- Do you love this career blog?
- Do you wonder how I got started?
- Considering launching your own blog?
My true story as an "accidental blogger"...
As I sat down to write my weekly blog post, a pop up appeared that there were 50 blog posts written in My Career Managers's account! I'd like to celebrate my blog-iversary - 50 posts + this one, by sharing my story with you. I hope it inspires you...
I first began blogging in March of 2009. It happened accidentally. Yes, accidentally! I had been researching Social Media analyzing how to get started and trying to determine an entry point. This was taking forever, since my biggest impediment was my own fear. I knew that whatever was posted online could be there forever. One day I decided that if I didn't take the plunge now, I never would. I dived in and joined LinkedIn, one of the best Social Media sites for business professionals. I built up my profile page and shortly thereafter began joining industry groups. I was getting my feet wet, meeting colleagues from many different industries and having fun.
I didn't realize the impact of my participation until the founder of an up and coming LinkedIn group "MBA Highway" contacted me. Chris Perry had been reading my LI comments and discussion threads and liked the unique niche I represented. He invited me to join a team of industry experts to launch a Career Website for MBA professionals. I agreed and became one of the "Original Career Launch Experts" for the Career Rocketeer website. My primary role was to research, write, edit and post original, career posts every week. No easy feat. I was the Monday writer - setting the tone for the entire week! No pressure, eh?
I had never blogged and didn't have a clue about the extent of the technical requirements for this role. There was no manual, no training, no course to learn the "how to's." We taught ourselves. Now my work began in earnest. I conducted extensive market research to determine my target audience and my USP (unique selling proposition). If you are contemplating your own blog at the outset you'll need to research your competition. Determine what sets you apart, what makes you unique. Since career management is not a 9-5 need, my blog posts are written and geared to help you after hours. I started compiling topics from all of the emails I receive from students and clients over the evening and weekends. What topics do they need help with after hours, when no one else is available? I also had to learn about SEO search engine optimization and picture optimization, Google Analytics, click through rates and my target audience. I began contributing posts within a few weeks and kept on learning my new trade - as I went along. Since the Social Media community and tools are continually evolving you will need to evolve too - to keep up with the pace of change.
Additionally, I decided to offer Virtual Counseling for my University MBA students and private practice clients. Regardless of their geographic location I determined that they would be able to reach me for career counseling support. Check out my Virtual Career Services page. My research uncovered a plethora of career websites and posts which were either very scientific or very, very basic. However, there were not many professional, funny and readable sites for mid-level, business professionals. I'd found my niche. The twist I added was combining clinical psychology, global business and career counseling savvy.
Within 6 months of this project, I decided to launch my own blogsite - My Career Manager. This was a huge endeavor and concurrent learning curve. Building a site from scratch is exponentially more difficult than contributing posts to an existing site. Shortly after, I registered my name/trademark and launched my own Twitter feed - My Career Manager. Reading this, you may think it was easy for me or that I had some natural aptitude. I did not. Just figuring out the technology side was the hardest part for me. I had many set backs, moments of frustration and sometimes even writers' block. However I persevered.
About a year after starting to blog - another big opportunity awaited me. Based on the popularity of my content and size of my readership - several nationally-syndicated Career Websites contacted me. They asked me to write weekly content for them. My content would now be exposed on 600 Career Websites throughout the USA! Exciting, but very daunting. I agreed to this offer. You can now find my weekly posts by typing the name of your favorite American city and searching for me under authors.
Unemployedin_____.com (for major American Cities)
Jobsin______.com (for major American Cities)
Metro_____jobs.com (for major American Cities)
Diversity____jobs (for major American Cities)
Moral of this story, don't let fear hold you back. I'd encourage any and all of my readers to "up their game" to dive in head first into this social media, blogging, Web 2.0 ocean. It is scary, exciting and ultimately very rewarding. Feel free to contact me. I'm happy to "pay forward" any knowledge I may have gained in this process. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Your Career Manager