Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How To: Use Your Blog to Enhance Your Career and Find a Job

Blogs, like newsletters are a great way to open up the world of opportunities for your career. They are so effective that, when written well, no one in the workforce can afford to pass up the opportunities they create. So, let’s talk about the “written well” part and 4 tips on how to approach it. These tips can make the difference between someone reading your blog and thinking “wow, I want to talk to that person” to having no thoughts at all about you – and we don’t want that to happen!

Give the Blog “Your Voice” – Personalize It!

  • Tell your story – but in a professional way. Share a picture or two. Remember, readers are people too, and people buy from people they trust.

  • Problem solve – talk about an assignment you “tackled”, your opinion on an issue and why you feel/how you feel it could have been performed better. Helped out a co-worker or your boss? Talk about how you solved the problem. Always remember to keep it brief. A paragraph or two works well.

Invite Others to Comment – Engage Your Audience!

  • Ask a question to your readers - get their opinion on an issue. Invite people to your blog and ask them to leave feedback. Make sure to check your blog to ensure you acknowledge people as they post feedback. You don’t have to reply to everyone, but it helps to reply at least once or twice per topic to let your readers know that you are paying attention to them.

  • Someone else have a blog that you like? Mention it in your blog and then tell that person about it. You never know, the person may leave a comment on your blog or recommend your blog to their readers.

Brand Yourself – Focus, Focus, Focus!

  • Focus your blogging message. What do you want to be known for? What do you want to be viewed as a “subject matter expert” in? List 3 areas you would like readers to think of you and come to your site for related content. Develop content related to and for these areas – ONLY.

  • Feature a “Top Five” or “Top 10″ lists to focus your blog and make it fun to read. Always list your best tip at the top to grab reader’s attention.

Avoid Writer’s Block – Read!

  • Have a thought, but don’t have a pen? Use your cell phone!! Call yourself and leave a message in your voice mail about your idea. Save it and write it down when you have time.

  • Over time, readers will post questions pertaining to the same subject area. If you notice this, make a special note of it, research each item, and write a post for each topic. Taking this approach will ensure you have plenty of topics ready to go!

  • Set up a Google Alert pertaining to your blog’s subject areas. Google will search the web for items related to your search criteria and deliver articles right to your mailbox!!!

To create a blog for free, I highly recommend Google’s “Blogger” tool. It’s so simple; you can create a blog in less than 5 minutes!!!

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