By Dan Schawbel, from the ProBlogger blog. Dan is the author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, and owner of the award winning Personal Branding Blog.
If you ever were scared or intimated of a blog, now is the best time to flush away those fears and start a blog. Forget about the economy and start thinking about how you can make a difference in your life and that of others. Blogging is a proven way to become extremely successful, no matter what the economic condition is. Today, I want to give you five ways that blogging can make a huge impact for your personal brand during this economy.
1. Protects you from Threats
Your name is your most important asset on the web, followed by your picture and then your positioning. Blogging allows you to own your Google results, which, in return will allow people to find you. I promise you that people are already searching for your name in Google and if you aren’t there, it’s a missed opportunity. Blogging is extremely powerful for search engine optimization (ranking high in Google), which means you can make your blog rank #1 for your name and have people find you every single time. Competitively, you need to blog because you don’t want anyone else claiming that top position from you, especially if they share your name.
2. Allows you to Network
By having a blog, you already have something in common with more than 100 million people across the world, which means each and every day you can connect with one or more faces, without leaving your computer chair. Networking with other people is the only insurance policy you can have during a bad economy and if you’ve already been networking online, you’re way ahead of the game. See, when you aren’t looking for a job, and you network, it comes off authentically and increases your chances of opening up a new opportunity. A blog is content driven and conversations are started around content, which gives you the ability to comment on other peoples blogs and then further that relationship off-blog with an email or message on social networks. In this way, your blog becomes the ultimate networking device for keeping you connected with people that can make you succeed!
3. Keeps your Skills Up
The two most crucial skills to have are writing and verbal communication skills. The best way to get better at both is to practice and by writing blog posts and filming podcasts, you are able to hone these skills and get better over time. This is extremely important when it comes to writing a resume, interviewing for a job, forming relationships with coworkers, writing to other bloggers online and commenting. By forcing yourself (hopefully you’ll be passionate enough about the subject not to be forced to write about it) to blog, your writing will get better and people will take notice. Think about how significant email is in our lives. If you’re currently employed and your writing isn’t satisfactory, then it will negatively impact the brand called you.
4. Promotes Brand You
When you’re sleeping, your blog is working for you overtime and you don’t even have to pay it! That’s right; a blog is an incredible marketing tool for your personal brand. Every blog post can be found in Google, commented on, shared and so on. A blog is an advertisement and, for those who read Problogger.net and craft a blog that looks professional, your blog is your resume. People are getting jobs all the time from their blogs and they aren’t even applying for them. Blogging is a form of attraction marketing, where people get interested in your content (that you give out for free) and then either hire you or give you an opportunity that can help you build your brand, such as a speaking gig. One of the main benefits of blogging, aside from positioning yourself as an expert, is the added visibility to your brand name. With a blog, you can rank high in search engines and have people link to you. You can spread your message to thousands of subscribers in a single post if you work at it.
5. Relieves you from Stress
Blogging is very good for the soul and keeps you active, to a point, where you’ll forget we are even in an economic recession. When you start blogging, you’ll realize that it really consumes your time and, in a sense, this is a very good thing for you when you hear stories of people getting laid off, left and right. A blog will settle you down, make you concentrate more and allow you to flush your ideas out, which can turn into new business ventures! Forget a stress ball and any other infomercials you might see on TV. A blog will actually help you become more of who you are and you can form relationships with people just like you. In this way, you have a whole choir to preach to, instead of just your family and friends.