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My Method of Online Promotion

Updated on November 29, 2015
The cry of a writer in the wilds of the Internet
The cry of a writer in the wilds of the Internet | Source

This Is How I Get The Views I Do

Once upon a time, people could get jobs based on their skill at performing those jobs. Now one must market and promote oneself to get noticed and skill at self-marketing has become more important than actual job-related skills for most positions. This trend also applies to online writing.

My content online does moderately well. My promotional technique is extremely simple and it could, conceivably, be combined with whatever other techniques you choose to employ to get more views. Perhaps it will even give them that little boost you've been hoping for.

You don't have to buy anything from me and I'm giving my method away for free. It hasn't run its course of usefulness and I think it will apply to online content for the foreseeable future.

*I don't get tons of views but I've had a half-dozen or so pieces go viral and I consistently get at least a few thousand views per day on my work spread across the Internet.

Why would I share this advice?
Why would I share this advice? | Source

Why Am I Sharing My Plan For Free And With Everyone?

What if you're more successful in using it than I am?

I have a vested interest in the success of this method even as that success applies to others, not because there will be something for me to sell at the other end but for a completely different reason. Every person who finds success with this method of self-promotion will increase the chances of success of every other person who uses it.

It’s not a pyramid scheme. You don’t have to belong to any special group and you need never, ever contact me. In fact, I’d prefer it if you don’t. If you use this technique, that’s all the thanks I could ever want.

If you are more successful at using it than I am, good on you! I certainly wouldn’t turn down a mention or a link, but it certainly isn’t necessary.

How Did I Come Up With This Method?

I am not much of a huckster. I am generally too straight-forward and literal to be a salesperson. I can only be excited about things that excite me and I can only sell products I am proud to be associated with.

When I worked as a florist, all I had to do is make beautiful, high-quality flower arrangements and people were “sold” by the work itself. It was its own advertisement. Admittedly some of that had to do with it being displayed in a flower shop with a good reputation, but the equivalent exists online, too.

There are websites with good reputations. HubPages seems to be the only content farm with a decent reputation that has survived the growing pains of the early 21st century Internet.

Step 1 - Create a high quality product.

Step 2 - Display the product in a reputable place.

That's all there is to it!

What Is A High-Quality Product?

First of all, you need to identify your product. If you are writing online, that product is your writing.

I know that’s obvious. But is it really?

I see a great deal of focus on keywords and on SEO techniques and on promotion when people are discussing writing online. Those things have their places. But somehow, the actual product sometimes appears to have been forgotten.

I see people asking the question “How many words should I write?” in a number of different situations as if emitting a certain number of words were the key to popularity.

Forget about the number of words. Forget about the products you are trying to sell for a minute.

Remember that teacher you had in school who you knew exactly how to please? Remember how you wrote your papers with each teacher in mind and did exactly what you thought he or she wanted? Remember how easy it was to get not only a top mark but some kind of comment about how outstanding your work was?

Your readers are your teachers now. Pay attention to them and what they want. Don’t leave out things you think they’d mark you down for omitting. Don’t let your work be just good enough, because your teachers are grading on a curve. There are thousands of students in your class who are smarter, more experienced, and more popular than you are.

You need to try for an A+ and a gold star. You need to aim to be the teacher’s pet.

What Is A High-Quality Product Viewed From A Different Angle?

That’s what a high-quality writing product is from your position but your position isn’t the most important.

Remember how to be a reader. I can’t imagine you’ve decided to be a writer for your career without having a love of reading. Forget that you are a writer for a moment.

When you read for pleasure or to get information on the Internet, what do you like? What sucks you in and makes you spend hours of time on the Internet that you never meant to? What is an instant turn-off in your search results? What makes you feel as if you completely wasted your time by clicking on a link?

Think about what it is about the things you like that makes you like them, about what it was that made you share that article you didn’t write, that your friend didn’t write, on facebook. Think about every single article you’ve ever shared excitedly with someone and try to distill what it was that they have in common.

I don’t know what, exactly, that thing is for anyone but myself and I’m so hazy on that that I’m not even going to try to put it into words here. But I’ve tried to put it into my writing. Sometimes I’ve succeeded.

Think about what you didn’t like, what was a waste of your time. Cut that all out of your writing or avoid doing those things if you can decide to ahead of time.

Some Things I Love As A Reader

*Articles that have incredible photos

OK, I like eye candy. The only reasons to take a photograph are to capture something you don’t ever want to forget or to share how it looked with someone else.

*Articles that contain something I didn't already know

If I finish reading an article knowing more than I did when I started reading it, I’m happy.

*Articles that have a real person’s experience in them

I can probably imagine what it’s like to climb a mountain or to get heart surgery but if you have experienced those things you can actually tell me about them.

I can think about experiences I can’t have myself and places I can never visit by reading the words of people who've been there. I can prepare myself for something I must undergo after you've made it somewhat less of an unknown. I can even make a purchasing decision after reading what you and perhaps a few other people have felt about a product I’m thinking of buying.

Some Things I Hate As A Reader

*Articles that are too short

Wait, but I said word count isn't what’s important! It still isn't. I don’t like an article that is so short it can’t possibly contain much that I wanted to learn when I typed my search topic into Google.

*Articles that are too general

I typed in the search so I have some slight idea of what I’m looking for so don’t think I’ll be satisfied by a vague definition of the terms I've searched for. If I could read the five search results above and below yours and get all of the information found in yours and then some you need to up your game.

If I can tell the entire contents of your article from the blurb that shows up in search results then there’s no reason for me to read the article and I’ll feel my time was wasted.

*Articles that offer nothing different

If I couldn't find anything at all that I couldn't find in a Wikipedia entry on the topic in your article, why did you even bother writing it? Maybe all you have to offer that is unique is your personal experience or opinions on the topic but at least give me something Wikipedia can’t.

Yet Another Position In Which To Stand And Look For Quality

Become the teacher for a moment. What sort of thing amongst all of those student papers stands out? What sucks you in and makes you forget that you are reading a paper to grade it for a few minutes time? What makes you think, ugh, Tommy has so much more potential than this?

Again, obviously, try to reproduce the first and snip out or avoid the latter.

What high-quality boils down to is what the readers enjoy without any of those disappointing bits they don’t.

You’re a writer. Polish your writing!

original image by Silverblee, generously shared on freeimages
original image by Silverblee, generously shared on freeimages

Part Two: Display Your Art In A Reputable Place

This is the part where it becomes obvious why others successfully practicing this “method” are helpful to you. If most Internet writers pay attention to quality rather than quotas they could eventually turn vast swaths of Internet into reputable places.

For now, you just have to figure that part out for yourself. Just like placing your art in a gallery or your floral arrangements in a shop, there may be some thresholds you have to cross. You can’t just decide to place a piece in The New York Times online for instance. But you can search among low-barrier websites with decent reputations and place your work there. They can lead to better placements in the future.

HubPages has a decent reputation and a low entry threshold, requiring only a reasonable fluency in English, the ability to follow rules, and a bit of common sense.

© 2013 Kylyssa Shay


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