If you are a fiction writer, online writer, or magazine writer, you need to be able to promote yourself. Unless of course you’re big enough to have an agent that does all of that for you. But the majority of us are web writers and the only people we can depend on to promote us are ourselves! It is a vital element to any web writer that wants to be successful.
Thanks to the Internet, there are many ways that we can promote ourselves. You can get your name out there and share samples of your work at the same time. Choose a good mixture of promotional techniques to get the best results and reach the widest audience possible. Many of them are no cost options so take advantage of them.
Obviously, I put a lot of emphasis on social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon can help you reach a wide audience. I know some of you like to keep your Facebook profile private. That’s fine. You can still create a Facebook Page. You can share articles you’ve written, blogs you’re writing for, ideas, thoughts, and so much more.
Interaction is always going to be important when it comes to social media promotion. You can’t just get out there and talk about yourself. You need to be ready to help people, share information, and develop relationships. Without the interaction you’re just a big ol’ spammer. J
Here’s a tip for Facebook Page owners.
You can comment on other pages as YOUR PAGE instead of your profile! Just go to your page and look to the right. You’ll see a link that says, “Use Facebook as (your page name)” – click that. Then find pages that you like and “LIKE” them. Then participate in the conversation as YOUR PAGE. You’ll get more likes to your page, which means more exposure!
I’ve talked about this before. You need to have a website that is complete and professional. Treat it like the reception area of your office. It should be clean and tidy. Clients should have access to someone to contact (via your contact form or another means). You should have basic info that they will be looking for and then you can direct them to your blog, which gives you the opportunity to kind of sit down and have a chat with them.
If you don’t have a blog, why not? If you have a blog that is sitting there growing weeds, why? A blog is not rocket science. You’re writing articles for clients every day so why would you not take some time to write for yourself? Think of it this way, your blog is your office. It is where you can provide people with information, you can sell your services, and you can demonstrate your knowledge. Why wouldn’t you take a couple hours a week to develop your business?
And while you’re blogging great stuff, don’t forget to share it on your social networks!
Reviews & Testimonials
When people use the Internet to find a service or a product, they often start by looking for reviews first. They don’t want to just know what you have to say about you; they want to know what others say about you. They want to know what you are good at and they want to know what actual clients have to say! You can start by getting clients to give you a testimonial that you can place on your site or blog. If you have a Facebook page you can ask clients to come and like the page and leave a comment about your services. If you have a site or blog there are review sites that special in reviewing.
Forums and Groups
What better way to demonstrate your knowledge and promote yourself than by helping people? And forums and groups are great for that. They can especially be helpful if you have a specialty. Your specialty likely has a Yahoo group, a forum, or a Facebook group connected to it. Join it and participate. Look for the chance to answer people’s questions.
And don’t forget that many forums let you attach a bio or a signature. Make use of this! If you use a signature, make sure it is something catchy and appealing. If it is a bio fill it out completely. If you’re on Google+ (and you should be – it is growing!) make sure your Google profile is completely filled out. It’s a sales page and people will read it so don’t miss out on this chance to promote yourself!
Do you think that since Panda came along article marketing is out the window? It’s not. There are still sites that are doing well and article marketing gives you a chance to share your knowledge and get valuable links back to your site or blog. Write great stuff and always make sure that your profile is filled out completely. People can’t find you if you don’t tell them where you are.
You can’t get everyone on the Internet to your blog. But you can go to where other people are. Guest posting has the advantage of allowing you to reach a targeted audience that is just sitting there and waiting for you to show up. Well, not necessarily you. But someone. And if it isn’t you it will be someone else.
Follow some great blogs and study them. If you have a specialty, you’ll want to look for blogs in those niches, obviously. But if you’re not sure yet, follow blogs in a niche that you’re interested in and can write about. Observe how their blog posts are structured and the tone of the writing. Then write something great for them and contact the blog owner and offer your guest post.
This Isn’t a Waste of Time
I hear writers say all the time that they don’t want to waste time on social media or don’t have time for guest posting. All these things are not a waste of time.
They are good business!
Every business needs to promote. I don’t care if you have an online business or a bricks and mortar business. You can’t just rely on drive by traffic to keep your business profitable. You need to promote.
Think about it – if you’re not promoting yourself and using some of these techniques, you are wasting your time being in business for yourself. You’d be better off to go and get a retail job IMO.