Last week, I wrote about two quick ways to build your industry credibility. This week, we’ll look at blogging as a way to build your brand and up your credibility. Blogging often requires more time and energy than other means of personal branding, but it’s well-worth the effort!
Similar to using Twitter or answering questions on LinkedIn, blogging demonstrates you are serious enough about your career or passion to spend your free time thinking about it, writing about it and discussing it with your readers. It’s different from other online tools because it allows the author to express ideas more fully and gives readers a better understanding of how a blogger thinks, writes and interacts.
How a blog builds credibility
Blogging requires vulnerability and confidence. It can be scary to broadcast your ideas on the web and open up to criticism or disagreement. I’m embarrassed to say it, but it took me a good year or so to begin blogging, for this very reason. After I started writing though, I found that there was usually more positive feedback than negative, and that constructive criticism was never as big a deal as I feared it would be. I learn a lot from what others have to say.
If you make every effort to write honest and clearly, you’ll be okay. You have to start somewhere – so start writing! Doing so shows a potential employer you aren’t afraid to be yourself, take risks, and voice your opinion. Plus, imagine how awesome it is to have an employer google your name and find an on-going conversation on your blog about things he or she- and the company- care about.
In addition to building credibility with a potential employer, blogging builds credibility with readers. By responding to comments and commenting on other blogs, you are letting people know they have been heard- a key part of relationship-building.
How to make a blog work for you
Maintaining a blog can be tough. It’s not always easy to brainstorm new and interesting ideas and then transform those ideas into concise, well-written posts. Be sure to plan time in your schedule to brainstorm and write. Try to blog on a consistent basis so readers know when to expect your next post.
Read other blogs and publications for inspiration and keep a notebook or some other tool to record your ideas. (I like to organize my ideas in Evernote.) Nothing’s worse than having a genius idea in the middle of the night, not recording it, and then forgetting it by morning.
To promote your blog, use Twitter to share your content. Some people will also link their blog to their Facebook account and LinkedIn profile. Consider your audience at each and decide if it’s appropriate. Also take advantage of the blog syndication on Brazen Careerist, where you can easily share your posts, read and comment on others’ posts, and receive feedback on your ideas within a community of supporters.
If you’re still not convinced that blogging can build your brand and your credibility, check out these bloggers’ success stories and tips:
5 Reasons Every College Student Should Start Blogging in 2009 (By Ryan Healy. Also check out Ryan’s e-book about career blogging for college students)
Do you have a blog you’re using to promote your brand or demonstrate your expertise? Let us know in the comments!
(To anyone keeping track, I know I promised TWO ways to build credibility this week. In in the interest of not having this be the longest post ever, I’m saving the last method for next week. Oooh, suspenseful!)
Kelly is a career advisor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she assists undergraduate business students with all aspects of their career development. Kelly received her masters degree in Higher Education/Student Personnel Administration from New York University, and her bachelors degree from UW-Madison, where she majored in Political Science and Women’s Studies. Connect with Kelly on Twitter, LinkedIn or BrazenCareerist.