Sunday, May 6, 2007

Why Every Job Seeker Needs To Blog - page 4



How Much Time Will Blogging Take?



There are many misconceptions about the difficulty and time requirements of blogging. It all depends on what you want and how much time you want to commit to your blog. Blogging can take as little as an hour per week or hours each day. Some turn blogging into a full time career - this article isn't for full time bloggers, it's for noobies.

On Blogger you can set up a bare bones blog in about 10 minutes - literally. You'll probably take a little longer, to explore some of the options. I recommend taking no more than an hour exploring options, maximum. Don't put off creating content. Starting is the hardest part, and it can be so intimidating that you'll put it off. I procrastinated and every blogger I know delayed starting for every reason under the sun, because it's hard to start (unless you're a trained writer or journalist).

Complete a simple publication schedule, with 4-8 topic ideas. I use a really simple spreadsheet with estimated date, topic, actual date. I expanded as I started republishing my work on other sites. I recommend starting out with one article per week - if you want to do more, expand your publishing slowly to avoid risk of burnout.

Then take a deep breath, and start writing (or republishing).

I find the easiest way to start writing is with an outline. If that's all you do on your first day, consider it a victory because you got through the toughest part just by starting. Then fill in the outline sections with details. Come back and proofread (or better yet, have someone else proof for you). My Mom, a retired teacher gets an early Mother's Day shout-out, and a big thanks for being a great editor and all-around eagle eye. Thanks Mom!

Your first audience will be your friends and family - so make sure you send a link of your blog to them. If you are lucky you'll get feedback, and if you are really lucky you'll get criticism. Criticism makes your blog better - because it's impossible to put yourself in your audience's seat when you spend so much time creating and writing a blog. You may not take 100% of the recommendations you get, but I'd advise carefully listening to negative feedback - even more than the positive feedback that makes you feel great, but won't improve your blog.

There is much information about how to improve your blog, how to add bells and whistles, how to improve readership and increase Google ranking. Don't worry about that yet - that may be helpful after your first 100 articles, but won't matter much before then.

Don't quit - blogging takes some time and effort to see results and they aren't immediate. Almost universally, the people who will share that blogs didn't work for them quit before six months or didn't publish regularly. The more you publish the faster and stronger your relevancy will grow.

Good luck, happy writing or publishing. Go forth and claim your subject matter expertise ....

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5 comments:

Amy Reinhart said...

I'm finding that my Procurement and Change Management Musings blog (http://amyreinhart.blogspot.com)
has helped me prepare for interviews because I am asked questions bout topics that I explored on my blog.

A useful tip - I write ahead and schedule my articles to publish once per day in the future. Right now I have four articles ready to go, one for later today, and the remaining three for Monday through Wednesday next week. I don't publish on weekends as my blog is a business one.

Another useful tip, I added a hit counter, free from statcounter.com. The directions are very detailed, but the most difficult part will be that you should block your own IP address from being counted, and so you'll need to figure out what that is. This is so you don;t count your own visits (which will be many).

My blog is at currently at 61 visits... I have 1 follower, and he invited me to participate in a virtual focus group in my professional area, (unpaid), so I have already benefitted from this experience.

Amy Reinhart said...

I'm finding that my Procurement and Change Management Musings blog (http://amyreinhart.blogspot.com)
has helped me prepare for interviews because I am asked questions bout topics that I explored on my blog.

A useful tip - I write ahead and schedule my articles to publish once per day in the future. Right now I have four articles ready to go, one for later today, and the remaining three for Monday through Wednesday next week. I don't publish on weekends as my blog is a business one.

Another useful tip, I added a hit counter, free from statcounter.com. The directions are very detailed, but the most difficult part will be that you should block your own IP address from being counted, and so you'll need to figure out what that is. This is so you don;t count your own visits (which will be many).

My blog is at currently at 61 visits... I have 1 follower, and he invited me to participate in a virtual focus group in my professional area, (unpaid), so I have already benefitted from this experience.

Phil Rosenberg said...

Amy, That's great! You'll start to see more visits as you write more content, learn where your audience is, and promote your blog to that audience. You might find Google Analytics an easy way to find out more information about visitors.

One tip - you blog's name isn't helping you, because it has nothing to do about the topic. It will take a very long time, even with a wildly successful blog, to have "amyreinhart.blogspot.com" synonymous with procurement.

While your readership low, your blog is still young, and you don't yet have many linkbacks, I'd recommend changing the blog's name. If I recall, I think Blogger might even make this really easy in its customization options.

Royal Rain said...

I appreciate you Phil, you probably get that all the time. While I'm job searching or rather re-careering. I have personal issues I'd like to blog about such as caregiver burn out and Aspergers in adults (my daughter). In your opinion should I focus on the area I want to be careered in or is it OK to have separate blogs about separate topics.? and should I link my areas to my LinkedIn profile or web resume?

Phil Rosenberg said...

@Royal Rain, Thanks for the kind words and for adding to the discussion. Blogs about personal issues are ok but they probably won't help you find a job outside of the topic area of that blog.

I'd advise keeping the blogs separate while you are searching for a job. You might find there are sites specifically dealing with Aspergers that allow personal blogs or reader contributions. That might be a more effective way to reach that specific audience while blogging on industry or functional job issues separately.

I'd link a professional blog to Linkedin and your online profile, but would refrain from linking a personal blog while you are involved in job search.