Welcome to my new home!

I’ve spent the last two days making the hike from wordpress.com to my new blog housed at www.corrinejackson.com. This process was every bit as painful as you can imagine it was*. My reasons for making the move had a lot to do with my plans for marketing myself and my work. I work in marketing, and I’ve done a lot of thinking about how to market myself now and in the future. WordPress.com didn’t provide the level of customization I needed to grow my blog. It didn’t fit me, and I realized there is a connection between planning to market yourself and making a big move. Here are some moving day/self-marketing tips.

  1. Make a list. A move can be intimidating when you think of all you have to do and know there are probably thirty things you won’t remember to do. Marketing yourself can feel the same if you don’t know where to begin. Twitter, forums like Absolute Write (AW), blogs, Facebook, and similar tools exist. You need to make a list, and think about which of these avenues fit your lifestyle because you can spread yourself thin trying to do all of them. A blog is the best tool to get your name out there, but it requires a lot of upkeep to keep an audience. Can you make that time commitment? Decide what’s important to you and focus your efforts there.
  2. Have plenty of supplies. To pack up a home, you need boxes and tape. To build up an audience, you need content. In case you missed that, YOU NEED CONTENT. How many times have you heard bloggers asking for topic ideas? It’s hard to come up with new ideas, especially when there are hundreds of other writers out there writing about the same topics. It’s even harder when you need to post on a Monday and can’t think of a thing to talk about. Strategize. Develop a pool of ideas to blog or tweet about. You’ll appreciate having these in your back pocket when the well runs dry.
  3. Color coordinate. Color coding boxes by room can help you find your belongings a lot sooner in a new home. Your online presence works the same way. If you use one user name on a forum, another user name on Twitter, and then blog under your own name, you are doing yourself a disservice. While some people may want to maintain the privacy of a user name, there are advantages to working under one name. You may even want to use the same avatar/picture and theme so people can begin to recognize your online presence by the look and feel of the site they are experience. This is Branding 101. BTW, I hereby admit I did not follow this advice because I didn’t plan ahead. I am hereby working on it.
  4. Pack ahead. In a move, the more work you can get done before moving day, the easier your moving day will be. The same can be said for planning your marketing strategies ahead of your book contract or even signing with an agent. Agents and editors are savvy. They look to see if you have an online presence before they sign you. Decide now how you want to present yourself to the public. This can be a difficult thing to figure out. It’s why companies spend thousands of dollars researching how consumers feel about a logo tagline. Branding is important, and so is your public image.
  5. Have friends to help with the heavy lifting. Most of you know a moving day can go a lot faster with the help of friends willing to work for pizza. Self-marketing is 90% networking with other writers, agents, and editors. Now, I often feel shy about approaching people, but I’ve made a lot of friends on Twitter and AW. When my blog was born, my AW friends became my first readers. They linked to my blog, and their readers became my readers. See how this works? I know when my book is published, those same AW friends will be my first reviewers. Networking is a slow process so begin now.

Remember, it’s never too early to start getting your name out there. When your book sells, you’ll want to have a fan base willing to help you spread the word. We like to refer to these people as brand advocates in marketing speak. 🙂

*I’m still working on a few clean ups. I lost my categories and tags for old posts so be patient with me while I fix the problem.