I noticed that among the ten ideas for job hunting in my last post, the idea people talked about the most was using LinkedIn. This doesn’t surprise me. The promise of LinkedIn is to make your network work for you, and that’s enticing.

But the process of building a network on LinkedIn has always felt very nuanced to me. For example, I can never decide when it’s time to send someone an invitation. I feel nervous about it like I am asking someone on a second date — Did the first date go well enough? Do we want to hang out more?

So when LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke offered to do an interview with me, I jumped at the chance because I want to be better at using LinkedIn myself.

Here’s the interview:

Q: How many connections do I need to make LinkedIn really work for me?

A: Thirty connections is usually enough. But the quality of connections is important — How well the person knows your work so they can make a strong introduction for you.

Q: What makes a connection high quality?

A: Ask yourself what value they can add in an introduction. Your network can include people you work for, people who are working for you, and with you. For example if you’re in sales a customer can make an introduction for you.

Quality is also someone with a lot of connections, but you have to look to see if it’s a superconnected person or someone who is ardent about building up their connections on LinkedIn.”

Q: Why does someone with 500 good connections need to use LinkedIn?

A: If someone asks this person “Do you know someone at Coke,” then the work is on the broker [to figure out who in his network would be appropriate]. Or he can say, “Link to me on LinkedIn.”

Q: What are some ways to use LinkedIn to get a job?

A: Sometimes the hiring manager you are looking for is three degrees away from you, but the company is two degrees. Also, use LinkedIn to prepare for an interview. Often people have their interests listed. Then you can talk about interests or people you might have in common.

Q: Any other tips for using LinkedIn?

A: Once you have the offer, ask people who used to work at the company but no longer work there — they are free to talk. Also, do due diligence on your future boss by finding someone who use to work for the boss; you can type in the company and title and you might find someone who had the job in the past.

Q: How do I get over the fear of my invitation being rebuffed?

A: Over half the time people say yes.

This should have been my cue to say, “So do you want to connect with me via LinkedIn?” It would have been great. I could have spent all night clicking through his 500+ contacts carefully forming a long term strategy to tactfully leverage this treasure. But alas, I did not ask. Not even the Brazen Careerist can be brazen all the time.

It’s a lot easier to give advice than to implement it. You can imagine how acutely aware of this I must be.

After I’ve given out the same piece of advice twenty times (for example, get a mentor), there comes a point when I can’t face myself if I don’t follow it. Sometimes I try to scare myself. I tell myself that my career will go nowhere and I am wasting my time and I will never get what I want without self-discipline. What I really want from that lecture-to-self, though, is courage to do what is difficult.

Part of having career success is finding the courage to implement what you know you should do. Here are three things I’ve come across recently that inspire courage:

1. Courage to start a new business
I have a friend who is studying artificial intelligence at a big university. He tells me that most of the graduate students are ostensibly working on the PhD’s, but they’re really waiting to find some cool company to go work for. I don’t think this is unique to the artificial intelligence geniuses. I think many, many people are waiting for a good idea.

But you can’t always tell it’s a great idea until you try it. When I asked Guy Kawasaki how you know to move forward with a business, he said, “Launch it.” Then he paused and said, “Don’t worry, be crappy.”

So really, you need to just get out and try the business. That’s hard, though. Instigator Blog inspires courage to start by listing five reasons why you should go ahead and say yes to a new business even if you fear it might fail:

You'll learn something. Even if the idea doesn't fly, you'll learn something valuable.

You'll get a rush of adrenaline when you jump in.

You'll realize the value of an idea.

You'll get a chance to connect with people.

You'll be inspired.

(Thanks, Emily)

2. Courage to make networking strategic and deliberate
Of course, networking is good, and you should do it. But it’s hard. And probably the hardest part is fearing that the person will not be receptive to your networking efforts.

