Last week, we talked in Blogging for the Job Hunt – Part 1 about the benefits of starting a blog to aid in your job search, as well as how to get one set up. Today, we get to tackle Blogging for the Job Hunt – Part 2: Content, Social Media, & SEO!
If those terms mean absolutely nothing to you at this point, no worries. I didn’t know what they meant before I started this blogging adventure, either! Here’s the breakdown:
Content: the actual posts you write, the great information you have to share about your expertise in your field!
Social Media: I’m sure you know what social media IS, but we’re going to touch on how we can optimize it’s far-reaching capabilities to boost your job search!
SEO: otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization. It’s a big deal in the blogging world, but for our purposes, it’s simple — make sure Google knows you exist and includes your blog in the top few results when someone searches for your name.
Without further adieu, let’s dive in!
This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service through these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to keep my family and this blog afloat. Thank you for your support!
1) WHAT to Write
Once you have your blog set up — whether as a free site or as a self-hosted site with BlueHost — it’s time to start churning out those blog posts! But what in the world are you supposed to write ABOUT??
Here’s the quick answer: anything you want within your professional realm of expertise!
Let’s break it down a little: Take some time to think about your field.
- What are the hot button issues right now?
- What are some areas in which you see room for improvement?
- What kind of problems do professionals in your field run into time and time again?
Find a SOLUTION to their PROBLEM.
The best blog posts, in general, offer a SOLUTION to a problem common to their readers. On my blog, I offer solutions for all sorts of job search issues — specifically for those who don’t know how to job search or have special circumstances — like Stay-At-Home moms, new grads, or career-changers.
For YOUR blog, think about what PROBLEMS are facing those in your industry. If you’re not sure, just spend some time scouring industry-related social media and online forums. Professionals are ALWAYS looking for answers to their problems online. So, be one of the SOLUTION providers!
What’s unique about YOU?
Also consider what YOU do differently from most professionals in your field. Do most professionals in your industry still use snail mail marketing, but you’ve figured out how to wrangle the power of the internet and social media to get your message out? Talk about how you do it!
Whatever you do that’s unique and avant garde, show others how you do it. Leave employers thinking, “If she’s willing to share this kind of quality material with the world, I wonder what ELSE she’s got!” Give them your BEST stuff and leave them clammoring for more. ?
2) HOW to Write
Blog post writing is significantly different than any other writing you’ve ever done before. Same content, but the emphasis is on presenting it in a very readable, easily consumable format. Online readers tend to SCAN articles instead of fully ready them, so make sure it’s easy to get the gist of your post, even if they don’t hang on your every, awe-inspiring word.
Try these tips:
- Use headings & subheadings to break up large blocks of text and “guide” the conversation.
- Include bullet points or numbered lists to keep things organized and draw attention to important points.
- Write in short, 1-3 sentence paragraphs. (Standard 4-6 sentence paragraphs are SUPER cumbersome to read online!)
- Liberally sprinkle in buzzwords from your industry and keywords from job postings you’ve seen. (Helps keep your message focused and improves SEO — more on that in a moment.)
- Add eye-catching, sharable, social media-optimized images. (Catch their eye on Pinterest, Facebook, or LinkedIn with a graphic that make them want to click over to your blog and share your content!)
3) HOW OFTEN to write
When you’re blogging for the job hunt, be sure to post FREQUENTLY to your blog. Job searching is your #1 priority at this point, so sit down, crank out that content, and get it out there and working for you.
Before you launch your blog, try to have at least 5 posts ready to go on Day 1. Do MORE than 5 if you can, but get a good handful of articles up immediately. Then, shoot to add one new post every day or two.
Remember, job searching is your JOB right now. A JOB means working 8 hours every day of the work week. If blogging for the job hunt is part of your job search strategy, spend at least 2-3 hours working on your website and blog each day. Use the rest of your 8-hour work day to complete applications, network, and promote yourself on social media.
