How to make the most of your professional blog
Somehow along the line of history, blogging received a bad rep. Maybe too many pre-teens used it as an outlet for their prepubescent emotions. Maybe people believe it creates a culture of narcissism, where bloggers think their ideas and daily life experiences are worthy of being spread across the globe at alarming speeds. Whatever the case, blogging can be an incredible tool, and harnessing the medium can be a serious boost to your career.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your corner of the Internet:
How to start:
Have a vision. While this seems broad and sometimes impossible to define, it’s important for you to have an idea of what you want to convey through your blog. Have distinct goals or a specific side of you that you want to display; this will make it easier to come up with topics that are interesting to you and promote your personal goals.
Set achievable goals for yourself (and write them down!). Maybe you are interested in job leads, or networking with other bloggers, or promoting your own writing. Whatever the vision, you should know at any point in time whether or not you are on your way to meeting those goals.
Overcoming writer’s block. Carry around a little notebook in your bag or start an ongoing note in your phone. Whenever you come up with an idea for a blog post, jot it down. That will kick writer’s block right out the window. The world is an interesting place, and it will always provide you with material.
Connect with other industry professionals. Unless your blog is more of a living portfolio of your work (which is cool, too. See tip #1), you probably want to get in touch with some other bloggers in your industry. There are blogs about everything. There are marketing blogs, education technology blogs, woodworking blogs — you name it, it exists. Seek out professionals in your field who are also blogging. Send them a quick email to say hello or suggest a coffee meet-up if they live locally. Look at you! Your network just got bigger without having to step foot in an always-uncomfortable name-tag-and-pizza networking event. You rock.
A note about Facebook. Facebook is great for publicizing blog content, as long as you try to avoid being “that person.” Everyone knows at least one – the person who is only on Facebook to talk about the awesome stuff he or she is doing over on WordPress or Blogger. Just be sensible. One Facebook post a day seems like a lot.
One final tip: At the end of the day, this is your space. Don’t be bogged down trying to convey traits you don’t have, or attempting to feign interest in an industry or activity that doesn’t fascinate you. Write about what you want to write about (within professional parameters) – ultimately, that will make your blog sustainable and most unique to you as a career person.