Zoli Erdos and Seth Godin have it right: when it comes to getting hired, you don’t need a resume, you need a blog. A blog that you’ve been writing for a while contains a much more complete picture of you, and forms more than just an online portfolio, it broadcasts your personal brand.
How appropriate to read those posts just as I hit my 3rd anniversary of writing Column 2. From a branding and informational perspective, it works for me: more than half of my new prospects and customers mention that they found me through my blog, or at least read it before contacting me as part of their due diligence. Furthermore, it’s considerably broadened my networking community, allowing me to have interesting conversations with — and sometimes even meet face-to-face — other bloggers who I read and respect.
I’ve done some form of online journaling since around 2000, and Column 2 started as my personal soapbox to talk about business process management and other business/technology subjects, gradually shifting to include Enterprise 2.0 topics. A few logistics and statistics:
- I use WordPress as my blogging platform, and have also converted my minimalist corporate site to WordPress since it’s so easy to use to maintain a website.
- I use Windows Live Writer for writing almost all of my posts, since I can write offline when there’s no connectivity, and can also easily cross-post to multiple blogs such as I did to the FASTforward blog a few weeks ago.
- On average, I have more than 200 unique visitors per day visit my site (300+ page views), plus over 750 reading it via RSS feed.
- I’ve written over 1200 posts, which have generated over 1000 comments: a low comment-to-post ratio, likely due to the large number of enterprise-type readers who may not be as comfortable publishing their opinions in response to my posts. In fact, sometimes someone will email me with a comment on a post and I have to encourage them to use the comments so that others can read their opinion.
- My most-visited posts (which counts page views, therefore doesn’t include RSS readers) include a link to the Gartner 2007 BPM Magic Quadrant report, a short report on layoffs at Savvion and other vendors, a discussion on policies, procedures, processes and rules, and my link to the Forrester report on human-centric BPM for Microsoft platforms, in which I also listed the vendors in each of their four categories.
- The posts for which I receive the most praise are my live-blogging at conferences. I started out by taking notes (on my laptop) at conferences for my own reference, then realized that others might benefit from what I see and hear, and started posting them to my blog. I finish each post during the presentation and post it immediately (wifi permitting), since I realize that there is no way I would ever go back later and finish up all those posts after a day of conference-going. That means that those certainly aren’t my best writing and don’t contain a great deal of analysis, but they’re timely and fairly detailed, providing a view of the conference presentations for those unable to attend.
I started out with Column 2 on my own website, then ebizQ invited me to post on their site, where I stayed for over a year. However, as an independent analyst/consultant, my own brand is critical, and when I found out that many people thought that I worked for ebizQ, I moved back to my own domain. That taught me a valuable lesson about blogging on someone else’s site and the impact on my personal brand, and I’ve turned down a number of offers since that time in favour of some very selective syndication (Intelligent Enterprise republishes a couple of my posts each month, and I cross-posted to the FASTforward blog while at their conference).
Blogging isn’t always easy, and it takes time, making it hard to stick at sometimes. However, the rewards — both professional and personal — have made it all worthwhile. Thanks for reading.