To become a marketable independent professional, you need to position yourself as an expert in your field or industry. An easy way to establish this credibility is to write and publish your own industry-related blog. We've compiled some tips to help you make the most of your blog.
In fact, a quick way to establish yourself as an expert in your field is to demonstrate your grasp of complex concepts by writing about them in simple language that almost everyone can understand. This doesn't necessarily mean that you're dumbing down your blog post - you're just making it more widely accessible. You can use anecdotes, hypothetical situations, metaphors, and other elements to help bring your content to life.
Imagine if this post just told you to work really hard and keep a positive attitude. Would you take it seriously? Probably not. Along the same lines, make sure you're not just rehashing the same general advice in multiple blog posts. Superficial, general advice won't establish your expertise - rather, you'll end up sounding like a broken record. Provide content of value that the reader can't get anywhere else and you can bet they'll keep coming back.
Imagine that you just read a really thought-provoking blog post, and you have a few questions…but the blog in question doesn't allow reader comments. Does this change your perception of the blog or its author? In many cases, the lack of ability to post comments on a blog will reflect poorly on the blog's author - why doesn't the author want to engage in conversations with his or her readers? Show that you're open to answering questions and responding to feedback. It'll demonstrate that you value two-way communication with readers, and keep them coming back. To encourage questions and feedback, end each post with a question or call to action to prompt a response.
What's the worst thing you can do once you've started a blog? Well, the worst thing you can do for your credibility is to start a blog peppered with spelling and grammar errors. A close second, though, is to write a post or two only to abandon posting altogether. As an independent consultant, you need to demonstrate that you have the commitment to follow through on your projects. An abandoned blog demonstrates almost the complete opposite. If you must take a hiatus from posting, make sure you update your blog to reflect this change.
Commenting on other blogs will demonstrate your desire to interact with others online, but will also help drive traffic back to your blog.
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