In an age where maintaining an online presence is one of the most important aspects of business, it can be hard to know which platforms are best for which kind of enterprise. Blogging is not a new concept; rather, it’s been around for ages. However, in recent years, the popularity of blogs have grown so much that it seems like all professionals have one these days.
The truth of the matter is that starting a blog is one of the best ways to enhance your career. A web address has turned from something that only social media influencers use into a type of business portfolio.
This business portfolio is almost a necessity as we begin 2019, and it is important to be able to recognize what your individual website needs are with respect to your career, content, and target audience.
Blogs that are relevant are a mandatory part of engaging with and reaching consumers, as well as allowing for a method of contact between them and you.
The versatility and customization of a blog is what has made it such a big hit in the marketing world. The endless reasons for taking the first step towards success by creating a blogging platform include:
Enhancing Your Professional Profile
Hiring managers, in particular, want to see some proof of your experience. While claiming that you have the expertise for the job may work out for you, if you had an online portfolio to provide then they would be able to see for themselves what you can do.
Having a blog as a business portfolio could serve to give you or your business a competitive edge as it gives decision makers something concrete to consider.
The legitimacy of your claims will be backed up by proof, giving your professional profile the proper enhancements.
Your blog should not only compliment but supplement your resume.
Remember, you’re trying to promote your personal brand- the image you put out to the world. This means that the website must be more than just some words and images carelessly thrown together. Your blog will show what kind of business person you are, and what people see is the impression that they will have of you.
Expanding Your Network
While interpersonal networking is a vital skill to have, sometimes you just don’t have hours worth of your time to put into social media networking. Effort in that aspect is always a big help to business, but there are other options.
In addition to any current networking strategies you or your enterprise have in place, a blog can be one of the best ways to have people come to you. Having your work present in search engines such as Google can not only direct traffic to your business portfolio, but it can present a variety of contacts that you would have never had otherwise had the opportunity to be in touch with.
The classic application of handing in your resume to a hiring manager is not to be overlooked. Nor is taking the route of proposing your enterprise directly to investors. These methods will never go out of style and are a crucial step towards success.
The problem is that in this day and age, where the internet is our greatest resource and biggest freedom, business-minded people must find a way to present themselves online. In order to show your unique qualities, there has to be something to make you different from the rest of the heap.
Your personal website is perhaps the best way to do this.
Not only is a blog totally customizable, so that you can ensure that you’re putting forth the best version of who you are, but each one is individually relevant.
There is only one you, and a personal blog is your way to prove that to your future partners or consumers.
A Personal Website Can Grow With You
Having a current resume handy is necessary in any industry. It’s a mandatory part of doing business in this day and age. The only problem is that, in such a busy world, a resume is outdated the moment you hand it to someone- be it an employer, hiring manager, or future investor.
Your blog is the perfect way to maintain a relevant and up-to-date portfolio without the limitations that come with revising and printing out more copies of a resume.
Not only does it enhance your best attributes and showcase the best version of you, but it accentuates the progress you’ve made.
In a career, nobody starts off as an expert. You may not always start off great, but you can absolutely grow to become so. A personal website is a resume that takes this journey alongside you. It grows with you, and as you become better at whatever it is you do, the blog showcases that.
Resumes are static. The evolution of a personal blog is what will set you apart from others.
Attracting Decision Makers
As your site becomes more developed and your viewership becomes more invested, your blog’s following will start to grow. A single share of one of your posts could lead to many more people clicking the link to see what you or your enterprise is all about.
This eventual exposure is what will attract important people. Decision makers such as recruiters or investors will have a way to find you rather than the typical requirement of the other way around. They may find you from any newsletters or social media posts that your blog post makes a presence in, or even just by a Google search.
Companies are always looking for new and unique talent. The content they stumble across on your business portfolio has the potential to land you brand deals or opportunities that you would have never otherwise thought of.
Ways to Optimize Your Blog’s Relevance
In 2018, 53% of marketers recorded that blogging was their top priority when it came to online media. Personal blogs are one of the best ways to succeed in all forms of marketing- from generating leads to SEO, it is a foolproof way to help give the exposure needed.
