A Practical Guide to Blogging for Personal Brands
Are you a subject-matter expert ready to expand your reach or career? Blogging is a path for many professionals to establish themselves as thought leaders or influencers. Use the steps below to develop a blog plan that conveys your knowledge, passion, and creativity to hiring managers, recruiters, and customers.
Before you get worried about your writing ability, you need to know that blogging gets easier with time. There are also many online and written resources for help. The most effective place for professionals to blog initially is on LinkedIn. Depending on your goals and archival needs, you can also consider creating an external site.
Blogging is an incredible way to promote your professional brand, and it doesn't have to rule your life. As you review the simplified steps below, note that I've had excellent results with one original blog and one article repost per week while avoiding boring my network with too many posts. Create the schedule that works best for you, and don't hesitate to seek help if needed.
Set Goals for Your Work
Think about the goals you want to achieve through your blog
Evaluate how the content will showcase your skills
Create content that is specific to your industry
Develop a summary of the kind of personality and voice you want to impart to readers
Create a Persona of Your Audience(s)
Define the general demographics of your audience (likes, dislikes, age, gender, profession, etc.)
Summarize the kind of content your audience needs to see to define you as a thought-leader
Create a persona (or two) to whom you can talk in your blogs
Review Your Peers for Inspiration
Analyze the original content and reposts of bloggers and thought leaders in your industry
Engage with other peoples' content (like, comment, and connect)
Note the types/topics of posts that seem to garner the most interest
Pick general areas of interest (themes/topics) that sync with your professional goals and skills
Ensure your themes are directly related to your area of expertise
Define a rotating list of themes or topics that you can apply to your blogging schedule
Create a Content Calendar
Use a spreadsheet to assign each theme to a specific week
Note relevant holidays (gratitude, resolutions, etc.) or events (small business Saturday, spring cleaning, etc.) that can add some color to your content
Write out the content (original blog or reposted article) you'll post for each week
Write Compelling Content
Write down the three key messages your content must convey to the audience
Use catchy headlines to improve engagement
Determine the best structure for your post (i.e., problem/solution, compare/contrast, or reference)
Review Performance and Adjust Accordingly
Review the responses to your content to determine what works best
Continue to engage with others' posts and note what works for them
Determine the frequency and timing of your most successful blogs
Did you know that the most successful bloggers are hyper-aware of how they can help people? They provide a new way to view issues and the steps needed to tackle them. By focusing on providing solutions, you'll establish yourself as a thought leader – ready to move to a new position or broaden your network.
As a certified career coach, Hillary guides extraordinary people and their personal brands. She's a career solutionista that helps clients discover their unique worth to find new employment, pivot industries, or move toward cause-oriented work. When Hillary's not busy coaching amazing people, she rides bikes, learns about wine, cooks for friends, and travels globally with her family. Find out more and sign up for her newsletter at www.careersolutionista.com.