Thursday, August 02, 2012

ten . . . speaking of self promotion

I haven't self promoted in the past, mainly because I don't have anything to promote - yet!

This blog is a version of self promotion for sure and ultimately it will form part of my very own writer's website (I've already purchased the URL!).  But I don't want this blog to solely be about promotion - that would just get too boring and tired and I'd feel dirty doing it.  Instead, I want my blog to be informative and entertaining, something you might find interesting.  You might even relate to my plight of searching for that path to publication.

Self promotion is a bit foreign to me and at times, feels a little bit strange.  In fact, it feels downright wrong in some respects.  Not sure I like forcing things down people's throats - I know I squirm a bit when normal blogosphere chat turns to shameless promotion. 

Of course, it is necessary.  The way I see it, without a little bit of promotion, people will miss out, especially any loyal readers or fans you may have picked up along the way.  New book out - why didn't you say?!   Also, there's nothing better than the build up, nothing more exciting than anticipation - so people love that and to be along for the ride.

Once I hit that marketing trail, I'll learn the ins and outs of promoting my work - either through my own channels or with the use of my agent/publisher/publicist.  In a perfect world, I would want people to get something out of the promotion, that it is entertaining as well as informative.  I want to get people excited and hopefully meet those expectations in the finished product.

I've always seen this blog as therapeutic, as a diary, as a record of the ups and downs of a budding writer.  If no one else read it but me, it would still serve a purpose.  Of course, I'd love people to read the blog and make comments - the interaction with friends, fans, (potential readers), is what makes things exciting.

Getting readers to come back to my blog consistently is conditional on interesting and regular content.  That's up to me.  But how do I get people to start reading the blog?  How do they find it?

Self promotion, of course.  Or using a more preferable term: visibility.

I recently checked out the stats for this blog and was excited to see that, yes, if only a handful of people, I do have some traffic coming through and reading the blog.  Without any promotion, except one post up on Facebook, that's not too bad.  But I dug deeper to see where this traffic was coming from.  Surprisingly, most of it is coming from USA and Russia.  Weird.  Then I looked at the source of the traffic and that's when things became confusing and reality kicked in.

Most of the recent traffic has come from websites that aren't search engines - references to myhealthcare and devscripts websites are all a little perplexing.  There are some that come via other blog entries, google, facebook and searches on photos - like Daniel Craig in swimming shorts - but most come from strange sources.

So I conclude from this that most of the hits on my page are either spam related or from people who were directed inadvertently here and didn't really read the blog.  There are some geniune readers (thank you!) but its hard to identify them.  As touched on in the article I linked to yesterday, determining the impact of self promotion on social networks and the web is difficult, and therefore, reading the stats is pointless.

So, if I want people to read my blog (which I do!), then a little "self promotion" will not go astray.  I've just got to find a way of feeling comfortable doing it - and have interesting things to say to keep people coming back.  And dropping a few comments now and again.

Maybe another Daniel Craig photo will do the trick!

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