Four reasons you should start blogging immediately

As our Social Media for Success campaign continues, we're moving away from specific platforms to a wider social media practice: blogging.

Setting up a blog couldn't be easier, with plenty of free blogging platforms to choose from. We recommend WordPress for its simplicity and professional feel. While paid upgrades are available for your own domain name and special layouts, the basic options should be sufficient to start.

Not sure a blog can help your job hunt? Here are four reasons you should start blogging immediately:

1. Your very own online portfolio

Blogs are an excellent way of collecting and exhibiting work and content personal to you. It isn't just for would-be journalists or budding fashionistas, but can also work for other career paths:

No matter what you're interested in, blogging offers you the chance to get your voice heard - hopefully by the right people. And don't limit yourself to text. Blogging platforms like Tumblr allow for a more visual experience, which lends itself especially well to creative fields.

2. Personal Blog = Personal Brand

Building a Personal Brand is key to succeeding in social media. Your Personal Brand is how you sell yourself to the world - your aspirations, your talents and your experience. Blogging is the perfect way to build your brand and impress visitors to your corner of the internet.

How does this work? Firstly, most blog designs include an "About Me" section. This is your opportunity to talk about who you are, what you do and what you want. Don't forget to include an email address or other means of contacting you.

Secondly, be consistent with your content. Don't be afraid to show off your personality, but think carefully about the image you are creating and make sure your content supports your long-term goals.

3. Be a source

The most common way for a blog to fail is by not posting consistently. Sticking to a regular posting schedule will let your readers know when to expect new content - and help them see you as a reliable source of information and opinions. Whether you post every other day or once a week, the important thing is to deliver.

The benefits of keeping your blog active and regular go beyond providing up-to-date content for readers (and potential employers). Regular posting will also make your blog rank higher on Google, which makes you - and your thoughtfully produced content - easier to find. Investing in a personal URL can also go a long way to helping you on Google results.

4. Get read!

Good content will get you noticed - but don't rely on Google alone to give you traffic. Share your posts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Tag relevant companies and people, and use hashtags to get your blog in on the conversation.

The trick is finding the right audience. Follow blogs of people you respect and comment on them - they may return the favour. Post to relevant forums and start a discussion. If people like what you have to say, they will go to your blog to read more.

Put some research and thought into what time of day your target audience will be online. There is plenty of information out there about when people are most likely to click through to content and share links - make use of it! Programmes like Tweetdeck can be excellent resources to help you time your posts.

A coda on style

There is no right or wrong way to create a blog post, but there are ways to maximise your appeal. Here are some of our top tips for graduate blog writing:

  • Keep it simple - You're not writing your dissertation! If it's too dense, nobody will stick around to read it.
  • Doll it up - Nice design and appealing colour schemes are the first thing people notice, so spend some time making your blog look pretty.
  • Catchy titles - There's no need to be sensationalist, but you need to grab your reader's attention.
  • Write for the reader - We at graduate-jobs.com write for our graduate readers - we're here to please you, and we never forget it!
  • Keep it short - Don't be a victim of TL;DR ("too long; didn't read") - limit your word count, and make use of subtitles, captions, quotes and images to make your posts easily scannable.

If we've done our blogging job right, you should now feel armed with plenty of tips and tricks to help your own blog succeed. So go on, get out there and get yourself noticed!