But you still need to be strategic, even in the face of rejection. Ben Casnocha, who surely must be the recipient of hundreds of networking overtures, writes that someone recently tried a nifty networking move on him that he liked: “After we met he studied my blog and reached out to a couple of my friends. After they heard I met with him, they too took a meeting. After they met with the guy they emailed me and we shared our mutual impressions (positive!). Great strategy. The more entry points you have in a relationship with someone the stronger it is.”

This is good advice from Ben, but what really stands out to me is that Ben seems to truly appreciate having the chance to meet this guy. This should give you courage to make overtures of your own.

3. Courage to take control of your own time
All sorts of polls show that time away from the office is a top priority for Generations X and Y. But not everyone does a great job at drawing the boundaries that preserve a home life. In general, it’s hard to draw boundaries because it always seems that what we are involved in is so much more important that violating the boundaries this time is okay.

But Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook shows us that courage to protect his personal life knows no limits. The Wall St. Journal reports: “During one series of talks with Microsoft, Facebook executives told their Microsoft peers they couldn’t do an 8 a.m. conference call because the company’s 22-year-old founder and chief executive, Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg, wouldn’t be awake, says a person familiar with the talks. Microsoft executives were incredulous.”

Who you hang out with has so much to do with the quality of your life. I think about this all the time, so I was happy to see that the neurobiologists finally came up with some evidence that if you hang out with positive people, your brain actually starts thinking more positively (subscription soon).

I also think that friends who do cool things make your own life more exciting. My friend, Dennis, at Techdirt, sent the press releases to me about his company’s new product, and he was so excited that it made me excited, too. There is no neurobiology to support this — yet — but I am convinced that people who love their jobs give us more energy for our own.

When I played professional beach volleyball, everyone was always angling to be the worst on the court during practice, because that’s the fastest way to get better. This was no small feat when you’re at the top of a sport. But the day I had a match against Olympic gold medallists, I learned more about myself and my game than from 20 matches with people at my level.

A blogroll, to me, is a metaphor for all of these issues. If you are the sum of who you play with, then I want to choose my list of blog playmates carefully. When it comes to blogrolls, some people have very thorough lists of everyone in their field.

My list — which I’ve titled, What I’m Reading — is the blogs that make me excited and get my brain moving in new directions. The list changes all the time. A lot of the blogs aren’t career blogs. After all, I dream up ideas about careers all day. But you could say that your career is closely related to the people you play with, and in that sense, these are all people who have helped my career most recently.

(Hat tip: Willy in Wisconsin)

John Annabel, of Northampton, walked into the office one day to find himself working side by side with a new employee whose only qualification seemed to be that she was having an affair with Annabel's department head. Annabel says people didn't particularly care that she was in the office doing no work until she started taking credit for everyone else's work, most frequently Annabel's.

“I wanted to strangle my boss,” Annabel says. “I wanted to bring that dirtbag girlfriend down before she took credit for one more thing.” But Annabel's supervisor told him to stay calm and to say nothing damaging. He pointed out that the manager would never fire the woman, and the two of them would deny all of Annabel's accusations; complaining would only make Annabel look bad.

So everyone in the department laid low — said nothing about the woman who did nothing except among themselves. When the company went through a reorganization, and the department head changed, the new head said, “Does anyone know what this woman does?” And everyone said, “No,” and she was laid off.

In fact, though, office politics might be the most important skill to master as you climb up the corporate ladder. Julie Jansen, author of I Don't Know What I Want, but I Know It's Not This, says that in corporate life, one has no choice but to be savvy about politics. “Politics is everywhere. It is about the way things are done. It is the personality of the company.” So you have to figure out how to fit in. She tells people, “Be an actor, play the game, follow culture and this is jus as big a part of your job as anything else.”

In the end, Annabel left his job in an effort to escape the political climate of his last job, which left him cold. And he hopes to never have to deal with office politics again.

