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This post by Mark Swartz was originally featured on Monster's Career Advice blog
You have knowledge to share and want to build your professional reputation. Except writing lengthy online posts isn't your strong suit. So creating a blog probably isn't right for you.
How then to share your insights and opinions in short bursts? Easy. By commenting on other people's posts. It's a dependable way to get your name out there.
Commenting could become an integral part of your career social media strategy. Find the right outlets and watch as your profile rises.
Reasons To Share Your Knowledge And Opinions Online
You may already have a social media routine for building your personal brand. Or you might just be getting started. Either way you should consider being a commenter.
By making brief, perceptive remarks, then attaching your name to all your posts, a variety of readers will come to associate you with interesting content. Your entries may be locatable by search engines. Plus along the way you'll meet new online networking contacts.
Comments Should Be Concise
As a commenter, you'll be responding to other people's posts by adding your own take. Each entry you create could expand on the poster's content or give your opinion on the subject.
Comments are usually short. Anywhere from a sentence to a paragraph is the norm. If you go longer than that on a regular basis, edit down (or maybe start a blog of your own).
Categories of Outlets For Commenting
There are two primary categories of outlets for posting comments. One is on blogs by other people, groups or organizations related to your field of specialty. The other is on similarly related discussion forums and message boards.
Blogs are periodical. Entries are published either every day, every couple of days, or less frequently. Normally they might attract several replies if any. The more popular blogs can get dozens of responses to new posts.
Discussion forums and message boards work another way. They allow people to create "discussion threads" based on particular topics. Sometimes no one contributes to a new thread. Or over 100 replies and a dozen sub-threads could get posted.
Where To Find Commenting Outlets
For blogs and forums/boards in your profession or industry, start with your industry or trade association. They usually provide space for commenting. However you often need to be a paid-up member of the organization to participate.
Don't fret if you aren't. Professional forums can be found on the big social media sites. Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, host "Groups" oriented to all kinds of professionals. Google and Yahoo host varied Groups as well. Joining is free. A group may be open to the public, or require joining first.
In addition there are search engines that track blogs and online discussions. Among the more popular ones are boardreader.com and omgili.com. Use them to locate outlets that have pertinent topics.
Some Do's And Don'ts Of Commenting
Always keep in mind that what you write reflects on your personal brand. Also ask yourself this: do you hinder of help your company's brand? Employers may see your comments and judge you accordingly.
Don't rush in and post before you've surveyed the landscape. What style are other commenters adopting? How many words are they using when they reply?
Your Insights And Opinions Matter
You needn't be a noted thought leader to comment. What readers look for is stimulating feedback. As long as you refrain from unnecessary controversy, and are adept at using Spellcheck, you can begin.
Commenting can help you get known as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Why should this matter to you? Because when it comes to online job networking, employers consistently seek out SME's!