Part 3: Registering, Naming, Designing and Optimizing Your Career Blog
Understanding the importance of having a positive web image is half the equation, the other half is being able to execute on that knowledge. Below, you’ll find the first few steps on how to create a digital brand via formulating a career website and taking the necessary steps so it appears in the search engines.
Creating Your Career Blog and Making it Visible:
1. Register, create and choose a design for your WordPress blog. While there are options other than WordPress available (Joomla for one), WordPress is the most reliable, widely used content management system.
I have played around the alternatives and they are not as user friendly nor do they have as many customization options.
Choose a reputable hosting company and register a domain that is relevant to the content you plan to write. When it comes to choosing a hosting company, there are dozens upon dozens that exist. I would strongly recommend a mainstream hosting service similar to that of GoDaddy as they tend to have more robust and knowledgeable support.
If something goes wrong with a site you’ve spent countless hours on and you need help, you’ll appreciate spending the extra few dollars.
The majority of internet companies will provide a downloadable version of WordPress (also known as a content management system) free of charge with your hosting registration. The better ones will walk you through set-up via the phone as to how to download WordPress.
Since the content management system allows the user to incorporate and customize different themes (predesigned website templates), the individual has endless choices as to what the overarching design will look like.
Sites such as themeforest.net sell premium WordPress templates (themeforest.net has over 17,000 design templates for around $70 or less each) while WordPress provides less robust options free of charge. Be aware that while some of the premium themes may look phenomenal and claim ease of use, they’re much more complex than they let on to be.
2. Prior to starting the project, lay out the design and outline the content of each page. Use only high quality images and ensure that the content is relevant to your career, is interesting, relatable and robust.
Our recruiters strongly suggest that you not create a blog if you don’t have the time or are unprepared to follow through with it. An unfinished, poorly written and designed website has the opposite of the desired effect.
For individuals with a common name (i.e. Mike Smith), our headhunters recommend that they either use a middle initial or full middle name (and change the corresponding name on their resume) in order to be able to register an available .com url.
– By implementing basic search engine optimization tactics, you can increase visitor numbers and ensure that the site appears when people search for your name. For those new to the topic, there are countless articles available. Keep it simple. Also, keep in mind that while the site should be written naturally and for the entertaining for the reader, the content should have your full name sprinkled throughout the main pages.
– Install some form of web analytics on the site. Web analytics will tell you how many visitors your site receives as well as more advanced information that could be leveraged to enhance the user experience. Google provides users with a free system by the name of Google Analytics.
3. Create social media profiles which promote the blog’s content and are utilized for solely professional reasons (a Twitter account should be registered at a minimum). The majority of social media sites will allow you to link back to your personal career blog and will serve as a traffic source. The site can also be referenced from your LinkedIn profile.
If keep relevant and frequently updated, social media will serve as a rankings boost and way to connect with like-minded individuals.
Remember that the most successful social media sites are popular because they share content that is informative and relevant to their topic of expertise.
The social media urls as well as the website url should be put on resumes as well as included in email signatures.