How To Market Yourself: Strengthening Your Web Presence

resume shirt

When I left my full-time job about a year ago, I was lucky in that I didn’t need to actively seek out work. My one regular proofing gig was snagged through a job ad forwarded to me by a former classmate. And all my other work came to me similarly, through friends and former co-workers who were aware that I was forging ahead on my own.

Such passivity only works up to a point, though and, recently, I found that I had hit a wall. If I wanted to grow my business, I had to bust my ass a bit more. This terrified me. I’m a shy gal, and had probably ended up as a writer/proofreader because of the quiet reclusiveness it afforded me. Thankfully, it’s possible to cover a lot of ground marketing-wise on the web alone:

Practice Blog Love.

Blogs aren’t just for LJ confessionals anymore. Many people — yourself included, I assume — are using them as a means of self-marketing. This is the time to hook up with the competition. Comment on other blogs in your niche. But make sure you’re adding value to the discussion. A helpful or insightful comment can draw readers on one blog over to yours as well. Spread linkage by linking to other blogs within your posts, or adding them onto your blogroll. If it’s appropriate, they may return the favor. Extend solicitations for walk-on roles. Guest posting is a fun way to collaborate, and can also aid in bringing in new readers.

Create Personal Profiles.

Opening accounts on such sites as MySpace and Facebook can provide you with a central platform from which to market your wares. MySpace, for example, allows users to set up band/musician, comedian, and filmmaker profiles, designed specifically to market personal projects. It also offers a blogging function, and a Bulletin Board, where you can make announcements to your followers/friends about what you’re working on. Facebook allows you to actually stream your blogs through your profile, making every new post viewable by your friends. You can also set up Pages dedicated to your business ventures.


Twitter and, more recently, Plurk are platforms for microblogging. Basically, you get a very limited number of characters (140) to update your followers on what you happen to be doing at any given moment. Feel free to embrace self-promotion on a site like this, as users can decide whether or not they want to follow you. On the newer Plurk, you can also manipulate who sees which “posts” by setting up cliques. On my Twitter, I’ll “tweet” about random things, such as my writer’s block or my inability to find a cute, khaki skirt, but I’ll also post links to some of my newest blog posts in a blatant display self-promotion. I don’t feel bad. It’s the nature of Twitter. It’s all about you, you, you!

Practice Social Bookmarking.

StumbleUpon and are just two social bookmarking sites out there, in an internet rife with them. Sites such as these allow you to rate, review, and bookmark web pages. Once a web page is in the system, it is a lot more likely to be stumbled upon by others, allowing the possibility for huge jumps in traffic. You must use this power wisely, however. If all you’re doing is bookmarking your own blog posts, you stand the chance of receiving a bad bookmarker review, not to mention bad vibes. You can also submit online stories through sites such as digg, propeller, and reddit. After submitting these tidbits of media along with a title and description, other users can vote on the awesomeness of the submitted story. Stories with a ton of votes get front-page status and, therefore, tons of views.

Before signing off, I’d like to invite you all to share, in the comments below, the social networking sites you’ve been using, and to what effect. Are there any I’ve missed here?


  1. Depending upon your niche interests, there is always a social network gathered around your passion be it food & wine(, music(, knitting( , or nonprofit activism( It takes some time, but finding the evangelists in your particular interest, will help you leverage your efforts and continue to bolster your personal brand image.

  2. I think it really comes down to being consistently involved. This is where I struggle. I have to be consistently active on Twitter, commenting on other blogs, and using social media sites. I have to work on finding balance between finding work and building an online presence (which will hopefully bring in work, too).

  3. @Kat: I agree! It’s a matter of finding out were your audience is hangin’, and then becoming active within that community. Sometimes, I use to find blogs within a certain subject area.

    @Lisa: You are so right. It’s the same any time you have a business to run. You need to keep pushing to get your name out there…find new clients…being in more work…it’s rare that the process of running your business ever really ends, allowing you to complacently…I don’t know…roll around in a pile of money or something! 🙂


  1. […] already mentioned in the past why guest posting is a good idea, so we won’t go into that again. What I would like to touch […]

  2. […] think I’m missing? Next up: Michael does some much-needed spring cleaning on this blog. Related: How To Market Yourself: Strengthening Your Web Presence Pass it […]

Speak Your Mind