How a Blog Can Transform Your Contract & Consulting Business

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I never really saw myself as a professional writer. When I started my blog around HR themes, it was with the intention of building a following that I could build into a talent pool to recruit from. What I failed to recognize is the power of blogging, provided the information being shared is worthwhile and has a following.

Earlier this spring, I planted milkweed in my small backyard garden. Milkweed is the only plant that monarch butterflies will lay eggs. At present we have caterpillars hatching and munching on my milkweed which my daughter absolutely loves. They will soon be transforming from caterpillar to butterfly. This is what a blog did for my own business. My blog is in fact my own business milkweed of sorts. It helped elevate and transform my work. It has been the fuel for my business. It’s the central most important part of my work. It wasn’t something I set out for, but once I realized its power I ran with it and seized the opportunity.

 

What opportunity that came out of it was something bigger than I could have imagined at the time. It allowed me to dream bigger, to transcend my position as an HR manager for a single firm, and offer advice from a bigger stage. It is probably the single largest contributing factor to the changes that have taken place since. So, what is it about blogging that is so powerful?

It allows you to demonstrate your expertise

In the world before internet, many of the world’s greatest experts were columnists. They shared advice and information in much the same way that blogs do today. It allows someone to become a subject matter expert in a very public way. As your target market reads your blog, they can see your expertise on display. 

Connects you to unrealized opportunities

Through blogging, you have the opportunity to connect with people on a global level. Some opportunities that may never have come to anything without the audience and platform I created with my blog, are now a reality.

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Makes you the media

Where this gets really exciting is when you are not just the parrot, sharing your insights on other’s work, but you become a source. A talented curator can build a massive audience, just sharing other thought leaders content. By sharing your own unique perspective, you can become the thought leader in your own right. Recently, through my writing I was asked to be interviewed by The Economist as part of their business leaders series discussing the topic of human resources and recruiting

Blogs are perfect for inbound lead generation

While the informational side is where you establish yourself as an expert and leader in thought, a blog also gives you the opportunity to share calls to action. An effective call to action turns casual readers into well-qualified prospects for your service. It’s the ultimate referral selling strategy

Helps you keep your edge

The constant research and reading required to continually produce fresh and meaningful content is the perfect means to stay up on what is going on in your industry. This, in turn, makes your expertise even more meaningful, and allows you to endorse and implement current best practices, giving you an edge over the competition who may be stuck in yesterday’s modality.

Gives you a target for all of your marketing efforts and a place to build your platform

We all know that today’s market place calls for multiple methods of marketing and content sharing. This will range from ad buys to social media profiles, to articles in online and real world periodicals. While all of these are great, they all have one drawback, you don’t control all of the content or presentation.

With a blog, you give people a place to meet you on your term, a form of virtual business networking and a platform to start the conversation you feel is important in your industry. Unlike social media, you can focus solely on work, and not lose the audience. A blog makes a natural “target” for all of your other online and real world marketing efforts, somewhere that you can send people to more about what you do, and interact with you as an expert in your field.  

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Jessica Miller-Merrell
Jessica Miller-Merrell is workplace technologist and marketing strategist. She's the founder of Blogging4Jobs.com and proud member of the independent workforce 5 years and counting. Follow her on Twitter, @jmillermerrell.
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