My “day job” is at the University of Nevada, Reno, where I am an Assistant Professor of Management. I started my first blog, Positive Organizational Behavior, so that I could build my training and speaking business.
With that blog I position myself as someone that can help others with issues related to leadership and followership. This blog is strictly business for me, but I try to be professionally personal in my writing style.
I used to blog about personal branding at my professional site. I did it because I was teaching classes on personal branding and I wanted to develop my thoughts on personal branding. Blogging about branding helped me become a better teacher of branding. It also gave my students another resource to support what we did in class.
But my personal branding posts did not resonate with regular readers that visited my site to learn about leadership and management. Now, all of my thoughts on social media and personal branding only show up on either The Student Branding Blog or SM@RT Social Media for Business.
I started a personal blog in June 2009 primarily to document my travel in Spain that summer. I knew I wanted to share experiences from my travels with others, but I also felt I needed to keep that separate and distinct from my professional blog.
I also wanted to experiment with the Posterous.com platform, and I can tell you that I love it. It does not have all the impressive graphics and features of other blogging platforms, but it is very simple to get started and to post blogs. Posting is as easy as sending an e-mail through my regular g-mail account.
The title of the e-mail becomes the blog title, and the body of the e-mail is the text of the blog. I can upload video and pictures easily also, so although I use it as a simple place to blog about personal stuff, many people use it as for their main professional blog. Even though I don’t post there very frequently, I feel like I can post anything I want at that site, and I’ve used it in a variety of different ways. This summer, I am spending seven weeks in Spain and London, so I will probably post pictures and descriptions of my travel quite frequently.
All of these blogs contribute to my personal brand, but they do so in different ways. If you look at my “personal” blog, you can see that I also use it for “professional” purposes. But on the blogs where I attempt to build my value and expertise, I try to keep my voice very focused, and my advice to you is to do the same.
For example, if you have interests in both gourmet cooking and inbound marketing, you need two separate blogs to express those interests. The community you will build around gourmet cooking is different than the one you will build around marketing.
Know your “customers”, the people you want to read your blog on a regular basis, and strive to exceed their expectations. Don’t confuse them or disappoint them with material that is not consistent with the reason they take their valuable time to visit your blog.
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.