4) WHERE to promote
Figuring out WHERE to share and promote your blog content is where Social Media comes in. Do your research and discover where professionals in your field are hanging out online.
- Are they in LinkedIn groups?
- Are they in Facebook groups?
- Are they searching Pinterest for the next great thing?
Find your people, and then promote, promote, promote!
Every time you write a new post, blow up that social media. Tweets die off in under 15 minutes. Facebook posts hang around for an hour or two. Most social media moves pretty quickly, so share multiple times throughout the day.
Also, be sure to rotate through your repertoire as you build it, so your audience isn’t seeing the same post or article over and over again throughout the day.
Ask for help getting the word out.
Once you know where to post on social media to catch the most eyeballs, be sure to LEVERAGE those views by ASKING readers to share your posts! (It doesn’t hurt to post on all your personal profiles, either. Great Aunt Ruth might know someone with connections to send it to!)
If an article you write would be of particular interest to someone you know in the field — or better yet, if you are responding to an issue raised by someone you know in the field — tag them in your social media posts. Not only will YOUR followers see it, but THEIR followers will, too — which COULD include someone in a hiring position!
Add it to your applications!
Even though we’re mostly discussing social media here, don’t forget to include your professional website and job search blog in ALL your professional communications — especially in your cover letters and email signatures. Employers will want to Google you anyway. Make it easy for them to find the information YOU want them to see!
5) HOW to rank with Google
Let me preface this section by saying there are about a BZILLION eBooks, blog posts, reference articles, and tech guides out there about optimizing your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and ranking well on Google. I am NOT the expert here, but I’ll give you my best tips on helping employers find you through Google:
If you are using a free, hosted website and blog:
- Use Google Keyword Planner — a free tool to help you find the best keywords from your field to use (frequently!) throughout your posts and website to rank highly on Google.
- Check out this post about other free SEO tools recommended by an online analytics company. (If anyone is going to know SEO, it’s these folks!)
If you’re paying for a self-hosted site (like one through BlueHost or another hosting company) that uses the WordPress platform, use the free Yoast plugin! It guides you through every step of how to create great SEO for every post and page on your website. Plus, it’s SUPER easy to use and understand. (Hooray for easy tech!)
Even on a paid site, using the Google Keyword Planner is a good idea. If you’re stumped for what kinds of keywords to use to get the most traffic from Google, it will help you generate a ton of ideas.
Do YOU know what an employer will see when he Googles you? Is the first thing your Facebook profile that you keep forgetting to clean up and take down all the — ahem… — NOT professionally appropriate pictures? Is it a news article about a different person (who unfortunately happens to share your same name) getting arrested in a drug bust?
(Be SUPER careful if you have a very common first and last name name combo! If you have a unique middle name or initial that could distinguish you, use it professionally. The more you can differentiate yourself from all the other John or Susie Smiths out there, the better.)
The more content you publish on your website and the more you promote that content across social media, the more likely it is that when an employer looks you up, he’ll see what YOU want him to see. Be sure to check your Google results REGULARLY throughout your job search and fill the results with YOUR awesome content.
Are YOU ready to start blogging for the job hunt?
If you’re ready, let me know in the comments! I’d love to cheer you on in your journey.
Also, I’ve opened up my free Facebook Group for the 5-Day Resume Challenge (coming soon!), so if you have questions about anything job search related, feel free to hop over there and ask away! You can sign up for the 5-Day Resume Challenge here, too, and get updates about when the challenge will be rolling out. Just 5 days to an awesome, professional-level resume that YOU wrote YOURSELF with all the expert assistance you could ask for? YES, PLEASE! ?
Job seekers, don’t miss this FREE challenge! Get on the list TODAY!
And please share the links with anyone you know who could use some guidance in creating an interview-winning resume. I want to make sure we’re helping as many people as possible with this FREE challenge, so please don’t keep it to yourself!
Just to make it super easy to share, here’s the direct link to the sign-up page: http://bit.ly/SWPP-5DayResume. Go, go, go!!
As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.