Larry Stybel, president of Stybel Peabody Lincolnshire, says that is it a common reaction to refuse to participate in office politics, but he advises those people “to just get over it.” Politics is not something you can escape. “Politics is really setting objectives and developing a coalition of people that will help achieve that objective.” Stybel explains that office politics does not have to be a bad thing. After all, politics is primarily about diplomacy and coalition building.

Stybel recommends taking the same approach Annabel did in his last job: Find a mentor in the office, someone who is great at office politics, get some direct advice from them about tough spots, but also study them from afar to figure out what they do right.

Jansen adds, “There is a tremendous amount of resistance to office politics.” Many people complain that this sort of behavior goes against who they are at their core. Jansen points out that done right, politics is not inherently immoral. It merely involves, “speaking to the right people, going to the right parties and communicating the way everyone else at the company communicates.”

While Jansen advises that you should not compromise your core values to be political, if you find that you can't ever engage in office politics without violating your core values, then you don't belong in corporate America.

Jansen suggests five steps you can take to be more politically astute immediately:

1. Don't try to change or resist company culture including dress, communication styles and office hours. Being different does not work.

2. Practice self-awareness. This is a life-long task and every day you can become a little bit more aware of how people perceive you. Just doing your job is not enough. You need to do it in a way that makes a positive impression on everyone else.

3. Manage your stress levels so you can avoid emotional displays of inconsistent behavior and inconsistent messages. Most emotional outbursts come from unmanaged stress.

4. Be approachable all the time — in your cube, in the hallway, even in the bathroom.

5. Network before you need to network. Being good at politics means that you are good at relationship building, and you can count on a wide range of people when you need them.

But some people will never feel comfortable playing the political game. For those people, Stybel recommends a job where one can say, “Leave me alone” and still excel at the work: Sales would be a definite no, but a career in, say, programming might work. But take a look at yourself. If you don't have the skills for a leave-me-alone job, you need the skills to make office politics work for you. Otherwise you'll get stuck.

Here’s a collection of interesting ideas from people who are talking about the value of business school:

1. Business school is not an effective means to self-discovery.

Most business school applications require that you tell what you’re going to do with the MBA. This is because most business schools think it is a waste to get an MBA if you don’t know what you’re going to do with it. If you don’t know what you want to do, you can’t rule out that you won’t need the degree. And business school is too expensive to use as a means to simply delay the real world.

2. Maybe you should try philosophy courses instead.

One of the most recent, and cogent critiques of business schools came from management consultant Matthew Stewart in the Atlantic (paid). “Most of management theory is insane,” he writes. “If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an MBA. Study philosophy instead.”

Stewart says that the three most important pieces of advice for business are also topics dear to philosophers:

Expand the domain of your analysis

Hire people with greater diversity of experience

Get good at communication

“As I plowed through my shelfload of bad management books, I beheld a discipline that consists mainly of unverifiable propositions and cryptic anecdotes, is rarely if ever held accountable, and produces an inordinate number of catastrophically bad writers. It was all too familiar. There are, however, at least two crucial differences between philosophers and their wayward cousins. The first and most important is that philosophers are much better at knowing what they don't know. The second is money. In a sense, management theory is what happens to philosophers when you pay them too much.”

3. Business schools are headhunters who charge a fee to the employee.

Stewart says the best thing that can be said about business school is that it is a way for companies to reliably outsource recruiting. McKinsey is a company built on this model. (But you can bet these companies don’t rely on middling business schools for this purpose.)

4. Common sense might get you further.

Charles Handy, a business guru who got way more press in England than the United States, eventually came down on the side of common sense — that business schools overemphasize academics and that’s not what you need to succeed in business.

5. Good networkers reach way beyond business school.

Many people say they go to business school for the network it provides. But be careful of becoming too dependent on that idea. Networking guru Keith Ferrazzi says that you need to be able to network independently of school if you are going to be good at it.

Certainly, there are good and bad things about going to business school. But think about this: If there were something you were totally excited about doing would you do it right now or would you put it off three years to go to business school? If you would do it right now, then you don’t need an MBA, you need an exciting idea.

