It starts the first time you hit publish. You see, if you’re going to become the google of your niche, you need to hit publish. If you want your name to be associated with your chosen topic or area of interest, you need to hit publish.
In order to hit publish, you need to blog.
Most people recognize this, especially those of you who read this blog and listen to the podcast. Yet so few people actually do it. What about you? Have you started your blog yet?
Having a website gives you an advantage over others especially since only 4% of career minded professionals on LinkedIn have one.
Blogging sets you apart by offering people a chance to get to know what you think, how you think and your communication style. It gives them a better idea of who you are and what you are about. The only other way to glean this type of information about someone is to meet them face-to-face.
When I talk to people about starting a website, the most common reason (read as an excuse) I hear for not starting a blog is because they don’t know what they would write about. I completely understand this position. I was there too.
In order to help you overcome this mindset, and it is a mindset, I’ve listed three topics below to help you get started. Assuming, of course, you find yourself in stage one of the 3 stages of blogging.
3 topics to get you started blogging
1 – What are your hobbies?
Think for a minute. What do you do on the weekend? What books do you read, what websites do you visit? Where do you spend your time?
Take my wife for example. She looks at vacation rentals in her spare time. At the mention of a new location as a possible vacation spot, within a ½ hour, she has found the perfect place to stay. She also knows airfare costs and can tell you the popular places to visit. I told her she should be a travel agent. She shrugs that one off.
But what if she blogged about vacation ideas, vacation trips? Planning to go to Tahiti? She could provide a great itinerary. Every possible trip, vacation or getaway is a new blog post.
By doing this, she is helping others while pursuing her hobby and turning it into a blog.
What about you? What do you enjoy? Fishing? Camping? Hunting? Race Cars? Do you help startup companies? Do you get excited about career development, personal training?
Whatever it is you do as a hobby can become the subject of your blog. Every time you hit publish you're demonstrating your knowledge and expertise. A key step towards becoming the Google of your niche.
2 – What do people ask you about?
This one requires you to pay close attention to others. Specifically, what do they ask you about? What topics do they come to you for advice about? Are you the techie go-to person within your click of friends? If people are asking you about something specific that means they value your opinion and might even see you as an expert.
Me? When I started paying attention to what people were asking me about, I noticed that people came to me for advice career opportunities, career development, resumes and personal branding. Why? Because I’ve had real experiences with each topic. Real conversations with others.
Am I an all-knowing expert? No way. Not by a long shot but I do know more about those topics than most, so I get positioned as the go-to resource.
What topics do others view you as the go-to resource for? And don’t say “nothing”. We all have some topic or subject of interest (niche) where we know more than others.
Discover what that topic is and blog about that. So for the next couple of days, pay attention first. Listen to what people are asking you about. What questions can you answer for them without even thinking about an answer because the answer just flows from you?
Uncover this and go hit publish.
3 – What do you want to be known for
This one requires a lot more work on your part. This assumes you to understand where you are today. This one is challenging to understand which is the reason why I created the Personal Branding Blueprint course.
You see once you know where you stand today, you’ll be able to better assess whether you are where you want to be. If you're not where you want to be today, then where do you want to be.
As an example, let's say you’re a program manager today but you secretly want to become a basketball coach. While maintaining your employment, pursue your dream on the side and blog about your journey.
What plays have you developed? What practices have you put together?Videotape your practices and post them to YouTube. Did you read an article about an officiating change that you disagreed with or helped you form an opinion about?
Write a contradictory or agreement post about your take on the officiating change. People love to read about the journey. So why not take them along for the ride with you.
Write about how you identified your skill set gaps and your plan to narrow or eliminate those gaps. Is there training, conferences, or seminars you can attend to gain skills and move closer towards what you want to be known for?
Blog about your experiences along the way. Don’t hold anything back; the frustrations, the setbacks, the little victories.
People will learn from your mistakes. You’ll inspire and encourage them. They’ll say to themselves, “If he (she) can do it, well I can do that too.”
But not if you don't hit publish.
As you get started use the gift of invisibility to get a feel for your writing style, time of day you write best and your topics or area of interest. The key is to keep hitting publish. Each time your do you will grow as a person and a writer. Your thoughts will become clearer and your focus will narrow.
When I first started this blog, it was about woodworking. I was (still am) an avid woodworker. For the longest time, not a weekend would go by without me working in the garage on some woodworking project; shelves, cabinets, and tables to name a few.
I would blog about my process, the wood I used and the reasons I selected it. Things such as the tools I used, table saw, planer, drill press and even the sandpaper I bought, all became blog posts. I posted my handwritten plans for the furniture I made.
I was a great outlet for me. I learned how to use WordPress, how to write, how to be consistent and most importantly how to hit publish.
QUESTION: Do you have a blog? If not, what is holding you back? Let me know @RyanRhoten