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What are affordable ways I can become proficient in online self-marketing?

I have a website, but because of my lack of technological know-how, it’s pretty lame. I’m looking for a way to get myself known in the creative writing community. writing technology marketing self-promotion author

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Noah’s Answer

Yes, you should focus on SEO, however; it may not be the first step you want to take. SEO is great when you have a website, blog, product, and need to know how to get your product seen. But it's really a step you should consider waiting on until you have a clear vision for what your website/product is all about. Figure out what the content of your writing will be: what's the focus, and who are you targeting? Utilizing a ton of Keywords for SEO isn't useful if you don't have a clear vision. Also, large scale SEO is dependent on a myriad of things to be successful: keyword strategy (you'll want to pay for a service to show you volume, difficulty, related keywords), bounce rates, UX, link building (internal & external) , etc. I think you should first get as much content out there and have as many eyes looking at it as possible. Send your writing to friends, relatives.

There are a few things you can do for little or no money to improve your technical skills in marketing and in creative writing. If you are building a website, get to know HTML, CSS, Javascript well. There are free classes you can get certified for online. Udemy has a ton of cheap courses for pretty much everything you can think of.

If you are willing to spend a little money for a website framework, I'd use squarespace or something like it. yes, it costs money, but it will free up your time to work on your writing/ your craft.

For creative writing, get some samples together and pitch to be a guest blogger on websites related to your area of expertise. Offer your services for free. It will give you great writing experience, and when you have some content on your website it will build more hype around your writing and SEO (if the website links back to yours, its called backlinking).

Lastly, if you have friends in marketing, reach out to them. Ask for help, do a marketing internship.

I hope that helps!

Thank you! This was very helpful. I’d never considered working as a guest blogger on other sites—to be honest, the main reason I have a website is because a professor told me I needed it for applying to writing contests (according to said professor, if a judge is interested in your submission, googles you, and doesn’t find anything, they throw you out automatically). I don’t actually have much to post on the website because I don’t have a book out or anything yet to advertise. Any advice you have about what to put on a beginner’s website (or whether to have one at all) would be extremely helpful. Lyzzie G.

1) I’d spend money using squarespace or wix, i think they both have cheap versions- small monthly fee. You’ll save your biggest asset-time- for writing content. 2) gather all of your best writing material and categorize it. You dont have to have a book, just a handful of essays that have gotten great feedback, or short stories you’ve written on your own time. 3) when getting your website domain, put your name (or some other identifier) in the Url or in the meta description. 4) insert those writing pieces on your website separated by those categories. Make sure to share the link on your apps and on all your social media bios! Noah Breslauer

My website is on Squarespace already, so that box is checked! As for writing samples, this is probably silly, but I was worried if I “published” them on my website, they wouldn’t be eligible for submission elsewhere, which would really be a bummer. Do you know if that’s true? Sharing a bunch of writing samples on my website/social media seems to make the most logical sense. Lyzzie G.

Hmmm, that’s a great question. I’m not sure what the official rules are for that. I think it should depend on how many writing samples you have. If you don’t have that many, I’d ask an authority on the topic. If you have a lot of essays, publish a bulk of them online and save the ones you are submitting until you know the answer to that question for sure. Noah Breslauer

Will do! Thanks so much again for taking the time to help me! Lyzzie G.

No problem! Noah Breslauer

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G. Mark’s Answer

What you need to know is pretty straightforward from your point of view. You need to contact someone skilled in SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Face it -- most people find websites by using a search engine like Google or Yahoo or Bing and increasing the chances that a person will encounter your website in any search will dramatically enhance your exposure. You may also look over the internet for ways you yourself can do this -- optimize your hit rate by finessing your website. What you're doing now it all wrong -- you're thinking about changing your website. But a great website doesn't do much if people won't see it in search engine results. So there's your plan -- SEO!

Thank you! I’d never even heard of this process, so thanks for putting it on my radar! Lyzzie G.

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Andreea’s Answer

Hey Lyzzie,

There are plenty of FREE certifications that you can take. Between Facebook, Google, Amazon and LinkedIn you can a pretty well rounded training.

Here are some links to those academies:

Good luck!
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Corey’s Answer

Your use of hashtags in this very post are exactly how you filter your content on social media sites to your area of interest. Try using hashtags on Instagram or Twitter to connect and network with industry professionals and grow your brand.