As I discussed in my last post, if you are blogging as part of your personal branding efforts, you should be encouraged! Blogging is tough, but it is one of the best things you can do to help develop your personal brand. I consider my decision to blog one of the best professional and personal decisions I’ve made in the last decade.
If you are just getting started, here are three quick tips that I hope will help:
- Make a commitment. Blogging is a process, and making the commitment to blog is the most important step in the process. As you get started, sit down and write down for yourself why you need to commit to blogging. This is your purpose. Purpose lives in the hearts and minds of those that serve it, and it’s easier to stick to a long term commitment when your purpose is clear and compelling. If your purpose is not clear and compelling to you, it will be unclear and uninspiring to others as well.
- Subscribe to and read blogs by those in your field. Watch what others are doing and integrate into your blog the things you like and eliminate the things you don’t like. Look for a way to make your blog distinctive. It took me several months of blogging before I began to get a clear picture of what I had to offer myself and my readers that was uniquely valuable. I also recommend subscribing to a few blogs outside of your field. I do that so that I can look for innovations I might be able to introduce to readers in my field. For example, very few leadership and management bloggers use video, so I decided early on that I would learn how to use video before it became accepted practice in my field. It’s always better to be ahead of the learning curve than behind it.
- Subscribe to blogs about blogging. There are a number of folks out there that devote themselves professionally to helping others blog, and I’ve learned a lot by reading their blogs. Some of my personal favorites are written by Liz Strauss, Denise Wakeman, Michael Martine, and Joe Pulizzi. For example, I had no idea how to get started with video blogging, so I simply followed Rebecca Thorman’s advice.
Above all, find your unique voice about how you want to develop yourself and help others in the process. Some of the wisest advice I have ever gotten about blogging came from Rebecca Thorman. I urge you to listen to this video she made for one of my personal branding classes – it is a gem. It’s a message not just about blogging, but about integrity and personal responsibility. According to Rebecca:
You have to be able to stand behind your word and stand behind your brand that you have created. When you do that, you build a community that also stands behind you – because you believe so much in yourself that they are willing to believe in you as well.
That to me is the goal of branding and I think that is best accomplished through blogging. Find your unique, passionate voice and blog with integrity and responsibility. Be consistent and utterly transparent. Make a commitment to stand for what you believe in, and give others a reason, a purpose, to stand with you.
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.