As I’ve written before, blogging builds credibility and is a great branding tool. If you don’t have a blog, there are still ways you can build your brand this way. If you are a blogger, these ideas can benefit you, too. Below are two methods, other than writing your own, to use blogs for personal branding.
Leaving a comment on someone else’s post is a great way to connect. By commenting, you let an author know you appreciate his/her efforts and were impacted by what was written. You can also share your own expertise, thoughts and feedback.
Tips to make the most of your comments:
- Don’t post anonymously unless you have to for employer or personal privacy reasons. If you have meaningful things to say related to your personal brand, you want it to be associated with your name.
- Be specific about what you agree or disagree with and why. When giving positive or constructive feedback in real life, it’s important to be clear about what you mean. Likewise, leaving a blog comment that says “great post” is nice, but consider quoting part of the post or mentioning specific details that you found particularly helpful or insightful. Same thing goes for criticism.
- Be strategic, but not selfish. Comment on blogs related to your niche and blogs written by people you admire with whom you want to connect. But don’t fill comments sections with plugs for your own blog, website, or most recent project without contributing to the discussion at hand. Be genuinely interested.
- Proofread and check for typos and grammar. Poor writing is never a good brand. Comments don’t have to be perfectly written term papers with MLA or APA citations, but it should be clearly written and you should give credit for others’ ideas when appropriate.
Commenting demonstrates your willingness to help others develop their ideas and their brand. It shows you are engaged, passionate and open to feedback and constructive criticism.
Google Reader and other tools like it bring all your favorite blogs and websites to one place instead of having to visit a bunch of different websites. If you don’t know what Google Reader is, you can learn more here.
Aside from organizing information, Google Reader’s share feature allows you to communicate information relevant to your personal brand. Select the stories you find most interesting and others can see your recommendations. An example of someone who does this well is Student Branding Blog’s own Dan Schawbel. Because Dan’s expertise is personal branding, I know that if I click on his shared items, I’ll get tons of great articles about personal branding that I don’t have to go find myself. He has done the hard work for me.
Do the hard work for those in your industry or niche. It’s as easy as clicking the “share” link at the bottom of the post in the reader, which automatically places that post into your Shared Items. You can specify different groups with which you would like to share or choose to share something publicly. You can also include a note on the post if you want to add your own insight. Helping like-minded people find valuable information they can use makes your personal brand stronger.
We should all keep up with publications and blogs related to our industries or career interests. Take this one step further by adding your reactions and thoughts or sharing what you’ve learned with others!
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.