The Enigma: Writer Or Internet Marketer?
As someone who's been writing online for about a year now, trying to earn a living, I've often questioned: what's my true intention? Am I a writer or internet marketer ? The subjects I'm passionate about are food, fitness, health and personal/individual development. While my articles have been well received and favorably commented on, the earning a living part is, well, woefully below my expectations. But, there's no give up in this dude. I realize making money online is tough and, takes hard work, persistence and quite a bit of luck. Yes, luck. Being in the right place at the right time sorta thing. Capturing an audience, readers who like your writing, trust your advice and return time and again when a new post is published is extremely difficult to build, and maintain.
This is where the Internet marketing enters the picture. I don't know where I developed this perception, no offense intended, but to me an internet marketer is kind of a IT geek, who knows the "ins and outs" SEO, keywords, pagerank, backlinking and do follow bookmarking websites. Don't misunderstand, in the past year, I've learned quite a bit about these key elements to making money online. But, my pure motivations are writing enthusiastically on the aforementioned subjects, ideally giving the audience great information, tips and techniques to hopefully make their lives easier and more manageable. And in return, they will loyally follow me and spread the word to their families and friends. To some extent, that has happened, but not nearly as extensively as I'd hoped. There's the enigma ... to what degree do I need to incorporate internet marketing tactics into my publishing routine? In a perfect world, thousands of people would subscribe to the feed associated with your blog or articles and scramble to read your every word. Realistic! No. Doable! Yes.
The writer in me wants to express feelings, emotions, opinions and experiences in a stylish, quixotic or even poetic manner. Pontificating about the benefits of exercising, eating properly and well and keeping a positive attitude even with all the craziness that life throws at us. It excites me when my fingers start dancing on the keyboard, creating Emersonesque ramblings, artfully dealing with topics like: How to make a basic Risotto or, What fitness routine works for me or, Why don't we revert to our childhood and enrich our lives.
Then, all of a sudden the internet marketer jumps in and says "What the hell are you doing? Do you realize you only used your long-tailed keyword once in the body of your article. Are you insane! And, there are only two relevant link opportunities to your other articles. Where you gonna put your photos and videos to maximize your Google ads? Ya think we should add an Amazon capsule?" Thinking about this stuff not only makes my head spin, but sucks the life force right out of me.
Getting the right kind of traffic is a skill anyone can learn. It's great to have other Hubbers visit your Hubs because they provide feedback and encouragement. But, if that's all the traffic your seeing you're not being noticed by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The more visitors you get from these traffic generating monsters the better your Hubs will do monetarily.
I have to admit, after I've put all of this blood, sweat and tears into my work, it's gratifying to go out and twitter, facebook, stumble and digg my effort and see the traffic flow it receives. And, appreciate all the kind comments of my fellow Hubfriends.
But, when it comes right down to it, to be successful, your writing has be be compelling, offering your readers valuable, entertaining and useful information (The Writer), plus include the elements to promote your beautifully articulated prose to the virtual world (The Internet Marketer). The answer to the Enigma is obvious, you have to wear both hats, as writer and internet marketer. Ciao!
Some unusual promotional techniques
~ In addition to social bookmarking and sites like RedGage or Xomba, I use twitter daily to promote all my Hubs. HootSuite is a marvelous tool to automate your tweets. Schedule them once a day and you're done! Lady E has a great Hub here on how to use it.
~ Be bold I follow some very prominent bloggers/authors/celebrities on twitter. Occasionally, I'll send them a link to one of my Hubs if I think they might enjoy it. It's amazing what's happened. They've retweeted my link to their thousands of followers, gaining all that possible extra traffic I wouldn't normally be exposed to. Some of these well known writers have even stopped by HP and left comments on my Hubs. Pretty cool!
~ Find websites or blogs you enjoy reading If they allow comments, do so. It not only creates a backlink, but other commentors have popped over and visited my profile. ( Note: It normally requires registration ~ email address, username and website ~ use your HP profile page URL ~ this will hyperlink back to HubPages)
***Note For all you new "Hubbers", use the search function on your Home page to access a wealth of info, from many extremely knowledgeable "Hubbervets", on any of these internet marketing techniques, right here at HubPages.
What's a passionate writer to do? Keep on Hubbing, of course.
Any other suggestions?
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