Why the Internet is awesome #789: Promoting yourself is not (always) considered narcissistic.
We might not all be living in public to the extreme that Josh Harris might have thought we would ( who is Josh Harris? WATCH THIS! ) but, it’s pretty damn close with the amount of information about ourselves that we readily post on various networks. The fun thing is is that it is totally normal to us — it’s actually encouraged! It is no secret that we spend all of this time blogging and posting because we are expecting someone, anyone, to take the time to read it and eventually interact with us. But, how will anyone know you exist if you don’t raise your arms and shout? Luckily, since this is the Internet we won’t have to scream to get heard — there are promoting tactics that is online networking equivalent to yelling.
This is something that I am trying out right now with this blog and it seems to be working — each time I have a new post, the link to my post is tweeted from my personal Twitter account. Before I set this up the only way someone would know about my blog is a) they are someone from class b) they Googled me, which probably doesn’t ever happen unless it is me Googling myself (it’s the Internet not narcissism! ) c) if I tell them look at my blog. Taking a-b-c into consideration it would result in no one ever reading my blog.
My posts being tweeted definitely changed my audience from 0-1 to at least…..5, which is great! My Twitter account is already pretty well established with a decent amount of followers. If people are interested in following me and they see that I have posted a new blog entry then they are likely to read it — if they love my 140 quirks why wouldn’t they want to read what I have to say with no character limit? That’s the idea at least. After a couple recent posts, I have had a few followers tweet at my about my blog. This is progress — the ideal is that the would interact on the blog itself, but any kind of dialogue created about my blog is a step forward.
This approach might only be successful if you have an active presence on Twitter but it is pretty easy to see if your attempt at promoting your Web site or blog is working. If people are replying to you on Twitter about your blog that is a great start. Also, you can check out your Google Analytics to see how many people are coming from Twitter to your page. If no Twitter conversations are started and you are finding that no one is really coming to your page from Twitter, well, then #fail. It’s OK, though — that’s not the only thing to do.
A good way to promote yourself is to attach your page to other pages that are doing well. For example, here at Temple there is a page on the journalism department’s Web site for student work. Here, students can request to have their personal blogs attached to the journalism department. That attachment is going to bring in a lot of visits since the journalism department page gets a lot of traffic.
Here is the trick: make sure you aren’t asking a blog that discusses the exact same topics as you to be linked to each other. Someone typically isn’t going to suggest to their audience to read another blog and risk losing readers if the suggested blog is very similar. For example, if you blog about iPhones specifically, find a successful blog about Apple, mobile devices or even just technology and see if they want to link to your blog. Therefore, you can get some of their traffic and they in return their page will be visible on yours. Just like with Twitter, you can see who is coming to your page from the blogs that you are linked to. Also, if no other blogs want to be linked to you it is a good indication that maybe you should step up your blogging game.