One of the things that you can do on your Linked-In profile is link to a blog. I started this blog on WordPress.com because Linked-In offered it and said that it would show up on my profile page.
It would be really nice if Linked-In Updates would report when I post another entry, but they don’t. You actually have to go to my profile page to see that I even have a blog, and that doesn’t show to people outside your network unless you have an upgraded (not free) account. Upgrade to the business account, and people will see your blog on your profile if you so desire.
Always remember that even if no one reads your blog for months at a time, somebody will when you go to look for a job or attempt to sign up a new client.
That means that you don’t write about politics unless you want to make about half of the people out there want to avoid you for your political leanings, you don’t want to talk about religion unless you are in the religion business, and you don’t want to talk about your partying life unless you are selling your partying life. You wouldn’t talk about your bad habits in an interview. A blog will get to your interview before you do so keep that in mind.
In fact, one of the nice things about having a blog is that it is like an interview where you are allowed to ask the questions and give the answers, but someone who did not participate in that process gets to judge it. Make sure that you ask questions that are interesting to your perspective interviewers or customers, and make sure that you provide thoughtful answers. They can’t always be the right answers, but they can always be thoughtful. And because it is in writing, you don’t have to show your thought until it is complete.
If you can write, you should. Everybody needs people who can write, and the more technical your field is, the more your ability to write will be appreciated. However, you do need to remember that your Linked-In persona is the one you are taking to work. Your Linked related blog is not where you want to rant and rave.
You should only write about things that relate to the way you earn your living or want to earn your living. That gives lots of us a lot of latitude as long as we are creative. For example, I am a process professional who builds software, directs research, and markets that research. I’ve been an entrepreneur for forty years. I can write about anything from at least one of those perspectives, but I do have to couch it in that perspective.
For example, I love to play golf, but I’m not in the golf business. That means I can talk about the marketing of Tiger Woods (a topic I find fascinating), but my Linked-In related blog is not a place to discuss potential cures for my hook. If I was in the golf business, I’d have a little more latitude. If I was a golf architect, I could do course reviews or blogs on hole design. If I was a club maker, I could write about swing dynamics. The point is that you should only write about things that have a chance to help your business.
So how does this and other articles on Linked-In fit in for me? Linked-In is a tool that I am trying to exploit to its fullest extent. Part of my role and part of my interest is always on marketing, and Linked-In is a marketing tool. You have to understand marketing to some extent no matter what your job is because unless someone is buying, you may not be getting paid for long.