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Blogging for personal branding – don’t feel constrained – write whatever you want!

The most common response to “Write a blog!” is “I don’t know what to write.” Well folks, I’m here to liberate you. Write whatever you feel like writing! (Except politics or religion.)

If you’re a regular reader, you know I blog primarily about personal branding – but not always. In fact, I started this blog with articles about the birth of the microcomputer industry. I was lucky enough to participate in some events I thought would be interesting to other people.

You want to get found on the Internet – but you also want to control what other people see to the greatest extent possible. When you’re looking for a job, if you have a corpus of work available to the public, you’re much more likely to get that job than a competitor who is a blank slate. (Exception: if the stuff you post is junk, you’re less likely to get the job.)

Remember, your Google ranking depends in part on how many other sites link to your blog. That’s also why it’s good to comment on other blogs. (When you post a comment, you have a chance to enter the URL of your own blog, which automatically creates a link from their site to yours.)

Case in point: I wrote an article about Wm. F. Buckley and family a few days ago. It was a lot of fun to write, because I had a brief email relationship with him many years ago. That piece was picked up today by another blog: Thank you Nancy, a free-lance writer in the Detroit area. (Go read her blog, she’s a terrific writer.)

My first reaction: “Wow. Somebody read the post and liked it!” My second reaction: “Wow, I’m getting a lot of readers who clicked on Nancy’s link and came to read my article.” Third reaction: “Wow, that’s great! Feels really good!”. Fourth reaction still to come: this will enhance my Google rank.

And that’s what personal branding is all about. And that’s why it’s good to blog, even if the blog isn’t on your area of expertise. If you like fly fishing, write about it! Remember, you’re more likely to make the initial resume screen if the screener can find out something about you, and especially if that something resonates with him or her.

You know this is true. Think about how many times you’ve seen hires go to a person the manager knows – even if the person hired isn’t really qualified. A known quantity is easier to deal with than a mystery guest. YOU have the ability to make yourself more known to the gatekeepers.

So think about it again. If you’re looking for a job, take a few minutes to write a blog entry every couple of days. You have time, no excuses. Write about what you love – it will be obvious to everyone. If you’re a lousy writer, ask somebody you know to edit your posts. If you do a lot of them, go to Elance or Craig’s List and find a free-lance editor who will be happy to get the piecemeal work.

Posted in Personal branding.

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