Reasons to Blog for IndySHRMI know that when you woke up this morning the burning top priority on your list wasn’t to write a blog for your favorite local SHRM chapter, IndySHRM…but I’m hoping to convince you that it should at least be on your short list of to-do’s. I can vouch from personal experience the dramatic impact that blogging can have on an organization…and if you’re anxious to hear about how that impact manifests itself…well then please read on to see why you should start blogging to better yourself, your business and IndySHRM! 

#1 – You Could Win a $100 Gift Card!

Does that have your attention? I put it first so that you wouldn’t miss it because we’re serious about increasing our blog submissions. So know this, if you are currently an IndySHRM member, or a speaker and/or sponsor of an IndySHRM event in 2014…each time you submit a blog to IndySHRM this year you will gain an entry into our annual drawing for three $100 gift cards. So, the more you write, the more chances you have to win. Plus, if we happen to draw your name out of the hat more than once…you could win more than one of the three gift cards! Now the fine print on this incentive is that the blogs you submit should follow our content guidelines (i.e. be relevant to our audience, appropriate, non-salesy and not previously published elsewhere) so that we actually agree to publish them.

#2 – Increase Your Social Status

Of course I mean your social media presence and influence. Since we are willing to include your byline (and therefore headshot and short bio blurb) with every blog, feel free to include links to your social media profiles in the bio so that interested readers can find you easily and connect. Eventually our site will have blog author pages for all contributors to streamline this process.

In particular, you’ll want to include a link to your Google+ profile to help establish your Google Authorship status  in  Google search engine results. If you’re not yet familiar with this competitive advantage, then I’m talking about the reason certain people have their head shot next to their blog titles in search engine results.

I probably don’t need to tell you that search results with an image have a higher click through rate than those without…in general, people tend to perceive those search results to either be slightly more credible or engaging. The more you blog and share content on Google+, the more exposure you get for your own personal brand and the organization that you happen to represent. And while the other biggies like LinkedIn and Twitter don’t result in your picture appearing in search results, you can’t argue with the fact that increasing your exposure through content generation will expand your personal network.

#3 – Build Thought Leadership for Your Business & Yourself

There are many avenues for establishing yourself as credible in your role/occupation, and you should certainly employ a healthy mix of different approaches. However, your potential to reach others is more easily magnified when you put something in writing that is thoughtful and relevant to your peers…think about how quickly a blog link can be spread virally via social media compared to how many people might attend a meeting where you give a presentation. In fact, along with your chance to promote your own published IndySHRM blog on your own social network pages, IndySHRM will regularly promote the posts on its Facebook Open Group, LinkedIn Group, and Twitter Page. Include interesting and relevant photos/images with your blog submission, also, so that when it is posted to social media it can include an interesting image to increase others’ click through rate on your post.

#4 – Crowdsource Feedback & Ideas From an Audience of Your Peers

How many of you have an email list of about five to seven other HR friends that you ping when you’ve got a tough problem or need ideas on how to address a certain situation? While its great to get the feedback of these trusted peers, have you thought about reaching a larger audience by posting your question in the form of a blog and then including possible solutions. Then, invite readers to comment on the blog post to submit their own ideas. Crowdsource inspiration to make gains in productivity!

#5 – Drive More Traffic to Your Employer’s or Your Consultancy’s Web Site

Remember the part I said about your byline being included with every blog post you share? That means that readers can access your bio in short order and then see links to your social media sites AND your corporate site. And while we won’t accept submissions that are overtly salesy and in your own obvious self-interest, we certainly champion your efforts to legitimately connect readers to your business interests via appropriate hyperlinks in your bio section.

#6 – A Two-Way Boon for Recruiters & Job-Seekers

If you find yourself in job transition, then hopefully you are already doing everything you can to position yourself as a competent expert in your field in the hopes of landing your next position. That should include making insightful contributions on social media profiles and in face-to-face interactions with your ever-expanding network. So, writing a blog about a current HR trend, for example, is a great way to get the attention of employers and add a piece of published flair to your LinkedIn profile and resume.

Conversely, if you are the recruiter looking for the next A-players in your company, create some buzz about your employment brand by contributing blogs about the importance of culture in an organization, how to prepare for an interview, how companies can engage applicants, etc. Job seekers will see your articles and be more aware of your corporate values. Plus, include a link to your careers portal in your bio! 

#7 – Develop Yourself Professionally

At a minimum, blogging more regularly can certainly give you the practice to become a better writer. And, being published can improve your chances of being published elsewhere, as well. However, if regularly seeing your byline on multiple sites isn’t your dream, then maybe earning future promotions at your company, or becoming a board member (perhaps the IndySHRM board, in fact!) is your aim. Putting in the effort to increase your personal brand in a positive, career-relevant way can pay big dividends in the future.

#8 – Try Something New & Connect With Others

Do you ever feel stuck in a rut…or just that, professionally, things are a bit stale with your normal routine? Blogging is a phenomenal way to break out of that holding pattern and challenge yourself to think with renewed purpose. Additionally, people with whom you may have never normally had the chance to connect may see and respond to your post…whether it be via the comments section, or in person at the next IndySHRM program. After all, in an 800 member organization…opportunities to meet new people and grow professionally abound. Expand your peer audience by blogging, but at the same time, increase your chance to have a more meaningful, productive connection with others through shared passions and interests.

So, what are you waiting for! Become a regular contributor to the IndySHRM blog today! To submit your article, just fill out our convenient posting form here.

Plus, we’ll keep track of all submissions so that contributors can be automatically entered to win the $100 gift cards when we do the drawing in January 2015.

Image Credit:Cartoon artist sketchCC BY 2.0Photo Extremist (contact)

Jessica Stephenson is Director of Client Services at ExactHire, an Indianapolis-based recruiting software and employee assessment firm. Her diverse professional experience includes work in the human resources, sales, marketing & client services fields. Having been a member of both SHRM and IndySHRM since 2006, she was active on the IndySHRM College & Community Relations Committee before heading the new Workforce Readiness Committee in 2011. Jessica holds a B.S. degree in Marketing and a minor in Spanish from Butler University.