One of the best ways to get what you want is to be an extraordinary performer at work. Stars get more training, more mentoring, better projects and greater flexibility. Fortunately, you don’t need the perfect job situation in order to be a star, because most star qualities come from you — from taking your basically good skills and bringing them up a notch.

Most people have the ability to be a star, according to Robert Kelly, professor at Carnegie Mellon, and author of How to Be a Star at Work, because “most people genuinely want to be more productive, do their best, and live up to their potential, but they don’t know how to do it.”

The traits that make stars different from everyone else are the strategies they use to do their own work and to work well with other people. Star strategies allow people to be highly effective, yet highly productive at the same time, so that stars can fulfill their potential at work and in their personal lives. (Yes, stars have time for both.)

It isn’t so much what you’re born with as how you use it. And the traits of star performers are traits you can teach yourself. Here are the four areas that Kelly identifies:

1. Initiative
Stars exceed expectations. Just doing your job is not enough. Stars do their own job well and then perform well in areas that exceed the job description. Generally star initiative includes helping people, taking risks and seeing a project through to the end — all in arenas that go beyond their job duties.

2. Networking
Stars don’t think of networking as something to do once a day at 3pm. For stars, it’s a constant. Nothing is a complete waste of time because you can always meet someone, talk to someone, or help someone. That last piece is important — stars know that networking is as much giving as taking. And there is an inherent humility in this way of life; stars know they can’t get what they want by acting alone.

3. Self knowledge
Knowing how to do your job is expected. You need to know how to manage your relationships, your long-term goals, and your personal development. This is not a one-time goal, this is a life commitment to very regular self-assessment. And this is a commitment to soliciting and accepting outside input, because it’s impossible to know for sure how you appear to others.

4. Kindness
Average workers see the world from their point of view. Stars have exceptional empathy and act on it: They are good followers because they know it’s important to help leaders be the best they can be, too; stars can give the right message to the right audience; and they can get an accurate big picture by looking and listening to the people around them.

The interesting thing about star performance at work is that it actually demands that you be the person you want to be anyway. Being a good person, seeking self-knowledge, and taking responsibility for where you’re going are probably key pieces of your core belief system. So you truly do not need to stray from your idea of a good life in order to be wildly successful in your career.

But Kelly is quick to point out that star performers are not people hanging out in lazy-boy chairs relying on their stellar IQ or remarkable social skills. Star performers work hard to live up to the values they believe in.

People who can be their true selves at work will be the outstanding leaders, says Rob Goffee, professor of organizational behavior at London Business School and author of Why Should Anyone Be Lead by You: What It Takes to Be an Authentic Leader. Many of you will find yourselves in a position to lead others. The most successful of you will find the right balance between authenticity and adaptability: No small feat.

To become your best self — a star, a great leader, a fulfilled worker — you need to know yourself and your goals very well. Start now. It’s a lifelong process, and done honestly, it’s the process that makes almost any job intrinsically challenging and interesting.

You’ve heard the axiom, “You’re only as good as your network,” but how do you get one? It used to be that a network was a Rolodex: A flip-book full of beer-stained business cards collected at an industry brew-ha. Today, your network is the people you truly connect with, and their friends.

Isabella Tsao understands networking. She is an information technology project manager, who enjoys salsa dancing. With the ten or so dance partners she has each night, there is an immediate connection, and there is no pressure to engage in small talk. Tsao says that “you make friends in a wide variety of fields and you get a different perspective.”

Keith Ferrazzi, coauthor of the book, Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, says you cannot get anywhere alone. “Everything you’ve achieved has been done with the help of other people “? parents, teachers, friends, family,” he says. For those people who think networking is for the obsequious and desperate, he advises, “they need to give up their ridiculous sense of John Wayne rugged individualism.”

