We write a lot about business and small business blogging at GBW.
Many of our clients are small and medium businesses looking to increase sales.
We’ve found that blogging does just that – increase sales. We get the majority of our website traffic as a result of our blogging efforts. And that traffic leads to nearly all of our new business. The rest comes from referrals.
And our clients see similar results as well after about 1-2 years of blogging (you have to stick with it to see the results).
But blogging is not all about sales (gasp!).
Well, I guess what we’re going to talk about will financially benefit you in the long run so stick with us on this one.
Blogging To Build A Personal Brand
We work with a few folks at GBW that are not blogging for sales. These folks are looking to build their personal brand
What’s the point of building a personal brand?
The biggest reason to build your personal brand is to further your professional career.
Your current job may be one that you’re happy with, but most professionals want to grow to bigger heights.
The job market today is difficult. People are staying in the workforce longer. Pay is down in some areas and it’s difficult to move up. Executives and business owners are looking for experience and if you don’t build that experience on your own it’s difficult to get it.
That’s where a blog can help.
By sharing your insight into your industry on a personal blog you build yourself as a brand in your industry. People use the term “thought leader” for this type of brand. I think it fits pretty well with the idea of personal branding.
As a business owner, blogging can also help you build your business as you build your personal brand. There are many entrepreneurs that do this as a way to help their business and themselves.
In life, you never know what the future holds exactly. Blogging sets up a digital diary of your thoughts for people to discover and connect with. Those connections can lead to more than just sales. They can lead to career opportunities.
Here are a couple steps for building your own personal blog.
Step 1: Your Blogging Strategy
Personal blogs are more open than business blogs when it comes to building traffic.
However, I still think you should focus on the ideal reader you want for your personal blog. It might be more diverse than it would be for your business, but still keep the focus.
A common personal blog for a business leader or professional would be to target other business leaders as well as potential clients for your current company.
Next is determining the topics you write. You have some freedom to write about what you wish. This can be industry-related or really anything you’re interested professionally or personally.
I would suggest writing 75% industry and professionally related posts. This keeps the focus of your blog on your career.
The other 25% can be about your hobbies or topics that interest you on a personal level. This is important because when people hire you they aren’t only hiring the professional side of you. Writing about your personal side a little bit gives people an idea of the person you are. It can set you apart even more from others out there.
Step 2: Acknowledge Your Job, But Separate The Two
A big question for personal blogs is whether you should write on behalf of your company or not mention it at all.
Acknowledge your job, but make sure you indicate that the thoughts on the blog are yours and not those of your company.
This is the best approach whether you work for a company or if you own a company.
In the end, even if you state this you’ll still be associated with your company. Your company hired you and everything you stand for and blogging is part of that in today’s world.
You’ll just have to be smart when you share your ideas and opinions.
Don’t let the thought of getting yourself in trouble scare you off.
There is far more to gain from blogging than by not blogging.
Step 3: Market Your Blog
The final step is marketing your blog. Chances are you probably participate in social discussions on networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. That’s where professionals go to network.
Use those connections to build your blog audience.
Social media is one of the best ways to grow your blog. You can also offer other professional bloggers interview opportunities on your blog. Ask them questions and give them an opportunity to talk about their business. Then when you publish the post have them promote it to their audience. Also write posts about other people and businesses. Then reach out to them letting them know.
Marketing your personal blog will grow your audience and that’s when the opportunities start coming in.
Business blogging is great for growing a business, but blogging doesn’t end there.
Personal blogs are a great way to grow your personal brand.
If you’re a professional looking for new opportunities then a blog could be just what you need. Follow the steps above and get started with your blog.
It’s a small investment now that can lead to big things in your professional future.
PS: My personal blog – dayneshuda.com