If ever there were a perfect tool for the job hunter, blogging is it.

Think of a blog as the 3D version of your resume: in it, you provide context and meaning to the work experience and educational background you've so carefully wordsmithed in your resume.

A blog is the online version of You, Inc. It's a microsite where you can showcase your thinking and writing skills. And where influencers and decision makers can get to know you better. Either because they found your blog through the search engines or clicked through to it from a link in your resume or cover letter.

So let's talk about how to blog well. Good blogging is good writing, after all.

What should you keep in mind when you start to blog? Here are seven rules for effective blogging.

1. Start with a topic you're passionate about

This is your theme, the thread that will run through your blog. You'd better be passionate about it, because you'll be chipping away at it for months. Yup, that's the bad news. It takes time to build your blog into something worth reading. It's the accumulation of posts (or entries) over a period of months, or longer, that will set you apart as a real blogger.

Ideally, your topic should be related to your job hunt. If you're searching for a position in sales, for example, you might develop a blog that focuses on "the close." All the different ways to get there; what works and what doesn't; examples or case studies based on your current experience; and so on.

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Debbie Weil is an online marketing and corporate blogging consultant based in Washington, DC. She blogs at www.DebbieWeil.com and www.BlogWriteForCEOs.com. Visit her main site at www.WordBiz.com.