Have you always wanted to launch a blog but not sure where to begin? Hone in on the value-add that you bring to your field of study — and let that area of expertise shine in an influential blog.
Don’t think that you have to be a bestselling author, professor or lecturer to grow a personal brand online. You can write about any topic you have a passion or expertise in, be it politics & the arts, literature or business… even content creators in knitting & needlework have amassed millions of loyal readers!
While anyone can start publishing content online, it’s quite another to attract loyal and engaged readers to your blogs. First of all you have to find your “voice”, this means writing with an authentic and honest point of view.
Blogging gives you the opportunity to open new doors, whether you have a dream to chase, ideas to share or a cause to champion, you can make blogging part of your life.
To help you get started we have listed our top tips to assist you in finding your authentic voice;
- Get personal:The best blog posts weave together personal stories and insights with hard facts and research. Your followers and fellow student want to connect with a real person, not a robot. So, use your blog to personalize and humanize the study and research you do, while also supporting your opinions with reputable statistics and links to respected sites.
- Stay consistent:The more quality content you publish, the more likely it is you will build a solid readership. So don’t pour your heart and soul into a single grand blog only to go MIA for months. Instead, brainstorm blog ideas and plan ahead with a content calendar. Think about how often you’d like to blog (be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) and commit to that schedule. The single best way to stick to it? Give yourself strict deadlines to complete these blogs.
- Polish your prose: While humanizing your work is crucial, professionalism should always come first. You should have zero typos and it should be grammatically correct, this includes the headline, subheadlines, images, image captions and the blog itself. Using tools like Grammarly or Microsoft Word’s spell check can be useful, but your best bet is hiring an editor or asking someone you trust to proofread your work.
- Promote your work: Simply publishing a blog post isn’t enough. In the crowded media landscape we live in, it’s crucial to make sure you get your work in front of the right audience. Sharing your post on social media is one way. Also, encourage your alumni or associates to share on their channels, as well. Think of the optimal place to convey your message. For instance, while you might keep in touch with all your college buddies and family on Facebook, a blog about your area of study might be best shared on LinkedIn or as a white paper download.
- Create a centralized place for yourself on the Internet: Make your online presence official by getting a personal/custom domain name to brand your website. Registering a URL as well as designing your own website is easier than ever thanks to platforms like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress.
Having a centralized website to house all your blog content is essential to your personal brand. In addition to having all your published blogs in one place, you can add a lengthier bio and link to your social media accounts, it make it easy to add updates when you need to.
- Make blogging part of your strategy: Blogging can help promote your learnings or thesis and promote you personality. Showcasing your expertise will build a level of trust between you and the public. According to a Nielsen study, 92% of people trust earned media over paid advertising. This includes recommendations by friends and family, as well as trusted sources.
- Set your sights on “Influencer” status: People like Richard Branson and Arianna Huffington have used blogging to build enormous followings on social media and become respected “influencers” in their industries. In other words, their personal brands have become just as big if not bigger than the businesses they’ve founded.
Acquiring a huge audience and being an influencer in your field of study won’t happen overnight, but focusing and staying committed to quality content will only elevate your professional profile and personal brand.