What is it that makes people blog? Do they blog for money, fame, the love of writing, to promote their business, or to brand themselves? It can be a combination of all these reasons; or people may blog because they feel the need to be “heard.” The above are some reasons why people blog, but there are more reasons, I’m sure. If you blog, can you pinpoint why?
For money. People who set out to blog for money may be in for a rude awakening. One of my mentors told me once, “Bob, you don’t make money blogging unless you’re published.” I agree with him somewhat on this point, but will amend by adding that you most likely won’t make money blogging unless you’re paid by a company or organization to blog; in which case no one will know you’re the writer.
For fame. You may become famous for blogging; but in order to do so, you must have a pretty large following. If Oprah, Obama, or Steve Jobs were to declare they’re going to blog as their full-time gig, they’d get hits galore. But we’d probably never know if they did the actual writing.
For the love of writing. I’m no Hemmingway or David Sadaris, but that won’t keep me from blogging. I enjoy writing, especially when it’s about the job search. I’ve stated in other entries that blogging and answering questions on LinkedIn are preferable over watching the Bachelorette, So You Think You Can Dance, and other mundane television shows.
To promote your business. I’m surprised that more business people don’t blog. With free blogsites like WordPress and Blogspot, it’s an easy way to market your service/s in a subtle way—e.g., don’t broadcast your résumé writing service throughout or at the end of your blog entry. Simply explain the need for a powerful résumé, executive to entry-level. Your readers will get it, especially if you show you know what you’re talking about. One blog I particularly like is Executive Résumé Expert.
To be heard. Introverts tend to feel left out of conversations and meetings because of their think-before-they-speak nature, leaving the extraverts to often dominate the discussion. Thus writing tends to be the introverts favorite mode of communicating. What better way for the introvert to express his/her thoughts than blogging?
To brand yourself. This is probably the best reason to blog, as well as most talked about. I mention in my workshops that starting and maintaining a blog is a great way to brand yourself. Some of the attendees look at me like I’m asking them to give up their first born. I tell them they’re experts in their field. If you enjoy writing and want to get yourself out there, blogging is a great way to do it.
My urge to blog was further fueled after having read Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself by Erick Deckers and Kyle Lacy. The message I came away with was in order to be known, or branded, you have to be visible on the Internet. While writing a blog will not automatically brand you, it is a way to reinforce the brand you’ve already established. So blogging a consistent positive message is key in fostering your brand.
Bloggers read others’ blogs. It would only make sense that to learn how to blog and enhance your blogging skills, you read what others in your industry have to say. To increase your branding capabilities, share the wealth of information that circulates the Internet. A great source of news is LinkedIn Today, an accumulation of blog entries from various e-zines. I often breeze through them until I find a blog entry I think is of value to my network. Then I share it with them.
I have a blog roll to the right of this entry that includes reputable professionals in the job search industry. I’ve included some of them in this entry, so feel free to check them out. A Storied Career, About.com Job Searching, Branding Yourself Blog, Career Rocketeer, Career Solvers, Executive Resume Expert, Job Hunt, Martin Yate Blog, PongoResume, The New England Job Show.