Continuing in our occasional excerpts from “The 2-Second Commute,” our how-to book for new and aspiring Virtual Assistants and other freelancers, this segment focuses on how to decide whether to contribute written content to a “portal” -- a website devoted to a theme, topic or field.
Since the book's publication in 2005, commercial blogs and blogging networks have come to the fore, too, so don't forget to consider guest-posting on an appropriate blog, or offering to maintain a network blog in your area of expertise.
For more on blogging, see our contributing experts, The Blog Squad, here. For blogging jobs and other resources, see our weekly Rat Race Rebellion Telework Jobs Bulletin, and Darren Rowse's site at ProBlogger.net.
Getting Featured on Portals: Is it Worthwhile?
- Some portals carry more weight than others.
- Is there high traffic, or low? Don’t commit to large labor for small potatoes.
- Quality of traffic: Who will see you? Your target clients? Or miscellaneous surfers with no interest in your services?
- Monitor the portal for feedback on your item. Respond to negative comments (if any) constructively and calmly.
- When it’s published on the site, double-check your item immediately for accuracy.
- Did the editor include your contact information?
Should I Write a Column for a Portal?
- What’s the “bang for the buck”? Credibility? Exposure? Money?
- Beware of heavy time commitments. Good columns take work!
- “Re-purposing your property”: Recycle your columns to other outlets or venues whenever permitted and appropriate.
- Include a good photo. “Always make it personal!”
You Are Where You Appear!
- Stay off sites that misposition you (e.g., the bad, the ugly, the irrelevant).
- Stay on “classy” sites!
Don’t Forget Listservs and eNewsletters
- Many listservs carry news items.
- Several “small” listservs = many readers.
- eNewsletters always need news.
Don’t Forget Regional Portals!
- Does your city or region have a portal that could feature you?
- Ideal for press releases.
As Always, Stay in Touch With Your Contacts!
- Keep your “media Rolodex” fresh.
- “May I keep you in the loop as things progress?” (This should be your standard close -- with a “thank you” -- to a written interview. No journalist ever wants to be “out of the loop.”)
Keep a Record for Your Media Kit (the Collection of Key Information About You and Your Company that You Send to Writers, Editors, etc., to Persuade Them to Write About You)
- Print off the web pages where you appear.
- Keep copies of articles you write.
- Build your media kit and keep it fresh.
From “The 2-Second Commute,” by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren, published by Career Press, available at Amazon here. Copyright 2005 Staffcentrix, LLC. All rights reserved.