When was the last time you Googled yourself?
Don’t be shy.
We’ve all done it.
Google is a gateway to information.
Whether we’re looking for the scores from last night’s football game or a list of resources for entrepreneurs; Google offers value to all of us. When on the hunt for a job, many of us are still investing heavily into the development of resumes and CVs. I’m not going to be the one to proclaim that resumes are dead (they’re very alive in some industries) but I will be the one to claim they’re only one piece of the overall puzzle.
Dating back to 2009, I’ve been writing my thoughts and ideas online. It all started with a blog about Fantasy Football which eventually evolved into a blog I called The Cool Perspective (now RossSimmonds.com), which was where I talked about Ads, Life and anything I thought was cool.
Since then, my blog has become a platform that has opened opportunities such as be flown around the world to speak at conferences, have countless job offers and acquire clients that I’ve grown to adore and respect. But more than that, I’ve been able to connect with people all over the world who challenge me, help me grow and leave me inspired daily.
In my mind, that’s the most valuable benefit of getting your ideas out there through a blog. You have people who you may not have ever encountered, reading your thoughts, challenging your biases and engaging in thoughtful dialog. These conversations have gone from simple conversations to lifelong relationships and that’s special. But the benefits of blogging are much more than that…
Here are four other benefits of blogging that you should consider:
- Demonstrate passion for your industry: Anyone willing to take the time to study a specific topic and share their thoughts or experiences is going to have an ounce of passion behind it. Whether you’re passionate about the topic or passionate about the idea of getting a job, it’s better than nothing.
- Establish expertise in your industry: If you know what you’re talking about, establishing yourself as an industry leader on a topic will happen quickly. I remember in 2012 when I wrote a blog post about Generation Y and how to connect with this generation effectively. The post wasn’t anything special but someone at a Fortune 500 company thought it was and flew me out (with pay) to speak at their conference.
- It’s a way to own your name: When someone googles you, what shows up? If you’re blogging under your name, you have a better likelihood of controlling that story. Studies have found that 80% of employers do a Google search of a job seeker before hiring them.
- It’s therapeutic in some ways: If you’re someone who likes to create things, a blog is a way to create a piece of content that can influence the lives of others. It might be a simple post that shares an interesting story about your childhood or an in depth research driven article highlighting the rise of snapchat in this new world.
How Do You Get Started With Blogging?
I’m going to keep these steps short and sweet so there’s no fluff.
Everything has gotten easier with the aid of technology but that also means that we have more options, and more distractions than ever before,you need to start to build your own name in the world.
YourName.com is a great place to start. You need to buy a domain.
Once you have your domain, it’s time to buy hosting. Your hosting is sort of like buying land in which you’re going to build your home. Before you build your home (website) you need to find somewhere you can trust and has a solid foundation. Because I always recommend homes that are built in WordPress; my number one choice for hosting is called WP Engine.
The customer service is out of this world and reliability cannot be matched. In fact, they actually offer you two months free hosting if you order an annual plan (hustlers like to save money). Once you have a domain and you’re set up with WP Engine; it’s time to buy a wordpress theme.
The Envato Market has more than 3 Million digital files uploaded and available for download. One of their sites, ThemeForest is filled with a variety of different templates that you can use to get started. Do a search for the type of look and feel you want and pick a theme that fits your taste. If you’re not happy with those, one of the most popular and customizable themes available is Thesis. I started with Thesis and many top bloggers still use Thesis as their theme as it’s both easy to set up and very SEO friendly.
Once you have identified the theme, it’s time to build the website on your own or hire someone to do it for you. If you’re looking for someone to build it for you, the best bet is finding a developer whose work you’ve seen and can trust. I have a handful of friends who do websites so if you need someone, let me know – Otherwise, you can also check out UpWork and hire someone there.
So there you have it.
That’s what it takes to get started with blogging in today’s world. It’s an opportunity for you to share your story and own your personal brand. The next step after getting started is identifying the best topics to write and ensuring that you have an understanding of what it takes to craft a great headline or blog post as a whole. Here are a few great resources on getting started with blogging: