As the workforce ages and transitions to the next career phase, they’re looking for new ways to network, find job leads, and build a personal brand that truly reflects their interests and expertise. If you’re ready to put yourself out there, but don’t know where to start, we’ve put together a guide for finding the online platform that’s right for you, building your presence, and getting the most out of your time online. If you’re already on social media but are concerned you’re not “doing it right”, we have some tips for you, too.
In this installment, we’ll look at some of the best platforms for blogging. Where you should host your blog depends on your comfort level with technology, your desire to customize the look of your blog, and how much you want your blog to integrate with your social media channels.
Former Twitter CEO Evan Williams originally launched Medium as a way to publish essays and articles that were longer than Twitter’s 140-character (now 280-character) maximum. Over the years it’s developed into a platform where established and aspiring writers alike can find an audience and where readers can discover new voices. Readers can upvote and “clap” for posts, which in turn help them get exposed to a wider audience. In terms of paid premium features, Medium goes above and beyond the theme offerings other free blogging platforms like Blogger or Tumblr have. Medium’s Premium service gives your access to special content, and their Partner Program pays content creators.
- Sign up using your Facebook or Google account, or install the Medium app to create a new account.
- Get the lay of the land by finding and following topics in your areas of expertise. Read and follow featured writers to see the type of writing that will get you noticed.
- Start writing! What you write doesn’t have to be about work or your industry– writing about topics like overcoming a challenge or a memorable encounter with a stranger will give your readers insight into your personality and work ethic, too. Check out these helpful writing prompts from Medium user @BiancaBass.
Turnkey services are fine for a personal blog, like the microblog format of Tumblr or the very basic functionality of Blogger. But taking your content to a more professional level requires an investment of time and money (but not much).
Squarespace and Wix offer sleek and professional templates for creating your own website, including a blog. These services make it very easy to get started with minimal technical knowledge. Those who are more comfortable tinkering with their blog and website’s backend functionality may like WordPress for its extensive design themes and plug-ins.
General Blogging Tips
- Choose the subject(s) you want to write about. Is this a strictly professional blog, or do you want to include personal/just for fun topics?
- Follow bloggers whose style you’d like to emulate.
- Set an editorial calendar and stick with it. If you want to build an audience, you need to commit to updating your blog regularly.
- Stuck for topic ideas? See the prompts above, or comment on current events or timely topics other bloggers in your field are covering.
- Link to your blog from your social media profiles and post links to new and old blog posts to grow your audience and get feedback on your content.
Can we answer any questions you have about using social media to build your personal brand? Let us know in the comments: