Mar 10 2011
Blogging is a great way for senior executives to build their brand online, make connections with industry leaders and even attract attention from executive recruiters. But how do you go about it successfully and what should you write? Read this start up guide to find your niche and start building your online presence through blogging today.
- Domain name and subject
Before you begin building your website, you must choose a core subject and a domain name to match; a marketing blog could be called marketingdirectorblog.com or a manufacturing blog, manufactingceoblog.com. Providing your name is available, this is also a great option ‘christianpielow.com’.
Then, think about how you would categorise your writing - for a general marketing blog, categories could be online marketing, direct marketing, partnership marketing, and so on. Try and keep your categories to 5-10 general areas, including a generalist category such as ‘business’ for articles that do not fit your prescribed list. This will enable your readers to navigate your content and give you subject areas to build your content around.
Do not worry that it is too general, ‘tags’ are used to allow people to search by specifics – every blog software has the option to add tags to every article.
- Blog name and provider
There are two main ways to setup and run a blog. For the more technically minded, I would suggest Wordpress. Wordpress is very powerful blog software that allows you to host everything on your own server. It is very user friendly once setup, but for professionals with less internet experience, I would recommend Blogger or TypePad. These services still allow you to choose your own domain name, but host the files themselves.
For those who choose Wordpress should head over to www.justhost.com. Just Host is my choice of hosting service as it is very cheap and you can setup wordpress in just a few steps. After intial setup, choose a unique business focused template by googling ‘wordpress theme’ for a large variety of options.
For those who chose Blogger or TypePad, make sure you take the time to customise the design of your page to set you apart from others.
- What to post
The hardest thing about blogging is knowing what to write. In a similar way to guest writing, you must find out what your audience wants and match that with your own interests and expertise. Discover current trends by researching popular blogs, LinkedIn groups and news publishers. Then match your research with your writing categories and write down titles and subjects related to each category. After you have created a series of topics and suggestive titles for blog posts, the hardest part is done.
- Post Frequency
It has been proven that the more you post, the more successful your blog will be – one post a day being the optimal. However, it takes time to create quality content. Therefore, think carefully about the time you are able to commit and decide on a regular pattern. Of course the great thing about blogs is your ability to be flexible and ad-hoc posts commenting on cutting-edge news is a great way to stay relevant, but if you decide to post one main article a week or month, you should decide on a day to post. This will encourage readers to expect your content and come back to read when they know new content will be available.
The chances of you sticking to a schedule will increase dramatically if you set reminders in your calendar. Allocating post titles to each week ahead of time will streamline the process even further.
- Social Media
Create a twitter account and send your RSS feed to automatically post your articles to your profile. You can also connect this RSS feed to your LinkedIn profile to share with your personal online connections. RSS feeds are created automatically by all blog software and if you are not a technical expert, call on someone who is!
Another useful method to gain traffic to your blog is to join industry relevant groups on LinkedIn, start relevant discussions and attach a link to your discussion.
Finally, do not forget traditional methods of communication such as email or telephone, asking relevant friends and close connections to post article links to their profiles. Spreading content in this way will drive website hits and increase your exposure to your target audience.
- Make Connections
Once you have your social media profiles syndicated with your blog, a regular posting schedule and some great content online, reach out to bloggers in your area to share links with one another. Reach out stating that you like their content and have added them to your blog roll (term for link section). Then ask – ‘if you like my content please also share my blog with your readers’. You can also write blog articles commenting on their articles with links to the original piece, and then let them know personally that you liked their content and have written about them. Once links to your blog are added, not only will you achieve targeted clicks through to your blog but the additional links will increase your Google ranking dramatically, helping you reach the first pages of search engine results.
Finally, make sure you have a strong profile statement in the column of your blog, links to your social media profiles and an additional ‘about’ page. Include your career highlights and contact information to ensure interested blog partners, industry professionals or executive recruiters are able to get in contact.
This article was written by Christian Pielow from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at www.BlueSteps.com.
The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Connecting with Executive Search
As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:
- Learn about executive search and how it differs from other forms of recruiting
- Discover the best ways to connect with executive search professionals
- Understand how the search process works
- Implement strategies that will help you become visible to the search community
- And more!