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Whether you’re seeking a job or looking to advance your career, using social media to raise your visibility is a must. Yet if you want to stand out — either in a stack of resumes or when your boss needs someone to head up a new project — don’t just do what everyone else is doing. Instead, go beyond the cliché of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
How? Write a blog post — for someone else’s blog.
Is this more time-consuming than sharing a link on Facebook? Absolutely. Is it more difficult than banging out 140 characters on Twitter? You bet. Does it seem strange to write for someone else’s blog rather than your own? Certainly.
Yet put the time and effort into crafting a thoughtful piece, and you’ll likely experience a rich range of rewards. At minimum, you’ll demonstrate thought leadership, make a name for yourself and earn a byline in which you can link to your resume or website. Even better, you could land a promotion, secure a job offer or generate new business.
For my part, guest blogging has led to a variety of opportunities. For example, my first commentary for Mashable produced the following fruits:
- 100 new Twitter followers
- 2,000 page views to my blog (http://jonathanrick.com)
- a pitch from a PR agency
- a reprint on Yahoo
- coverage in the SmartBrief on Social Media e-newsletter
- praise from the Measurement Standard blog
- two requests to meet for coffee
- an invitation to speak at a conference
- two new clients
Heady results for 500 words, right?
Here’s another personal example. A few months before my Mashable debut, I spoke to the American Marketing Association’s Washington, D.C., branch about how to win friends and influence bloggers. Afterward, I published my presentation on SlideShare and milked it for three blog posts. The former has been viewed almost 10,000 times.
(Of course, it helps that I did my own PR, tweeting to people and companies mentioned in the post and presentation and blasting the links to everyone in my address book.)
Jen Moire, a PR pro in St. Louis, has pursued a similar path (though instead of opining, she reports). In the spring, she wrote her first article for All Facebook. Today, she’s a regular contributor, with all the benefits this brings: more Twitter followers, traffic to her website, new contacts and a reputation as an insider that boosts her business.
Marketing firm Eloqua offers another case study. Over the past year, Eloqua has risen to prominence in the social media space on the strength of its community offerings. Recently, the firm detailed the success of an infographic it called the Blog Tree:
- 1,000 tweets
- hundreds of inbound links
- 49 sales-qualified opportunities
- introductions to the bloggers featured in the infographic
On this last bullet, Joe Chernov, who oversaw the project, tells me that these intros later blossomed into partnerships, whereby the bloggers contributed to Eloqua’s e-books, both its Grande Guides and the Social Media ProBook.
So whether you’re penning an op-ed or delivering a speech, reporting the news or developing an infographic, guest blogging can open up unexpected doors. Now it’s up to you to start knocking on them.