Careers, Job Search, Personal Branding, career management, entrepreneurs, self employed, small business

To Blog or Not to Blog, Benefits and Rules of Blogging

Mary Rosenbaum | February 1st, 2010

I am always being asked about the value of writing a blog. Is it worthwhile to spend the time especially since there have recently been a spate of articles on the proliferation of blogs and the diminishing value of their content? After all, how many different ways can similar ideas be presented and how do we know there are sufficient readers out there to make the time you spend writing worthwhile?

What would your purpose be in writing a blog? If you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a sole practitioner, or a careerist, the odds are that you want to grow your business, grow your reputation, gain greater visibility, and/or promote your career. What better way than to write about the issues affecting your clients or your industry in a way that helps your readers and provides them with some insight into how you think and what you know.

From a personal standpoint I know that writing a blog has solidified how people view me and my services in addition to generating new business. Writing and maintaining a blog enables me to:

1. Get my point of view out there for others to read and comment on

2. Convince or introduce people to new ways of thinking

3. Solidify my brand – what others think of me in their hearts and minds

4. Gets my name out there in front of people I may not have been able to reach otherwise

5. Provide other experts’ opinions and writings to my readers through links and references

6. Start a conversation and create a community with like minded people

7. Get input because I am always interested in learning from the experiences of others

In order to achieve these goals I make sure that I follow these rules when I post on my blog.

1. Don’t try to sell them anything. It should not be a sales piece for you or your business.
2. Offer information that would be valuable to your particular audience.
3. Be consistent, stay “on brand” to solidify how others view you and what you offer or do. If they expect you to write on particular topics, meet their expectations.
4. Maintain continuity and post regularly, if not every week then at least every other week.

5. Never bad mouth others (unless they are criminals or are already viewed as “bad guys” by the world).

When done correctly blogging can be a valuable tool to growing your career or business; but promoting your blog is critical to making the time you spend writing worthwhile. Using Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, as well as publishing on a variety of content related ezines you increase your readership exponentially.

Are there other benefits you derive from writing a blog? Are there other rules you adhere to when writing your posts? What other ways do you promote your blog?