Friday, December 2, 2016

Promotion, Promotion, Promotion Redux

This week marks the eighth anniversary of this blog. A lot has happened in eight years, both to me and to my writing. For one thing, I’ve moved on to publishing my own magazine, an ezine, or online magazine. And today, the theme of one of the first blogs I wrote on promotion is more relevant than ever. For today, I have the ability to connect to thousands of readers through social media.

In that early blog, I mentioned that in real estate, the motto is "location, location, location." Today, it doesn’t matter where I’m located because people from all over the world can read my work. I’m not longer limited to the readership of one magazine or to only U.S. sales of my books. Instead, thousands of readers can sit back in the comfort of their own homes or vehicles, or any other place, and read the information I post in my online magazine, The Antiques Almanac. In less than two short years, its readership has gone from a modest 3,300 to over 10,000—all thanks to promotion on social media. And a related blog on antiques, "Antiques Q&A," now has over 127,000 views—nearly 5,000 per month—since it began in 2009.

Sure I can rely on published works to get readers, but today, I have so many more opportunities via the Internet. And while the older generation struggles to use computers and occasionally get online, the younger generation has made this as much a part of their life as texting to friends.

And while producing five issues a year of my ezine is a lot of work, I find it more fulfilling than going the regular publishing route. By publishing it online, I’m able to make direct contact with readers, many of whom send me their questions about antiques.

To see how I’m faring in the world of ezines, I did a search the other day and discovered that most are nothing more than blogs or extended blogs. While they may be called ezines, they really aren’t done in an online magazine format. I’ve carefully designed The Antiques Almanac to reflect the type of content found in print magazines but with the added advantage of interaction. I plan each issue around a theme, an idea I got from a print publication I still write for. I try to make the themes relevant to today’s lifestyles and trends but with a connection to history.

I used to produce a short articles about some facet of Christmas that I would post on my business Web site, Writing at Its Best, and also print out and send to friends inside a related Christmas card. I just posted seven articles, all on the theme of an old-fashioned Christmas, to my antiques ezine. I love researching little known facts about holiday traditions and antiques. These articles are a great way to show my readers that I'm thinking about them at holiday time.

All of my sites—all four of them---are how I promote myself to the world. And they've brought in a lot of business over the years. So if you haven't created a site for yourself already, get started. In fact, make it your New Year's resolution.

But I also use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn extensively to promote both my ezine and my blogs. You can do this, too. Just remember, "promotion, promotion, promotion."

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