December is officially here (when did that happen?) and prediction/ resolution season is in full swing.
Throughout 2014, my goal was to start a PR-focused blog. I’ve written travel blogs, contributed posts and created both strategies and content for clients’ blogs, but I’ve always wanted a blog I could call my own.
Thus, PR State of Mind was born.
I’m now four months into running my blog, PR State of Mind, and I’ve seen countless benefits along the way. And, with 2015 on the horizon, I’m already gearing up for some changes and redefined strategy.
So, enough about my blog. Let’s talk about yours. If you’re looking into some career-building tactics for 2015,
Here are 15 reasons a blog should be at the top of your resolution list.
1. Become a better writer.
They say practice makes perfect, and that extends into the blogosphere. The more you write, the better and more efficient your writing becomes. And, the better and more efficient you become as a writer, the more you’ll enjoy doing it. (Improved writing is a great benefit for clients, too!)
2. Build your portfolio.
If two people came in for a job interview with equal qualifications, but one had no blogging experience while the other had developed and maintained a personal PR blog successfully, who do you think would get the job? A blog builds your credibility, and not only demonstrates your ability to write but your dedication to the industry.
3. Gain exposure.
The more you write, the more likely you are to show up in Google searches, especially when you implement an SEO strategy. This will you help you build a presence in the PR industry, and if you use tactics like syndication and guest blogging, you can further make a name for yourself.
4. Demonstrate your expertise.
Instead of referring to others as the experts, a blog lets you be the expert. Just make sure you write your own opinions and thoughts instead of regurgitating what others are saying. Your voice is valuable, and it can take you a long way in your career.
5. Test social media platforms.
There are numerous social media outlets I’d love to test for clients, but we don’t have the time or resources available. But I’m not on billable hours with PR State of Mind. I can try Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest, to name a few, to see what works and doesn’t work when trying to get eyes on my posts.
6. Find and engage with fellow industry bloggers.
Whether you’re including other bloggers’ content in your posts, or following blogs and interacting via social with the writers, you can build an entirely new network via blogging. This is a good network to have, and the more you go, the more you and your new blogger friends can cross-promote content – which is always a win!
7. Develop your own voice.
When you run your own blog, you don’t have to worry about following a particular voice. You can write what you want, how you want. And, once you’ve found your writing voice, you can market that in job interviews, when pitching guest post ideas, etc.
8. Learn how to create visuals.
I love graphic design. Unfortunately, graphic design doesn’t love me. I’m just awful at it – no matter how many classes I take or how hard I try. Now that I’ve launched my own blog, though, I’ve discovered incredibly helpful design tools like Canva and photo tools like Unsplash that let me create unique visuals for posts. This has carried over into client work, and the SEO and social media results are tremendous.
9. Become an expert on a variety of topics.
When you’re writing a post, you have to do some back-end research to add context and make it helpful. While it may seem time consuming at first, this research is the perfect chance for you to become an expert – then thought leader – on a particular topic.
10. Get eyes on your resume.
If your blog is hosted on your personal website (mine is hosted on stephanievermillion.com), readers can quickly jump over to your resume and work portfolio. Typically readers are from your industry, and if you target and market your content right, you’ll attract readers with quality connections and/ or hiring power.
11. Learn content strategies firsthand.
I’ve developed content plans for clients, tying social and content together for optimal end results. But, when I’m developing the content strategy for my blog – including SEO, social promotion, etc. – I’m able to test out new waters and learn from trial and error, without having to report to anyone but myself.
12. Remember insights from books and conferences.
I don’t know about you, but after finishing a career book or attending a conference, my brain is so full with information I’m afraid I’ll forget key points. And I usually do. But, if you write a book review or conference recap, you can rank well for that book/event through SEO and you’ll have all your learnings in one place.
13. Make your Google image positive.
What do you see when you Google yourself? Some see positive links, others … not so much. With a blog, Google can pick up some of your posts, and those who search for you online will find valuable content associated with your name instead of the … not-so-valuable stuff.
14. Build your own reader community.
As you write and get your name out there more, you’ll find people start following your blog and engaging with you. That is the best. It builds wonderful rapport, and helps you fine tune your content to meet the needs of your specific readers. Be engaging and always appreciate those people who read your content!
15. Write about what you want (AKA have fun!).
I think this is my favorite point of all. When you have your blog, you can write about whatever you want. You don’t have to report to supervisors or executives (as long as it’s appropriate and doesn’t reflect negatively on the company, of course).
Use time exercising, walking your dog or shopping for groceries to think up blog ideas. The constant brainstorming helps you develop a creative mindset, and allows you to view the world differently – as a blogger!
If you made your way through all 15 points, kudos to you! You’re well on your way to becoming a blogger. To get you started, here’s a helpful WordPress 101 site and some tips for creating your content strategy.
Questions? Please ask. As you can probably tell from my 15 paragraphs on the value of blogging, I’m more than happy to help you get started!
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