Building a personal brand online is a valuable investment of time and effort. If you enjoy writing, consider establishing a free blog, and contributing to it on a weekly basis. Over time, not only is the exercise a therapeutic one, it can also help you advance your career in three ways.
1. Searchable Content
Every time you publish a blog post, that article is indexed by Google. What that means is that over time, a name search on Google will pull up your insightful, industry or career specific blog articles. When you type your name into Google, it will report how many instances of your name appear. You will find that bloggers have several hundred or even thousands of pages that refer to their blog site. This helps further your personal branding online, and makes it easier for recruiters and businesses to find you.
2. Learn Multimedia Production Techniques
If you have never created your own podcast, or live stream video event, a blog is an excellent opportunity to explore other types of communication and multimedia. Video blogging (vlog) or live streaming through Facebook are two methods that are fun, and effective way to share your experiences, and promote your employer as a brand advocate.
One example is to live stream corporate events or tradeshows. In your spare time, you can speak to influencers and thought leaders, and use your videos as a focal point for new articles. It’s fun, and it gives you a professional, valid reason to network at events, and introduce yourself to new people.
3. Demonstrate Industry Enthusiasm
Do you love what you do? If you are passionate about your career and industry, writing about changes, evolution and innovators will help demonstrate that enthusiasm in a positive light. Imagine for a moment you are an employer trying to decide between two qualified candidates, and one candidate is an avid industry blogger?
Not only does this communicate your commitment to your career, but it also shares that you are a professional who is coachable, and interested in lifelong learning, and improving your expertise within your field.
The Rules of Online Engagement
Remember to envision your professional blog as something you would write for a magazine or media outlet. Follow the same rules for content writing which include avoiding foul language, inflammatory statements (including politics, race or religion), or inappropriate content. If a future employer or hiring recruiter were to land on your page, what impression would they get about you, as a potential hire, after reading your blog?
Share your blog posts on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social channels you use on a frequent basis. Encourage people to add your blog to a feed reader, to notify them via RSS feed when a new post has been published. Feedburner is an excellent free tool that many bloggers use to track audience growth.
For more tips, we suggest: “Why You Should Blog To Get Your Next Job” by Jennifer Parris for Mashable.