Joshua Porter has posted about how the blog is your resume (in reference to Adam Darowski’s post). This is completely true. While I don’t have my personal resume posted here, I do have ongoing work that illustrates my knowledge of the web industry. In his book “Never Eat Alone, “ Keith Ferrazzi discusses using a newsletter as a way of keeping people up to date on what’s going on in your life as well as offer free valuable information that may help them in any way. Writing a newsletter is still useful, but blogs can be even more effective for promotional purposes. Your blog helps forge relationships whereas newsletters, emails, and phone calls help maintain relationships. How can you use your blog to promote yourself more effectively? Well, here are 5 things that I think will help you:
- Have a clean & unique design - Frequently, resumes and blogs are a dime a dozen. People you standard formatting that doesn’t really stand out from the cloud. Conversely, just like with resumes, if you make your blog too abstract, it typically won’t benefit you (unless of course you are an abstract artist).
- Have a targeted about page - If you are looking to gain something from your blog (a job perhaps?), you want to tell your visitors what you are looking for. Whatever your occupation or passion may be, state it on your about page. This page is where you are marketing yourself to the world, so speak out and be clear about what you want.
- Write about issues related to your industry - If you work for an organization supporting immigrant rights, and that is your passion, it probably isn’t best to talk about new technology. By discussing your industry, you are making yourself an expert and thus people will see you as one. Talk about issues related to your industry and you will eventually become an expert.
- Provide valuable resources to your readers - This is more about sticking to your topic. When you provide links via your blog roll or del.icio.us links, it is always best that the links you provide are relevant to the topic you are discussing. Providing contrasting topics doesn’t benefit your reader.
- Keep it professional - This is huge. If you are looking to get work from your blog, then you better keep it professional. I see many people that talk about relevant issues and then toss in something about the various extracurricular activities that they are participating in (parting, drinking, etc.). Unless your blog is specifically about your crazy personal experiences, I’d suggest keeping away from personal issues. In marketing (both personal and commercial) image is everything.
When you go out and meet people at professional events, make sure that your blog is on your business card and tell people to check it out. They will then see that you truly are knowledgeable in your field. Also, remember to post frequently. Blogging is just like working out. If you don’t do it on a regular basis, chances are you aren’t going to do it at all. Also, you won’t receive a lot of offers if you aren’t posting frequently. Blogging is a habit that pays off, but you have to be persistent.