I spent most of the afternoon working online to promote the blogs where I work and my own blog.
Some of tasks I did included:
- Submitting selected blog posts to blog carnivals
- Visiting blogs related to my subjects and leaving comments on relevant posts
- Joining a couple of yahoo groups
- Submitting selected articles on Facebook
- Emailing some people in my database with links to stories that I think they would find useful
- Starting a poll on one of the blogs to generate user interest
- Visiting forums that I belong to and posting links to stories that I think members would find interesting
I think the reason I find blog promotion so draining is because I prefer to spend time writing rather than promoting.
Also, unlike writing where I can see the results immediately (published article) promotion is harder for me because it takes longer before I see the results.
So no instant gratification, no byline. Just plain hard slog. But promotion is necessary for a successful writing project.
Got some marketing advice
I also posted on one of the forums I belong to asking for some tips. I asked the members, who are mostly work at home mothers who market their businesses through the Internet:
- What are some of the marketing activitries that you do to promote yourself
and your service?
- What proportion of your work time do you spend marketing and what proportion of time do you spend on service fulfillment?
Alison Fourie replied:
I do marketing when work is low or I get a gap, I rather do 10 minutes of online marketing then take a tea break.
If I get the chance with no work over weekends then I will most definitely sit and do marketing, its not so much for clients its more now to keep my name and the virtual industry in South Africa out there in the marketing place, so I do a lot of article marketing to specific places that I want to target, whereby I think by doing this I can make clients, aware of the industry, so mostly my marketing is target marketing as that works.
I do a lot of marketing to small business via the internet, I target specific network databases whereby I know that I can reach the clients that the VA industry needs.
There is specific networks out there for various businesses and this is where I target, example, the attorney's network etc). I find marketing relaxing as I don't have the pressure of looking for clients for myself.
Article marketing takes a while to reap rewards but I find it very worthwhile, especially when I've no idea when my article will be appearing in the various magazines and then sudden I get a call or email saying they found me at such and such a place.
Gaynor Paynter said:
Basically it depends on the volume of work that I have, but I do try to do a little marketing each day. Even if I'm very busy I'm always thinking 'what about tomorrow'.
On a slow day I can be doing 90% marketing and 10% work and then on days when I'm working 8am to 9pm or whatever, I'll break it up a bit by taking marketing breaks. But I count things like writing on my blog as marketing too.
As you say, labour intensive. But I think one of the most important things is to have a marketing strategy. I have a very loose strategy but it is there. You can't just go and one day go I feel like doing this, and the next day that, you have to set yourself a goal and focus on it.