I’m working with the CEO/Founder of a staggeringly successful entrepreneurial venture in Information and Communication Technology, who is transitioning to corporate distress/turnaround management consulting.
With practically no online footprint, “Mary Smith” knew she had to quickly move from invisible to digitally distinct, if she wanted to be found by potential client companies.
She had the added challenge of being saddled with a common name. A Google search of “her name” yielded over 3,000 results, but only a few in the mix were hers. About 10 others had the same name – some with substantial search results.
She desperately needed to aggressively and purposefully build accurate Google search results – fast, to establish her credibility as the “go to” expert in her field and attract potential clients to her value proposition.
Mary got a head start by purchasing the URL for her name and was slowly building a website. She planned to eventually start a blog, but couldn’t wait for her own blog to take hold and drive the results she needed, so along with building her brand-driven VisualCV and LinkedIn profile, I suggested she start guest blogging right away.
There’s no question that, in today’s job market, executives need a healthy, on-brand web presence. I’ve talked many times about the fact that recruiters and employers are Googling “your name”, when vetting you as a viable candidate for the jobs they’re trying to fill. If you’re invisible, you won’t be in the running.
I’ll say it again, GOOGLE LOVES BLOGS. By their very nature, blogs are loaded with relevant and constantly expanding content. The more relevant content Google finds associated with you, the better your search results will be. Better search results mean higher visibility.
And recruiters and hiring decision makers are reading blogs. Get yourself on the blogs they frequent and you’ll greatly increase the chances of being found and considered by them.
If making the commitment to manage your own blog isn’t realistic for you, check into guest blogging and start building solid, relevant, brand-driven content associated with your name that is closely aligned with your career target.
Guest blogging is a quick way to slide onto influential, popular blogs with high visibility and visitorship and benefit from their already-strong web presence. And people with popular blogs are often looking for guest bloggers. It’s a great way for them to add relevant content to their site with no effort.
Benefits to you when you guest blogging are about the same as when you write your own blog:
- Builds visibility around your value proposition, thought leadership, and niche expertise.
- Flexes your writing muscles. Especially valuable if your work requires good writing skills. Blogging sharpens and showcases your writing talent.
- Helps you connect directly with hiring decision makers, circumventing the gatekeepers.
- Expands and strengthens your knowledge base through researching topics to write about.
- Doing research also leads you to other avenues for online publishing and spreading your personal brand.
- Draws more people (more quickly) to your branded VisualCV or online social networking profile.
- Great way to become known and to come to know a whole new community of people to network with.
Here’s how to go about finding the blogs where you’ll be found by recruiters and employers vetting candidates like you. The idea is to locate the blogs frequented by thought leaders in your specific area of interest:
→ Set up Google Alerts for various key word phrases relevant to your industry and niche expertise.
→ Consult with your professional network for ideas.
→ Do Google searches of various relevant key words for your industry/field and your areas of expertise.
→ Use the LinkedIn “Groups” search feature to connect with relevant professional networks.
→ Research Job-Hunt’s list of over 600 Professional Associations and Societies by industry.
→ Research Job-Hunt’s list of over 250 Company, Military and Government Alumni Groups.
→ When you come across viable blogs, take a look at their blogrolls for more possibilities.
Once you find the right blogs and you’re accepted as a contributor:
→ Get ideas for your posts from the Google Alerts you already set up for relevant key word phrases.
→ Set up a Google Alert for your name so you can track the number of accurate search results, as you’re hard at work building them.
When you post your guest blog articles, you’ll need an anchor website to link to where people can read up on everything you want them to know about you. If you don’t have a blog or website to link back to, your VisualCV is a great alternative, or use your online networking profile (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
When you’re composing posts, carefully craft your titles to be attention-grabbing and keyword-rich for search engines. Also, sprinkle relevant key words throughout the post, but remember that ultimately your articles are meant to be read by human eyeballs, not just search engines. Keep the content interesting and informative for your readers.
One of the great things about blogging is that posts are usually best kept short, 300-500 words. There ‘s no need to write indepth manifestos, but if you do, you can break them up into two or more separate posts in a series.
Here are three must-read articles by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, to get you started guest blogging:
Why Guest Bloggers are Great for a Blog
How to Get Guest Blogging Jobs
How to be a Good Guest Blogger
Some of my related posts:
Executive Job Search: Blogging Attracts Recruiters to Your eBrand
LinkedIn and Blogging, Cohorts in Personal Branding and Executive Job Search