Personal branding: It sounds like a lot of work, right? Who has time to add another thing to the list?

Stay with me, here. Building your personal brand is a great marketing tool. And it also happens to be a lot of fun. If you’re doing it right, it can enrich your social life, teach you new things, and even help you become a happier person.

That’s powerful.

Let’s have a look at some personal-brand-building activities that can help you in business, but also in your personal life:

1. Comment on blogs.

Thinking, ew, really Larry? You’re thinking of the bad rep blog-commenting has because of SEO spammers.

I’m talking about expanding your online social circles, sharing your opinions, and forcing yourself to actively participate in conversations that will put you front and center in discussions with peers and influencers.

In The Ridiculous Power of Blog Commenting, AJ Kohn rightly points out that most people online are lurkers–just 1% actually create content for other people to consume. Those 1%–the creators, the influencers, the people you want to engage–read their blog comments. In fact, some of them use those comments to inspire their next blog posts.

Most people suck at blog commenting. You have your run-of-the mill troll comments, the boring “Nice job!” comments, etc. Your comments on other people’s blog content should engage them. Teach them something new. Share an interesting story. Take an opposing view. Elicit a reaction. Make people think.

Call attention to yourself in the best way possible: by showcasing the intelligent, thoughtful things going on inside that head of yours.

Challenge yourself to be a creator. Take the time to share your input. Build your brand, but exercise your creative muscle, too.

2. Get your social on.

Get involved in conversations with influential people in your industry via social media.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Google , and other networks are an amazing thing; you can get the CEO of a major company or a bigtime journalist to chat with you. They wouldn’t pick up the phone if you called, yet here they are, interested in what you have to say.

Figure out which influencers in your industry you want to engage. Follow them on the social channel of your choice. Retweet them, Like their posts, and join the conversations on their profile.

So many people simply give the thumbs up and never take advantage of the opportunity to converse. It’ll give you exposure, and you’ll also learn new concepts and ideas. You’ll rethink your stance on important issues. You’ll inspire others to rethink theirs as the conversation develops.

Where do you want the conversation to go?

If you’re interested in learning more, ask a question.

If you have an opinion differing from that of the author, share it.

If you found something really cool that adds a new perspective or deeper understanding of the issue, share that, too.

Never miss an opportunity to engage a person from whom you could learn something cool.

3. Do an AMA (Ask Me Anything).

But maybe not on Reddit.

Ask Me Anything became famous on Reddit, but other sites like are hosting the popular real-time Q