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How to Start a Blog to Develop Job Leads

9 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Job Search Tools

A blog can be useful to job seekers when it garners attention that develops into job leads. Today's blogs have morphed into sleek Web sites that showcase content posted by one or several authors, and which welcome comments from visitors on blog posts.

A small but growing number of employment-related blogs are capturing audience and advertising to become media stars and influences in the job market.

What's a blog?

You can write a blog today that shows your expertise in any career field. Company blogs are also up and running. At Microsoft, for instance, employees write blogs about topics pertinent to their work; now Microsoft is using those blogs to develop a dialogue with potential hires.

The majority of Americans won’t create a blog but will read blogs and perhaps make a comment now and then. Researchers for the trade publication Advertising Age say that about 35 million workers in the United States visit blogs and spend an average of 40 minutes a day reading them. The researchers speculate that one out of four blog visits could be considered job related.

Blogs are the ultimate Web insider’s clubhouse. They attract loyal, everyday readers who hold an avid interest in a blog’s topic. Recruiters cruise career-field-related blogs, looking for top talent in a specific occupation — or for experts who can steer them to top talent.

To establish your own blog, find a host site that offers free service for beginning bloggers — such as Blogger, BlogEasy, or Typepad — and start writing. In a recent development, job ads are beginning to appear on blogs. To keep up with blog-based job ads, visit Blogs with Jobs.

Getting started with blogs

Finding blogs that you want to read regularly takes a bit of shopping around. Try these suggestions to kick off your hunt:

  1. Find the right blogs for you. One option is to use your browser. Enter a topic and add “blog” to the search term.

    Don’t forget to look for blogs in your career field. For instance, searching for “nurse blog” results in a long roster of nursing blogs. You can also turn to a blog search engine for blogs, such as Search4Blogs.

  2. When you find a blog you like, check out the site’s blogroll (links of blogs on similar topics).

  3. Time manage your chosen blogs by reading from a free news aggregator, such as Bloglines.

    Once you’ve registered and selected the blogs you want to track, you can quickly monitor what’s been posted since you last read them because new information appears in boldface. If you’re tracking only one or two blogs, you can skip the news aggregator.

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