Blog about Your Self-Development

Let me add my voice to those that strongly encourage blogging as a critical activity to establishing your personal brand. Blogging is simply the most effective tool you have to document and target the communication of your value to others that might need your help addressing an opportunity or solving a problem that matters to them.

Probably the most difficult part of the personal branding journey is just getting started. Most of you will struggle to identify your value and think that you could blog about that value. This is especially true for young folks who have yet to even start their first career.

Personal Branding: Blog About Your Self-Development from Bret Simmons on Vimeo.

If you find yourself in this boat, let me suggest that you consider doing a developmental blog. Think about where you want to be two years from now in your life and career. What skill, ability, knowledge, or behavioral habit do you need to develop in the next two years to help you accomplish your goal? Whatever you identify, take the initiative to go out and DO the self-development. Then come back to your blog and chronicle your journey.

For example, let’s say you think leadership development is important to you and that it would really help your brand. Give yourself permission to take the initiative to develop as a leader. Read books, do volunteer work, attend workshops, have coffee with local leaders, ask co-workers and peers for feedback, and participate in other activities that will help you develop as a leader. As you engage in these activities, share your experiences and learning with others by writing about it on your blog.

Don’t worry that you are not a leadership expert – no one expects you to be. Use your blog to document how you are learning and developing yourself as a young leader and I guarantee you that your authentic experiences and thoughts will resonate with the people who find your blog. And, for companies that are looking for someone like YOU, it will immediately differentiate you from the masses of other applicants.

Continual self-development is one of the most important life skills you can pursue. Blogging about your journey of improvement gives you the opportunity to leverage your development in ways that render a traditional resume almost irrelevant.


Bret Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership, and personal branding to both undergraduate and MBA students. He has a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Bret practices personal branding at his website Positive Organizational Behavior where he blogs about leadership, followership, and personal branding. His purpose is “to change your mind about the value of partnering with others to build healthy, responsible organizations where everyone can thrive.” You can also find Bret on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

Related posts:

  1. Blog About a Book
  2. Do You Have A Personal Branding Success Story?
  3. Blog to Build Your Industry Credibility

16 Responses to “Blog about Your Self-Development”

  1. [...] new article at The Student Branding Blog is entitled “Blog About Your Self-Development.” If you are serious about personal branding, you need to have a blog. But if you are just [...]

  2. avatar Wesley Quach says:

    Thank you so much for this! You communicated my exact mindset in a better way I could have.

  3. Bret,

    What is great about the activities you describe is they force an individual to step OUT of their comfort zone. I have realized on more than one occasion, I learn significantly more about myself and about the subject at hand when I travel outside the comfort zone.


  4. Dr. Simmons,

    I really appreciate what this blog is saying. I feel like this hits the nail on the head as to where I want to go with my blog. It is reassuring to me that I can learn as I go, and that I can carry myself into a new experience and learn along the way.



    • avatar Bret Simmons says:

      Yes, YOU can, Christina. You have more talent that you probably realize. Never sell yourself short – you have got what it takes. Give yourself permission…. Thanks! Bret

  5. avatar Susan Hill says:

    I’m forwarding this excellent advice to my student daughters, but it’s applicable to all of us to think long-term as we’re starting to blog, learning and striving to add value along the way. Thanks!

    • avatar Bret Simmons says:

      Great observation, Susan! “Student” is just a term to describe a temporary status we have in our lives. “Learner” should be a term we can use to describe a permanent posture and approach to life. Thanks! Bret

  6. avatar Matthew Dent says:

    Hey Bret,
    I think the hardest part is stepping out of your comfort zone and giving yourself permission. It is one thing to say you are going to do it, but it another to actually do it. As a young professional with only a few years under my belt it was hard at first to write about my topic leadership. I tried to focus my topic a little bit more on “how leaders should lead” from my perspective. Thanks for the insight and advice over the course!

    • avatar Bret Simmons says:

      No one expects you to be an expert on the topic, Matt. But what you don’t realize is that there are a LOT of people that need to hear what you have to say about the subject. I for one hear from experts all the time – but it is rare to hear from someone learning and trying to improve. That is a valuable perspective. Keep it up! Bret

  7. That’s an excellent idea!
    Innovation is nothing without taking initiative!

  8. Bret,

    I couldn’t agree more! When I first started my blog I had a lot of trouble picking a direction. I know a lot about horses, but I was afraid that if I blogged about my “hobby” I wouldn’t be advancing myself in the “business/leadership” realm (which is where I really want to go)…. the only problem is, I don’t know where that is. So I went back to what I do know… horses and applied the lessons I’ve learned from them to the traits I think a leader should possess. Now I find myself overloaded with things to blog about and new ideas rolling in from all directions…. I agree, the path of self-development and assessment, of where your at now and where you want to go, can be very beneficial to both you and your blog!

    Thank you for such wonderful insight!!

    • avatar Bret Simmons says:

      Good for you, Shyla! You need to appreciate this also – NO ONE is doing exactly what you are doing. That makes you unique in a very good way. Give yourself permission to do something different. People will see your passion and expertise. Keep up the great work! Bret

  9. avatar Alex Marcy says:

    I think there is another benefit to your brand using this method. By documenting your learning process people will get an insight into how you think and process information. That will help potential clients or employers to better understand how you operate and how you would best fit into their organization.

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Dan Schawbel

    Dan Schawbel, the founder of the Student Branding Blog, is a world renowned personal branding expert, the international bestselling author of Me 2.0, as well as the publisher of the Personal Branding Blog.

  • Connect With Dan

  • Chelsea Rice

    Chelsea Rice is the editor-in-chief of the Student Branding Blog. She began her work for just before graduating from Boston University, where she studied journalism and minored in international relations.

  • Connect With Chelsea

  • Recognition

    • Recommended resource - The Washington Post
    • "A terrific way for students to learn about branding" - Lindsey Pollak
    • "Worth checking out" - Psychology Today
    • HR World's top 100 management blogs