Step right up and hop on the blogging roller coaster – hope you’ve got the stomach for it
So you’re a blogger are you? So am I. Or maybe you’re thinking about blogging. Is that the case? But why? Why are you blogging now or considering blogging? Have you thought about that – carefully and honestly?
Ok, it might not be that easy a question to answer, but it is really important. I’ll tell you why, because blogging is hard work. It’s about pumping out words and posts relentlessly and then hoping someone other than you finds them fascinating, or even just interesting. One minute you get a spike in your visitors and you think you’ve got it made, a day later and your numbers drop and you’re searching madly for what went wrong. And still a day later they’re back again. It’s a roller coaster ride of activity and emotions.
Welcome to Hollywood – best get a job waiting tables
Having a reason for blogging is really important. More tough truths I am afraid. If you’re blogging in the hopes of making some money then think it through carefully, do your research and don’t believe everything you read. It’s not a get rich quick opportunity. It’s a bit like planning to become a Hollywood star. How many wannabe’s ever make it. Sure, you can scan about the Internet and find heaps of exciting success stories, but what % of the total number of bloggers are they? Yes – very low I am afraid. If it’s money you need and fast, best get a 9 to 5 job and some security.
But stay with me here. It’s not all bad news by any means; we’re heading back up
You might be like me, writing because your passionate about writing and a particular subject. In my case, I am passionate about Employee Engagement, Personal and Professional development and that’s what my blog, The Best Practice Manager is all about. I never planned that blogging would be a full time job for me, not at all. But blogging is an important part of my personal and professional development strategy and it should be yours – here is one really good reason why.
Have you ever heard of a Personal Brand – Yep – this is one of my areas of fascination.
What is a Personal Brand?
“When people hear your name, do they immediately think of certain qualities that you have? Do colleagues, friends and family know what they can count on from you? Does your reputation extend beyond those who know you personally – and if so, what do they think about you?” Forbes – What’s your Personal Brand?
A Personal Brand is incredibly important for your career. It’s all about what people can expect when they connect with you. Your blog is a great way to communicate your personal brand.
- Who are you?
- What do you stand for?
- What are you passionate about?
- What knowledge do you have that your willing to share to help others?
A Personal Brand is all about the real you
When it comes to a personal brand, it’s important to be authentic. That means that we get to see the real you. Not some souped up version that you slip into each morning shortly after you’ve showered. And you know what else, it’s a lot easier to be real and to sustain that. A Personal brand is not just your image; an image can be skin deep with no substance to support it. Don’t create a blog that looks like a million dollars, promises the earth and delivers an entirely different experience. Keep your blog a simple reflection of you and your real personality, and have the courage to stick with it. Be genuine, if you’re blogging to provide information on a particular subject, then don’t focus yourself solely on how you can make money out of your blog with a dozen ads and a network of affiliate programs, with your chosen subject just a poor relation. Have courage that positive results will come from your efforts.
You should also communicate with your readers. It’s important that the way you see yourself is the way they see you. Ask questions, engage in conversations. You’ll soon see if you’re aligned. If they get it – if you get it.
What can you expect as return for your effort in building a Personal Brand (PB)
- If you focus on areas your passionate about and become known as a go to person for those specific competencies, even when it’s not currently part of your measured job, then a PB can get you a job doing what your passionate about much sooner.
- If you have a strong PB, then people and opportunities come to you rather than you seeking them. You can be selective in what you do and where you focus your energy.
- Having a strong PB means actively networking. There is no doubt that networks open up to you and you receive opportunities to connect with people who have influence in the areas of your interest.
- You’re a person that people think of when there’s an opportunity, and often you’re the first person they think of, which puts you in a less competitive position.
- You get credibility and you’re seen as a leader in your field.
- Personal brands can have you associated with the “What’s new, what’s trending, what’s all the rage”.
- A Personal brand is key in creating opportunities for promotion, so a PB can get you a better job and a better salary.
How do I identify my personal brand?
If you want some really quick ideas on how to identify your personal brand, spend some time identifying the following.
- Your innate talents, abilities you were born with.
- Your skills, the abilities you’ve learned along the way, and
- Your knowledge, which is information you’ve acquired.
Together these form your strengths.
Add to these your passions, if they’re not already included, and you’re beginning to form a picture of your personal brand. This should be reflected in your blog.
Think about your blog as a great promotion for your Personal Brand. Make it what you want and what’s best for you.
Good luck, and I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on this subject.
For more information about what a personal brand is, you might like to have a look at one of my previous posts – Personal Brand – The simple explanation of a must have – Here’s what, why & how.