Nothing works like a blog with the domain name “yourname.com” to extend your online identity, and build credibility and visibility around your executive brand, value proposition, industry subject matter expertise, and thought leadership.
Once it gains traction, yourname.com will likely be the first search result when people Google “your name”.
A personal blog builds real-time content and creates a well-organized resource for people assessing you to find out, or be led to, everything you want them to know about you. It does all this much better than a static website, and also demonstrates that you’re social media savvy.
Recruiters, employers, and hiring decision makers source c-suite and senior executive candidates through blogs. Want to get noticed by them and connect with them? Build a blog and they will come.
What’s that? You’re a busy executive and you just don’t have time to write the 2-3 blog posts each week you’ve heard you have to in order to maintain a blog? If you have time to write a new blog post, say, two or three times a month, that’s enough to reap the benefits of blogging.
A blog-based website can be configured to look and act like a traditional website, but have the SEO-friendly (search engine optimization) content-building benefits of a blog.
Blogging is a flexible platform. You can create a static landing page for your home page, instead of your blog stream. You can disable dates on your blog posts. In this way, no one will be aware of how frequently you post, but you’ll have the option of building real-time communications on your website when you want to.
It’s relatively easy to get a blog up and running, once you purchase the domain name. GoDaddy.com is an inexpensive (about $10/year), reliable place to do this, and you can set up hosting for a WordPress blog right there.
Go to WordPress Themes and pick a simple format. Find a free theme, if you wish. You can change the theme later. Or you can purchase the WordPress Thesis theme, which I use on this blog. Or you can work with an online identity strategist, web developer, and designer to create one from scratch.
Create several pages using your branded career portfolio of documents – executive resume, career biography (your “About” page), leadership initiatives brief, key contributions, publications, etc. – along with a contact page.
Get your pages together, along with several solid posts in various categories, before publishing your blog. It’s important for visitors to find enough things to read.
Whether or not you decide to build a blog, claim your name online by purchasing “yourname.com”. Do this right now! Also buy typical misspellings of your name. Until you build your site, forward your domain name to your Google profile or LinkedIn profile. When people type your name into a browser, they’ll be directed to an actual web page with on-brand information about you.
Afraid you’ll run out of things to blog about? Set up Google Alerts for the following and receive the latest published content on them right in your email inbox:
- Names of your target companies
- Names of leaders and key decision makers in your target companies
- Names of your target companies’ relevant products and/or services
- Key word phrases relevant to your niche and target job(s)
- Names of subject matter experts and thought leaders in your niche.
- Names of any other people whose radar you want to get on.
- Job position(s) and industry you’re seeking. For example, “COO Telecommunications” and also spell it out in a second alert “Chief Operating Officer Telecommunications”. These alerts will also inform you about companies in active hiring mode and provide a wealth of keywords and information to use in your blog posts.
- Your name and your blog name, to monitor incoming links to your site and know when people mention your name online.
More in my post, Google Alerts For Executive Job Search and Personal Brand Visibility.
How to blog for executive jobs:
Look at your list of target companies. Blog about them – their new products, their leadership, challenges they’re facing that you know how to fix, outreach/community projects of theirs you admire, etc. Most companies have watchdogs tracking what’s published online about them. You’ll very likely be noticed.
Recruiters and hiring decision makers search industry-relevant keyword phrases to source candidates. Learn about SEO and keyword density. Use your relevant keywords in blog titles and content, so you’re more likely to be found by them.
But don’t wait for people to find you. Send a link to your relevant blog posts to hiring decision makers at your target companies, asking for their thoughts and encouraging them to post a comment. Also send a link to people in your network who would be interested.
Enable the WordPress or Blog Link application on your LinkedIn profile to sync your posts with your profile, connecting people with your posts.
If you’ve hesitated getting on board with Twitter because you don’t know what you’d tweet, blog posts provide built-in tweets. Twitter is actually an important blog traffic-building strategy you can accomplish easily by adding the Tweetmeme plug-in to your blog, and/or using a service like ping.fm to update your social networks with your latest blog posts.
Send Twitter Direct Messages (DM) to employers and hiring decision makers letting them know about your blog posts that mention their companies.
Don’t blatantly market yourself. Generate chemistry and engage people around your unique promise of value by writing about your subject matter expertise, but also write from time to time about your passions away from work.
Build community and conversation by blogging about other bloggers in your space. Link away to other sites, encouraging bloggers to link to your posts. Incoming links, especially from sites with strong link weight, are extremely valuable in building authority and increasing Google ranking for your site.
A few resources:
For advice on how to get started from some top bloggers, read my post, Executive Job Search and Blogging: Perfect Together.
To learn about SEO when blogging, read Copyblogger founder Brian Clark’s new e-book, How to Create Compelling Content That Ranks Well in Search Engines.
If I still haven’t convinced you to start your own blog, will you consider guest blogging and commenting on relevant blogs?
See my Job-Hunt.org article, Build Your Personal Brand Online by Guest Blogging
Another related post, 10 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand Online Without a Blog