So, you’re an expert. What do you do now?
Your home, your soapbox
Before any money can be made, you have to hang your proverbial shingle. On the internet, that means a website. It’s your home base. It’s where you send people to get all the information and bells and whistles about you. And the easiest, cheapest, most immediate kind of website out there is a blog.
Yes, you know what blogs are, and hey, you’re even reading a blog now. Perhaps what isn’t so obvious is how crucial this basic step of creating and maintaining a blog can be. For starters, blogs are a place for you to literally dump all the knowledge buzzing around your head! And by dumping it (hopefully in a somewhat organized manner), you can start helping people and networking with it immediately. And you will be surprised how quickly the clarity comes about your online direction as soon as you start tapping away at that keyboard.
Blogging is not complicated, and it takes minutes to create a free blog. Here are some small steps to get you started:
- Create a blog – many basic (and some not-so-basic) blogs are actually available for free. You will need to choose a blogging platform. This is a company that hosts your blog. I personally recommend WordPress.com and it is totally free!
- Populate your blog – the information you post is important. Put up a professional picture. Type up a well-worded bio. Spread the news about what’s happening in your field. Link to other blogs and articles. A blog will survive if you always post original content that is useful to your target audience. Engaging posts are wonderful – they will attract more readers, and what’s more, you’ll keep more readers.
You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
Social Media! What on earth does it mean? If you’re not already on them, you’ve certainly heard of Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and especially Twitter. They’ve swept the world so completely of late that the words are probably going to be in the dictionary soon (if they aren’t already). In the most basic sense, social media simply means the broadcasting of information through dialogue.
Bottom line — talk and listen. Listen and respond. Pass along information, others pass along your information. Ask for help, help others, others help you. And it’s actually that easy.
The key — participation. Joining Twitter and then visiting once a week will be as effective as not joining at all. Respond when you have an idea, broadcast your information, and feel free to ask questions — that’s how social media works. By providing advice, you build up a fan base that trusts you. These people in turn will go forth and help you and spread your word.
Bread and butter go best together
Do you have a blog, and you’ve been networking on one or more sites? Wonderful! Now use them both effectively by linking them together with every opportunity you get. How?
- Put the URL of your blog on the profile of all your social networks. Free and easy PR.
- When you publish a new blog post, Tweet about it and link it to your Facebook status. You cannot imagine how much traffic this brings in.
- Create a Facebook Fan Page and link it to your blog’s sidebar.
- Place a Twitter feed on your blog
What you’ve done here is sent people who know your blog, to your social networks, and sent people on your social networks to your blog. You’ve built your own web, created roads and paths that always loop back to you. This is an easy way for people to get to know you better and trust your expertise.
By taking these first steps you’ll be well on your way to establishing a strong internet presence. I know some of the above tips may seem easier said than done – but they are EASY! Just jump on the sites and spend some time reading their FAQs and tutorials or ask a friend who is already doing it. See you online!