anything […]