I encourage my clients to get involved with blogging in some way. Even a focused strategy of regular commenting and guest blogging on relevant blogs can have value and significant impact.
If they like to write (and perhaps have a number of articles or white papers under their belt) and have something to say about their industry and areas of expertise, starting their own blog is a good-fit strategy for their brand communications plan.
Top-level executives (and other job seekers) are getting on the radar of recruiters and employer’s hiring decision makers, and landing jobs because they blog.
Hiring authorities found them when they were keyword searching online for viable candidates.
Some of these executive job seekers were offered opportunities in the “hidden job market” — positions not posted anywhere — because their blogging demonstrated their subject matter expertise and credibility, and positioned them as a good fit for a company.
Don’t assume that a blog won’t be of benefit unless you post several times a week. You can set up your blog so that posts do not include dates, so no one will know your posting frequency. Or, you can set up your blog to look like a career web portfolio or personal website with no blog stream at all – just pages and perhaps several important articles or white papers.
For both scenarios, you have the ability to publish new blog posts whenever (and if ever) you feel like it.
And your blog posts don’t have to be lengthy manifestos every time you write. In fact, with the busy schedules and short attention spans of most readers, brief posts of, say, 300-400 words (that’s only 3-5 paragraphs!) may be better, with an occasional long one thrown in. Long posts may be better broken up into a series of several short ones.
So how do you come up with good ideas for blog posts that will help advance your brand promise and ROI value to your target employers?
Here are some suggestions:
→ The categories you choose to list on your blogsite (you can always add/subtract later), which should represent relevant keywords and phrases for your industry and niche, will likely prompt blog posts. And you can routinely Google these phrases (in quotes) for research and to see what others are writing about them.
→ Set up Google Alerts (one of my favorite tools) to stay informed of issues impacting your industry and target companies. Some Alerts to set up:
- Names of your target companies and/or those you want to be informed about
- Names of key decision makers in your target companies
- Key word phrases relevant to your niche and target job(s)
- Names of your target companies’ relevant products or services
- Job position(s) and industry you’re seeking.
- Names of subject matter experts and thought leaders in your industry and niche.
- Names of any other people whose radar you want to get on.
→ Subscribe to your target companies’ blogs and those of industry thought leaders and subject matter experts. Do Google, Technorati, and Alltop searches on their names and relevant keyword phrases to find relevant blogs. See what they’re writing about, and blog about the same things.
→ Subscribe to (or just read) industry publications.
→ Peruse the big publications – NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, etc. – for industry news.
→ Re-purpose articles and white papers you’ve written. If they’re too long for one post, break them up into a series of 2, 3 or more.
→ Write a post commenting about someone else’s post. Include the title of their post with a link. Many benefits to this strategy – these are usually fairly quick to write, the blog post author will be very flattered by your support and mention, and your generosity builds community. For even better impact, coincide these kinds of posts by posting a comment on the original blog post.
→ Keep track of good posts by other bloggers you’ve read all week and do a Friday weekly roundup listing 4 or 5 posts with links and include a brief encapsulation. That takes almost no thought or time, and makes a connection with another blogger!
In your posts and post titles, frequently use relevant keyword phrases, and mention people and products of your target companies. Someone at those companies has set up Google Alerts to monitor mentions of these names and products. Recruiters and employer’s hiring decision makers search industry-relevant keyword phrases online and have Google Alerts set for those keyword phrases. These people are very likely to find you.
My related posts:
From Job-Hunt.org, Build Your Personal Brand Online by Guest Blogging
From Job-Hunt.org, Personal Branding With Blog Comments