When Ferrazzi talks about networking, he talks about being liked. If people like you, they will help you, so instead of concentrating on getting favors, focus on being likeable. Otherwise, he said to me, “you’ll wake up when you’re 40 years old in a cube and upset that a 30-year-old is your boss. And you’ll say to yourself that the person got the job because the boss likes him better. And the answer will be, right.”

How does one become likable? Ferrazzi recommends you project yourself as confident, interested, experienced, and excited. But ultimately, you need to create a connection. To this end, share your passions so the other person will feel comfortable sharing his.

After you’ve established positive rapport, share your struggles and the person will share his; the more you understand about someone the better you can connect.

It is not your immediate friends, though, who will be the most helpful to you in a crunch. It’s your friends’ friends. Ethan Watters, author of Urban Tribes: A Generation Redefines Friendship, Family and Commitment, told me that when you have a difficult problem to solve, like finding a job in a new city, the group of people you know has the same information. “But the people just outside this network are the most helpful: It is the strength of weak ties,” he says.

The current generation intuitively understands this lesson, hence the rip-roaring success of Rolodex-replacing online services like LinkedIn, MySpace and Instant Messenger’s Buddy List.

These community-building tools seem more like ways to keep track of friends rather than to get a job. But in fact, for tech-savvy generations streaming into the workforce, networks of friends are not distinct from networks of career helpers.

Says Watters, “This generation doesn’t make distinctions like ‘we’re friends outside of work.’ Friendship ties are mixed up in all aspects of life.

Asking a friend to recommend you to an organization for a job is like asking a friend to move a couch.” So many of you have a wider network and more effective skills than you even realized.

And now, the inevitable question: “What if I’m shy?” The good news is that shy people aren’t bad at networking, they are just obsessed with what they sound like.

Bernardo Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast, told me, “Shy people need to be more other-focused and less self-focused. Think about what you can do for the other person. Shy people worry that their opening comment will not be smart enough or witty enough, so they never get started. Instead, remember that when initiating contact you don’t need to be brilliant, you just need to be nice.”

The job market is good, the Internet is buzzing, and optimism is high. Still, the best jobs require talent before you walk in the door — you need to know how to search. Here are seven tips to help you:

1. Big job sites cater to keyword-focused applicants.
Only three to five percent of job seekers find employment through online job sites. In order to be one of this small percent, you need to tailor your resume to keyword searches. “Sending a resume to a big company’s web site is like sending your resume into a black hole,” says John Sullivan, human resources consultant and professor of management at San Francisco State University. “In a big company, your resume is sorted by an applicant tracking system.”

These companies receive thousands of resumes a month and the tracking system sorts them by skill. Sullivan tells of a study where researchers took a job opening and wrote 100 perfect resumes for that opening. Then the researchers added 10% more information to the resumes. Of those resumes, only 12% were picked up by the tracking system as qualified. This means that even if you are the perfect candidate, if you submit your resume blindly to a large company, there is almost a 90% chance that no human will ever see your resume.

But you can increase your chances by knowing how to use keywords in your resume. “Recruiters locate individuals based on a certain skill set of the job they are looking to fill,” says recruiting advisor Matt Millunchick. So try to imagine how someone else would use a search box to find you, and be very specific about your skills.

These rules remain true if you post your resume to an online database also. The mass of resumes on job sites is so unruly that human resource staffs are paying people in India $20 an hour to sort through resumes to find the good ones, according to David Hanley, owner of recruitn.com. So, even in this case, keywords are your best friend.

2. Don’t depend on your resume.
The typical resume is linear which makes people without linear careers look like a mess. The resume highlights work gaps in a negative way and leaves little space for achievements and experiences that did not somehow contribute to corporate life.

“The marketplace is changing and the life experience that informs the work that people do is changing,” says Anne Burdick, information designer and professor at Art Center College of Design. The static, linear resume is not an effective way to convey this new experience, so don’t lead with it.