The end of 2017 had 66% of marketers vowing to increase their use of blogging to promote their enterprises and skillsets. This is a trend that has proven true throughout 2018, and is expected to remain so for years to come.
In social media posts (ie. posts made to platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), 60% of marketers in 2018 said that adding articles from blogs to their posts was their ideal type of content:
While it is not hard to see why blogging is the present go-to for marketers and hiring agents, it can be confusing to navigate the world of blogs.
With so much customization potential, how can you keep your blog relevant as we start a new year? How can you ensure traffic is funnelled through your website, and that it actually appears in search engines, thus attracting the appropriate target group?
After reviewing past trends and predicting the continued rise in popularity among bloggers, experts agree that there are a number of things that you can do in order to put forth the best chance you have at maintaining relevance in the blogging world:
Posts with a Longer Word Count
When the last decade worth of blogs are reviewed, one of the most eye-catching developments is the length of blog posts. In the past, blog posts were quick little updates. They depicted a story or a piece of information in a way that was short and sweet- the general public wanted something easy to read.
In 2014, we saw blog posts that averaged 808 words. Nowadays, the vast majority of articles are double that length. This is because longer content has emerged in recent years, with a single post counting 1500 to 2500 words. People are looking for content, and if that content is long and detailed, they are happy to read it.
It is for this reason that trends have favoured longer blog posts.
Fact: Articles with longer content perform better and come up higher on the list of relevance in search engines such as Google or Yahoo. (source)
Fact: The average word count of each blog post has increased in the past few years, showing the consumer’s preference in length. (source)
With this in mind, the trend of word count average is definitely something to keep in mind when deliberating how to formulate each post.
The harsh truth is that only around 20% of the people who read the headline of your blog post will click on it. That’s why it is so important to take the time and effort to create a headline that will make people desperate to read your post.
List-based headlines are often times the ones that stick with readers the longest. They’re simple, easy to do, and make people want to know more.
10 Reasons Why Bermuda is the Best Place for Retirement
72 Ways to Engage an Audience of Young People
Here are 18 Ways You are Using Facebook Wrong
Each of the aforementioned example titles grab the reader’s attention. There’s no good reason for why list titles work, but if your hope is to spark an interest in someone who’s scanning the search engine results, titles with numbers that list relevant and engaging topics can be the perfect way to direct traffic to your site.
Advertise Social Media
Your blog is your creative platform. It stands as a way to express yourself and your business, and it is one of the surest ways of achieving marketing success online.
With that being said, your blog is an extension of your resume. This makes it the perfect place to advertise your social media. This way if people come for your content, they will be able to have a direct link to your social media, eliminating the hassle of using the search feature on their apps.
The same is true the other way around as well. Over 95% of bloggers use social media to direct traffic to their personal website.
Social media availability means shares and retweets. People sharing your posts means that more traffic will find its way to your personal blog. More traffic means more opportunities for you and your business.
One of the most crucial components of ensuring that your content ends up high on the list of options after a Google search is using keywords within your content in order to be the obvious link for a reader to click on.
There are both good places and poor choices when it comes to placing keywords on your site.
One of the biggest no-no’s is engaging in keyword stuffing, which is when a post becomes so stuffed full of hopeful keywords that it becomes irritating to have to read. This both deters readers and could result in penalties from Google by way of omittance when it comes to promoting your piece.
Rather, it is important to have few but effective strategically placed keywords throughout your content.
Some of the most impactful locations to implement such keywords include:
- -the article title
- -the first sentence
- -the last sentence
- -headings throughout the article
Things to Keep in Mind
When we go back to 2010, we see 152 million active blogs, with uses spanning from personal to business to news broadcasting. According to Statista, the number of bloggers on the internet is predicted to rise to as many as 317 million by 2020.
This is huge not only for the internet, but for the business world. With 60% of businesses having a personal website, competition is rising. The demand for a portfolio of ideas, achievements, and work examples is becoming increasingly high.
Using a personal blog to supplement and enhance your resume will make all the difference in your personal life.
As we commence 2019, the blogging world is not slowing down, and it is expected that blogs will continue to be just as important as an actual resume for years to come.