by Ana Parker Goodwin
There are many ways to promote yourself as a writer or as a business online, but the very best way I have found is to blog. Here are a few ways I have found that work:
1. Blog regularly on your own website, at least once a week, and make sure the information you give is material other people would like to know and would value. Often it is best to have a specific topic you blog about and something you research or are an expert at.
For instance, if you come to my website www.anaparkergoodwin.com you will find that my blogs center around Post Trauma Stress and tips of how to cope with it both for veterans and for others who find themselves depressed or anxious after a trauma. I worked with clients who had PTSD for many years and found ways together with my clients to lessen the impact of their trauma and become more functional. The people who keep coming back or follow my blog have a common interest and they tell others who would like to know about the topic.
2. Blog in such a way that you can develop a story over time and people need to come back to find out what happened next, almost like a chapter book. True stories are probably more interesting to people than fiction but both work. Maybe you are doing some research on a product you are selling and you keep people updated each week as to what you found.
Here's an example: I was really impressed by the movie, Julie and Julia, where a young Julie decides to blog about cooking all the foods from Julia Child's recipe book. I can't remember exactly, but I believe she wrote the blogs daily. More and more people began to read the blogs because they were curious and fascinated with what Julia would cook next and what the results would be. Those of us who love cooking understand. See the movie if you never watched it before. It's great. True story.
3. Make a blog go viral by sharing it on all your social media sites such as Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn. Ask people, especially your friends, to share on their sites as well.
4. For me the most powerful way to get my name and brand out there is to check Google for other blogger sites that have lots of hits and are in the area I am blogging about. Then I leave worthwhile comments on their blogs. None of this, "Gee you write wonderful posts about the topic you are writing about."
Many bloggers allow you to put your URL on the comment with your name. Sites such as .gov and .edu give you more points on Google. After you have followed the site for a couple of weeks write the blogger and ask if you can post a guest blog on her or his site.
5.Last but certainly not least, use visuals and/audios. Most people like to see pictures and little videos you've made or that are on YouTube, but make sure they are no more than 2-3 minutes long. People's attention spans are short at this point. I used to think how terrible it was that people wouldn't even sit down and watch a 10 minute video of something they liked. I hate to say it, but I'm there in that "short attention span" crowd myself at this point. If I receive a video nine minutes long I think twice about watching it. Unless it holds my interest I delete it. Right now I am in the process of designing a book trailer for my book How to Cope with Stress after Trauma: Especially for Veterans, their Families and Friends, just less than two minutes long. I hope it helps get the word out to lots of people who can benefit from it.