How To Create A Blog Post#blogs by August 03, 2016
Your online presence is fundamental to your professional brand in your region and the world. Blogging and article writing are tools you can use to position yourself as an expert, influencer or thought leader.
It is easier than ever to publish your content. Options include creating your own blog, contributing long-form articles on LinkedIn, or to established blogs and online publications.
Before you dive in, it is crucial that you decide why you are blogging.
“Why blog?”, You may ask. The answer is different for everyone. If you are writing articles or blog posts to boost your professional brand, you want to decide why you are blogging and your goals. The answers determine which options will help you reach your goals. First, consider the following questions: - What do you want to be known for? - What are your talents and areas of expertise? - Who is your ideal audience? (Professionals in your field? Small-business owners? The general public?)
Just about any helpful ideas, tips or information works well in a blog post. Write articles, opinion pieces, tips and essays that interest your ideal audience.
Your Own Blog or Site
If you are a prolific writer, your own blog may be the ideal place to publish. Custom domains and web hosting are inexpensive, and you can use the domain to host your blog, online portfolio, and a branded personal email address. Many professionals who purchase their own URL buy a domain featuring their name or a variation on their professional name.
Having your own branded site can establish your expertise and be a launching point to contribute to other publications. The downside is that building and maintaining a high-quality web presence is potentially time consuming or expensive. A simple promotional site containing a few articles is easier to manage, but a reasonably successful blog requires new content on a regular basis.
Fortunately, there are other options if you are not ready to commit to running your blog. Just be aware that when you publish your work on other sites, you do not fully control the outcome. If the site goes offline, no one will have access to your work. If you retain the copyright, be sure to keep a backup copy just in case the site goes out of business. Also, be sure and keep a record of any agreement you made with the host publication. Some sites allow you to republish the article and some require exclusive rights.
You can reach a new audience by contributing to established publications, websites, and blogs. Even if you have your own website or blog, you can contribute new original content or even syndicate your existing content to reach a larger audience.
LinkedIn allows you to publish long-form posts to share with your connections and the LinkedIn network-at-large. LinkedIn is an excellent place to share content of interest with professionals in your field.
If you are familiar with common blogging platforms, you will find the LinkedIn platform easy to use. If not, find a short tutorial.
Guest Contributions or Blogging
Many, if not most, online publications accept pitches from potential guest contributors. Some examples include the Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Lifehack.org, Forbes, and others. Professional niche sites in your field are also possibilities.
Things to consider: - The quality of the site is important. Search engines like Google set out to refer readers to relevant, high quality websites. By choosing to align yourself with quality, your content will reach a larger audience of relevant people. Also key thought leaders might write for the same publication and the indirect association boosts your profile. New and small sites may still be “quality”, just look at the sites content and make sure it is something you would be proud to feature. - Consider whether the site reaches your ideal audience. Some clues include topics discussed, social media activity, and in some cases the site publishes a media kit that describes the traffic and reader demographics. - Don’t be afraid to write for a new or small traffic blog or publication. Just be sure the site is not spammy and is in a niche relevant to your profession or area of expertise. Sometimes smaller publications within a specific niche are actually more effective at reaching the right people.
There are so many options to use your content to showcase your expertise and build your brand. This strategy is effective whether you publish to your own blog, LinkedIn, or guest post for another publication.
Always focus on topics related to your brand or expertise. Choose the right publication that will reach your ideal audience and enhance your reputation. When possible, create useful original content that inspires, motivates or helps your ideal audience solve a personal or professional problem.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you post on LinkedIn, use WordPress to create your own blog, or guest blog on someone else’s site, get your thoughts together and start blogging today. You are an expert at something and should be known for it. The only way you can build your personal brand is by letting the world know your thoughts and value. The most important thing for composing your blog is to take the first step and write one.