January 4th, 2004, 08:36 AM
Writing articles as a means of marketing yourself
I'd be interested to hear what people think of writing informative articles with a view to building awareness of your business. I write a regular column of around 700 words for a local business newspaper. It's nothing very advanced - mostly just addressing the basics for the layperson - and covering a range of issues (of my choosing) such as how to earn money from your website, how to make your site user friendly, how to get traffic from the search engines, other ways to promote your website... that kind of thing. It usually takes a couple of hours to write, depending on how well versed I already am in what I choose to write about.
In the early days of our business, I used to think this was good use of my time. It generated effectively free publicity for our business within the local community. Nowadays, though, with us being increasingly busy with other things (eg. work itself, as opposed to 'touting' for work), I am finding it more and more of a chore. I am tempted to drop the relationship with the 'paper. It's not something I get paid for, but it does come with some free advertising. That advertising has brought very little - just three or four contracts in the two or three years that I've been doing it, but perhaps an unknown quantity of general public awareness for us. Also, one of those contracts was arguably the largest web design contract we ever got. My reluctance to cease writing for them is the 'unknown quantity' of good that it does, and also the thought that one of our competitors will fill the space I vacate.
Any thoughts on how I decipher this dilemma, or on how effective this kind of self-promotion is?
January 19th, 2004, 12:57 PM
It has been my experience that the kind of self promotion you are doing can never hurt you. I really do not know the answer to that question because I do not know how business is, or how you run your business. I have found that in my area there is not a lot of business for the internet in smaller towns, so if you are writing for a smaller town your time might be better used somewhere else, although you did land a big client out of it once before, whats to say you may not land another?
I dont know Aaron, that's a tough one. Good Luck.
January 22nd, 2004, 03:41 AM
Well, we started a website and quartly newsletter that led myself and another staff member to have regular articles published once a month on technology issues. We live in a medium sized town of about 300k people, 1.2M if you include a 60 mile radius. It has in our articles (By: me, president/co-founder of mycompany) then we always run a couple ads in every issue of the business journal and its landed us several clients...