Dana Zemack, a publicist, got an agency job by abandoning the conventional resume: She wrote a letter to the agency about how she had been throwing large, elaborate chocolate tasting parties and charging admission. Zemack explained that at first, she publicized the parties to make sure she’d make enough money to pay for the party. But then she realized that she had talent as both a party planner and a publicist, so she started planning bigger and bigger parties. “I used my own endeavors as an experiment to see how far I could go as a publicist,” she wrote. On a second page, she listed the publicity she was able to generate for the parties.

It worked. She got the job. Which leads to tip number three:

3. Go local. Smaller companies posting on smaller job sites look for employees who may not have a resume optimized for a computer screening. This is how Zemack found her job.

Another way to go small is to join professional groups on MySpace. These are people who will know where jobs are. Also, Millunchick says recruiters search through these groups for marketing and technical people.

4. Focus on the referral.
Eighty percent of available jobs are not posted on job boards. But people who work at companies know what positions are available. And employers love referrals, because referral employees have such low turnover.

In fact, many companies pay employees tens of thousands of dollars for a successful referral. Pander to that carrot system by offering yourself up to an employee at one of those companies.

Find people to refer you by looking on sites such as MySpace, Friendster and LinkedIn. Do keyword searches to see if your friends of friends have jobs at companies that interest you.

Offline networking works, too. It’s just slower. There is no keyword search when you walk into a party. But once you’ve made the acquaintance, you can Google the person to find their connections.

5. Stalk your dream job. If you know your dream job but you have no connections, identify someone you want to talk to within a company and use the Internet to get in touch with them: Find an email address, phone number, a conference your target is speaking at. Then ask for an informational interview.

You are far more likely to get a job from an informational interview than from blindly sending resumes. Most people will be flattered by your request and will give you some of their time. Remember an informational interview is not when you ask for a job. But often, if you make a good impression, the person will help you get a job.

6. Make your own job.
Zemack’s career really took off when she created a job for herself: throwing chocolate tasting parties. She is still genuinely touched by each person who turned out for those early parties where she bet her credit rating on herself. And in the end, she discovered something that is not a new rule at all: That believing in yourself and creating avenues for your own success attracts a magnificent network of supporters.

The more you like your job, the more you should network. If you have a great job, you probably have a lot to offer people. Do all your favors now, when you don’t need any in return. The problem with networking to get a job is that you are not that attractive when you need a job. Who wants to network with unhappy people?

Recently I interviewed a bunch of recruiters for my column, and they were absolutely gung-ho about social networking. Recruiting advisor John Sullivan told me that referred candidates have a 50% higher retention rate than candidates who come to the company via a job site. To land that referral, he recommended, among others, LinkedIn.

This surprised me. In the past, I have delete emails from people who ask me to be in their network. I never considered that the networks were so useful.

So I took the advice of the recruiters and I checked out LinkedIn. I was immediately impressed. To get a job, if you are qualified for the job, all it really takes is a third-party connection. I was shocked at how quickly the world opens up to you with a social networking site. And I was surprised by how much we can help each other by offering up our networks to friends in a searchable, useful way.

My first instinct was to search for who has the most contacts, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that. So I filled out a cursory profile, which the recruiters say is a no-no. (You should fill it out in great detail so people know what you have to offer.) Then I started trying to figure out who I knew that would be on the site.

The first few names I tried did not work. But that was because I tried the people I’d be most comfortable asking to be in my networks (it’s a request that seems a little weird to me, still). Instead, I started trying the email addresses of the people I know who are comfortable with technology and good at networking, and the first four names I tried were listed.

One is Dylan Tweney. After about an hour of dealing with LinkedIn, I had four contacts. Dylan has 150. I asked him how he does it, and he said he sent email to everyone on his email list. I had contact envy. There were some people who have more than 500 contacts. I wondered how they did it.

Then I heard that the CEO of Linkedin — who has more than 500 contacts — will not speak to analysts unless they can get to his network. One senior banker at a top firm has been trying for months. It gives me hope: It seems that people who have large networks are not those who make the most money, it’s those who offer the most to their friends.

Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field.

