Blogs are quickly becoming a must with executives in many industries. Why? A blog raises your credibility as a Subject Matter Expert to a global audience. Beginning a blog isn’t as time-consuming or intimidating as it may sound. A blog is a small, pre-designed website that allows you to write articles, share photos, post video and audio, link to other blogs and sites. A personal or professional blog can be an important, effective part of your personal brand as well as your organization’s corporate brand. Here are 8 tips for beginning your blog simply and quickly so you can begin posting content and sharing your brand as soon as possible!
- Purchase a domain name and hosting services from a reliable vendor, GoDaddy.com, DreamHost.com, NameCheap.com, or HostGator.com are all popular choices. Purchasing 1-3 years of hosting at a time allows you to take advantage of discounts and ensures you won’t have to constantly renew your hosting agreement.
- Choose a reliable blogging platform such as Blogger.com or WordPress.org to get started. By following simple instructions, you will be able to load the blogging platform and template of choice onto your new website. This can be tedious, and contracting this part out to an IT professional can also be a good option for many.
- Choose a template or format that appeals to you and represents your personal brand well. When browsing WordPress.com or one of the other blogging platform, there are hundreds of styles from which to choose. Evaluate them for purpose and aesthetics: If it looks attractive but is designed around bloggers who will post dozens of photos, make sure you intend to use your blog to post dozens of photos!
- Adjust your blog “skin” to match your taste. Most of these blogging platform templates or “skins” allow you to adjust colors and small design details to suit your needs and taste. “Widgets” are small features that can be added or subtracted from the skin as you personalize it.
- Write original content in your own voice, so the content represents you. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy article every time. Vary your content by adding photos, audio, video, or links to other blogs or websites that will be relevant to your readers. Graphic content creates visual appeal and causes readers to spend more time on your blog.
- Use your blog. Make sure that you schedule time to add new content regularly, to encourage followers to stay and to share your content.
- Support and promote your blog. Most skins offer an RSS feed so that followers can easily receive new content by email. Give your posts categories so your archived content is easy to sort through for readers who are interested in a single subject. Link your blog to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media pages.
- Add a Biography or an About page to help promote you and your brand by offering a brief profile and contact information. Be sure the information about you and your career is consistent from platform to platform. Your resume should match your LinkedIn, and those should both match your website. You don’t have to put your whole resume on your blog, but what you do share there should match your social media closely.
With these 8 tips to begin a blog, you are ready to start blogging. If you’re unsure about how to create a personal brand, or need help deciding on the purpose or focus of your new blog, an Executive Career Coach can offer help on all fronts. Knowing your brand will help you deliver a strong, consistent message right from the start. Happy blogging!