I have tried both using a blog and My Space to promote myself and my books. I had heard of My Space but thought it was a place for teens or kids, the description on their website is “a place for friends”. One afternoon I was reading an issue of Entrepreneur and they had a story about a woman who said she had used My Space as a marketing tool for her business. My first thought was “there are business people on My Space?” So I checked it out. I found there were very few business people that were active members, and a lot of teens, younger kids, musicians and people looking to party and meet other people with similar interests. I also saw that they have groups and some do pertain to business while some seem as if they are business related but are “Get Rich Quick” groups. There are groups for anything you can imagine someone might have an interest in. Many for authors grouped by genre. I thought I would try it, since I like to try everything to market myself and my books and it was free! I created my profile page, uploaded my pictures and began browsing the site for other business owners.
I have met a few people that I network with but I did not have a huge response or increased traffic to my website or orders of my books because of my myspace page. It is a fun way to meet a few other business people but you also have to weed through the emails from people just “hanging out” there and sending you emails about dating or partying. I found it was not worth the time and effort to continuously maintain a My Space profile for my business, but am hoping that will change. It was taking me too much time to weed through all the “friend requests” and “emails” from people who had no interest in my books or business. I have left my page up and do check it occasionally as well as post to my blog. My Space page also comes up when someone does a search on Google or Yahoo for me, so that is a bonus as well. If they find me on My Space and then visit my website, I have accomplished what I started out to do.
My recommendation with My Space is that if you have the time to create a page and do a little searching for business groups and people trendsvrends.co, it is something that does not hurt you to have it out there, but I wouldn’t count on it to help you make more sales or increase your websites traffic.
Depending on what you are marketing, a blog at My Space may be the tool for you. Tish Hill, from “Off the Hanger” which sells, buys and trades quality high-end used clothing and accessories tells me that she had no experience in blogging, websites or anything to market her business online. “My Space is a great option for me because my target audience is young people who want high quality fashion without the big price tags.” states Tish. “My Space is user friendly, anyone can create a page without any technical knowledge” says Tish. “You can screen the friends you accept, so you have quality contacts, and send out bulletins of special events or sales and keep a blog with fashion tips and ideas from what we have in the store.” I think this is a great option for young people who visit My Space; to have other profiles to view that are positive if they are going to be “hanging out” on My Space.
Depending on your business and who your target audience is, My Space can work to help market your business. Check it out and you can decide if it is a good fit.
When you blog, it is like a diary. You can post every day, a few times a day or whenever you have something you want to share with your readers. In my case, my blog is about Credit Policy for businesses and how to extend credit and manage credit risk. The difference here and why this is so much more successful with marketing yourself than My Space, is that this is a blog for business! My Space does not provide me with my target audience, but Know More Media does, so this is a perfect fit if you have something of interest to entrepreneurs, business owners or business professionals.
When you use a blog to market yourself and your books, remember it is not a bulletin board for advertisements. You can list accomplishments, such as a book release or press event, but don’t blatantly advertise your books. If you do, you will not have many readers. Give your readers valuable information, and update it often to keep them coming back and to keep the search engines coming back to index your blog. You want to post quality information, for example, I write books about collecting money and starting a collection agency. In my blog posts I try to give people tips on how to collect more money, or what is going on in the news in regards to my subject matter. You can incorporate other authors from your genre and do little interviews with them, link to their websites, and have them linked to your blog.
Easton Ellsworth who writes for “Business Blog Wire (www.BusinessBlogWire.com) and is also an associate editor for the Know More Media network of blogs about business has some great tips for authors who want to utilize a blog to help promote their books. “A blog can promote your books in many ways. You could use a blog to tell existing and potential customers about new books, products or services” states Easton. “No matter what you do with a blog, make sure you have a clear plan before you start blogging about anything and everything.” Says Easton.