Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Don’t Expect Readers to Find You: 10 Self-Promotion Ideas

I used to write, sit back, and hope readers would find my writing.

I intentionally chose reputable publications with good-sized audiences.

It’s up to them to spread the word for us writers, I thought.

If we’re not getting read, they’re not doing their damn job!


That attitude told me something about me I didn’t like
Relying on other people to get me where I want to be.
Blaming other people for why I’m not where I want to be.

Feeling frustrated, dejected, and hopeless about this writing gig I so wanted to make work. This gig that takes countless hours that would amount to a ridiculous per hourly rate and hoists me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Putting my heart out there again and again.

We’ve got to help ourselves
When rock climbing a new route, climbers often ask other climbers for tips (beta) about the climb.

“There’s a great pocket over there”

“That hold is terrible”

“Trust your feet there”

Even armed with all those tips, it doesn’t mean I’ll climb smoothly to the top. I have to make decisions at every step, breathe, fumble around to find handholds that work my body, not necessarily the same the others use.

Like climbing, you and I can’t rely on other people to climb for us as writers. If we want to get to the top, we’re the only ones that can do the climb.

Don’t let anyone other than yourself be responsible for your success
Don’t rely solely on publications to spread the word. Don’t wait for your post to get curated, selected as an Editor’s Pick, or featured on a publication’s homepage. Good on you if this happens, but don’t whine and wonder when it doesn’t.

All this gives you a great opportunity to be seen in more places. But you can get curated and still not get many reads. You can get selected or featured and still not get traction.

Instead of slumping your shoulders and whinging about why no one is reading your articles and publications or platforms aren’t doing enough, do something about it. You have more power than you realize.

Your writing is worth sharing
Working in online marketing and communications for the past decade, I help clients and organizations reach their clients. Together we offer events, products, services, and the support that people need: to save them time, to help them look better, feel accomplished, relaxed, and healthier.

Strangely I didn’t use the same strategies and channels for my own writing that I use for clients.

Now I realize it’s because I didn’t think my writing was worth the time to share.

Now I realize it’s because I wasn’t thinking of my readers: if I don’t make the effort to share, I’m stealing the opportunity for them to learn, laugh, or feel less alone. I’m stealing the opportunity for them to discover new insights. To light a spark. To fan a spark.

You see it’s a gift you and I have: our words. We’ve got to consistently share the messages we craft with purpose — with the attitude to help as many people as possible.

Today I want to share with you 10 powerful, simple ways to spread your words further.

10 Powerful ways to gift more readers with your words
1. Feature display
Choose to feature your article on your website, Medium profile, or social media profile. This is a great way to showcase your best work — or to boost views of an old post that didn’t get the attention it deserved.

2. Use social media
Write a weekly wrap up that links to multiple articles. Post your articles with a short comment that could include your sub-line or sharing what inspired you to write.

If you can’t manage this regularly, batch posts once a month with a scheduler — or hire a Virtual Assistant to help you. Don’t forget to show you give a damn about other people too: retweet, comment, and love other people’s posts.

3. Email your mailing list
Regularly share your writing with your mailing list — especially as they’ve chosen to hear from you. If you don’t have one, transform one of your most popular articles into an ebook, create a quick landing page using a free service like Mailchimp, and put the link and title up on your profile.

4. Publish on your website
Many publications don’t mind if you publish your posts on your own website. Place it in different categories which gives you the opportunity to be found more often. Optimize your article and use the other 9 sharing methods listed here— and you’ll quickly find your way up Google rankings.

5. Share on forums
Share your posts on writing forums, Quora, Facebook groups, and forums related to your niche.

6. Link to your own articles
Share links when it fits into the context of your content — and importantly, only when it will help your reader. Label them clearly. Make it a bonus, rather than necessary for your reader to follow the link. They shouldn’t need to go elsewhere to fully enjoy your article.

7. Pitch to new publications
It’s easy to get comfortable and continually submit to the same publication after you’ve been accepted. Expand your readership by submitting to new publications.

Always read their guidelines, check their recommended article examples, and write to suit the publication. The editors have statistics that tell them exactly what types of headlines and content draws a crowd. Work with them.

8. Consider profile invitations
If you get asked for a profile spotlight interview, check the quality of the publication, the editor, readership, and other articles. If all sounds good, say yes! It’s a wonderful compliment to be asked — your writing has impressed someone so much they want to share you with the world.

9. Genuinely care
When you connect with readers by email, social, and other community platforms you’ll get a prism view of who they are. Dig deeper and you’ll discover what they write. What drew them to read what you wrote. What they struggle with.

Be genuine, considerate, and grateful toward readers and other writers. Uplift with your words rather than drag them down. Continually improve your writing so you’ll be better understood and your writing is easier to digest. Your intentions will shine through — and they’ll gravitate toward you.

10. Repeat
Don’t promote your piece once. Leverage your efforts. Leave a few pieces in between, and then promote it again. You’ll reach new readers — and remind your loyal readers about your valuable messages.

Let’s stop blaming everyone else for why we’re not getting more views. For why we’re not making it as a writer.

Step up for your reader and yourself — spread the word about your words:

Feature your writing
Use social media
Email your mailing list
Publish on your website
Share on forums
Link to your own articles
Pitch to new publications
Consider profile invitations
Genuinely care
You’ll be blown away at the attention and opportunities that come your way.

Start today — promote your own writing.

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