"Please subscribe to my work. I promise I will read yours too." Those are words many web writers hear on a daily basis. But should those words be put to rest? In mentoring fellow writers, I often get asked about promotion. Many times people ask me what to do. Now I'm going to tell you what not to do. Here are 5 of the many marketing no-nos for web writers.
Don't blast the same links on twitter all day long.
Not only is this annoying, it is considered spamming and can get you banned from twitter. It makes me cringe when I see fellow writers sharing the exact same article link every hour all day long. If you want to reshare an article, wait for another day or share it elsewhere, not continuously in the same space. The same goes for when you're sharing on other social networks or anywhere else you promote your links. Oversharing could be a TOS violation. When you violate one thing, readers and clients may question your ethics.
Don't use social networks purely for link posting.
If you join a social site, then be social. Posting only links is not considered being social. Even if you click on links others post, you still aren't being social. Have conversations. Participate in the community. If you aren't going to do anything but post links, then you are probably promoting to dead air space because that's considered spamming.
Don't demand reciprocation.
If you follow another writer's work, don't expect them to follow yours. Sure, they might want to return the favor or they might like your work. But just because you read their work does not mean they are required to read yours. Think about it from their perspective. How do you feel when people expect you to do something? It's not a fair way to treat people. Instead of asking for or demanding reciprocation, leave people to make their own decisions about your writing.
Don't expect family and friends to read everything you write.
This is something many web writers will deal with. It's definitely a good feeling when family members and friends want to read your work. But don't make them feel as if they have to. Not everyone is going to understand your passion for writing. That doesn't mean they don;t support you. They may just have other interests. It's one thing to drop a quick link on facebook where everyone you know can see it. It's quite another to repeatedly email the same links to family members and friends.
Don't use shady promotional tactics.
If you want readers and clients to take you seriously, avoid certain marketing tactics. Selling traffic traffic clicks, using pyramid schemes, and other such promotional tactics may sound tempting at first. But these type of marketing campaigns are often frowned upon and are even against the TOS of many content sites and publications. Keep the trust of your clients and readers by only using trusted promotional techniques. Your clients will trust your work ethics when your traffic is verifiable and your readers will trust what you say if you are ethical in all your actions.
**Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**I originally published this content on Yahoo! Voices on July 5, 2011