Ben Day blogged his way into a career as a high-earning software consultant while maintaining the freedom to schedule frequent jam sessions and performances as a keyboard player. Blogging gave him the opportunity to stand out enough to support the life he envisioned for himself.

Phil van Allen, a faculty member of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, said to me in an interview, “For your career, a blog is essential. It’s the new public relations and it’s the new home page. Instead of a static home page, you have your blog.” It’s a way to let people know what you are thinking about the field that interests you.

Employers regularly Google prospective employees to learn more about them. Blogging gives you a way to control what employers see, because Google’s system works in such a way that blogs that are heavily networked with others come up high in Google searches.

And coming up high is good: “People who are more visible and have a reputation and stand for something do better than people who are invisible,” branding consultant Catherine Kaputa told me.

But pick your topics carefully and have a purpose. “The most interesting blogs are focused and have a certain attitude,” says van Allen. “You need to have a guiding philosophy that you stick to. You cannot one minute pontificate on large issues of the world and the next minute be like, ‘My dog died.'”

Day realized the value of focus after a misguided mashup of his politics and business. “I used to have liberal politics on my website as well, but my mentor said, ‘Dude, you gotta trim that off.’ Which was fine because in the world of liberal politics I was just another piece of noise.” Now his blog is all about software development with an emphasis on technologies such as NHibernate and C#.

Once you zero in on your topic, here are eight reasons blogging helps your career:

1. Blogging creates a network.
A blogger puts himself out in the world as someone who is interesting and engaging — just the type of person everyone wants to meet. “A blog increases your network because a blog is about introducing yourself and sharing information,” says Kaputa.

2. Blogging can get you a job.
Dervala Hanley writes a quirky literary blog that got her a job is at Stone Yamashita Partners, a consulting firm that “tries to bring humanity to business.” Hanley told me that the firm was attracted to her ability to put her business experience into personal terms on the blog.

3. Blogging is great training.
To really get attention for your blog, you’re going to have to have daily entries for a while. At least a few months to get rolling, and then three or four times a week after that. So you will really get to know your topic well.

4. Blogging helps you move up quickly.
To escape the entry-level grind, you can either pay your dues, working up a ladder forever, or you can establish yourself as an expert in the world by launching a blog. High-level jobs are for people who specialize, and hiring managers look for specialists online. “Decision-makers respect Google-karma,” writes Tim Bray, director of Web technologies for Sun Microsystemson his own blog, of course.

5. Blogging makes self-employment easier.
You can’t make it on your own unless you’re good at selling yourself. One of the most cost-effective and efficient ways of marketing yourself is with a blog. When someone searches for your product or service, make sure your blog comes up first.

Curt Rosengren, a career coach, periodically Googles “career passion” — words he thinks are most important to his business — just to make sure his blog, Occupational Adventure, comes up high on the list. He estimates that his blog generates at least half of his coaching business.

6. Blogging provides more opportunities.
Building brands, changing careers, launching a business — these endeavors are much easier once you’ve established yourself online. Rosengren told me, “My blog is a foundation. I’m building an awareness that I can leverage to do other fun things with my future, such as product development, or public speaking.”

A blog gives you a leg up when you meet someone new. Dylan Tweney, a freelance writer, told me his blog, the Tweney Review, gives him instant legitimacy with clients.

7. Blogging could be your big break.
Visually creative types can blog beyond just text. Mark Fearing has a cartoon blog. “Cartooning and illustration are very crowded fields,” he says. “My blog has gotten me more notice than any other publicity tool I’ve used. Plus, the blog gives me a way to have a new conversation with potential clients about other work.”

8. Blogging makes the world a better place.
“Blogging is about giving stuff away to a community,” says Day. “For years, as a junior developer, I would go to the Internet for solutions and I would always take, take, take. Now I am happy to be a contributor and give something back.”

Article sponsored by YouSayToo – a bloggers community where you can make money blogging by uploading your existing blogs.