The time has come. If I count the three years I spent blogging inside the IBM firewall, then I’ve been steadily blogging, at least weekly, for ten years. Which means, I’ve established my digital presence. Next step is to leverage my online persona for commercial gain.
Because I’m on a path to indie publish my pending novel, target date Thanksgiving, I won’t have the benefit of the promotional activities performed by a traditional publisher. I’m okay with that. I won’t be nearly as successful on my own than if I worked with a traditional publisher, but this isn’t about the money. And I find navigating the editing and publishing process as interesting as writing. It’s work, but it’s interesting. Being a product manager, many of the activities mirror my day job, launching new computer security services. A good number of the writers I’ve met are intimidated by the publishing process. I’m confident I have the needed skill set. Plus, I have some friends advising me along the way.
I’ve debated over whether or not to use this blog. When I went through cancer a couple of years ago, I fired up a new blog to capture that experience. This is more than simply a runner’s blog, it’s my life story, but that content seemed too different to me. And it was a bit graphic, so I kept it separate. What I learned from that though is if I establish a new blog to promote my writing, or even a business facebook page, I won’t benefit from the many years I’ve spent curating the content in this blog. I haven’t contributed new content to my cancer blog in two years so I don’t expect it to receive many hits. Occasionally it will receive one hundred hits in a single day but it typically receives about three views per day. This blog receives thirty views per day on average, sometimes three hundred. Math suggests I leverage my running blog for what it’s worth rather than starting something from scratch.
I’ll make blog titles and use photos to make the content clear up front. That way readers not interested don’t have to click. Running sites that link to my blog will have a head’s up it’s not the typical running content. My blogs are only about 70% running related as it is. 390 running topics out of 565 total. And I don’t feel bad about leveraging my blog for self promotion. I do quite a bit to keep this site commercial free. I pay a premium fee for what would otherwise be a free site at WordPress, in order to keep advertisements off my site. Although to be honest, I don’t do that for you. I do it for the aesthetics. I find the ads ugly and distracting.
I’ll also go beyond just self promotion. I’ll strive to contribute original content that, other writers at least, might find interesting. I’ll include details on my self-publishing costs. $1000 to date, and I’ll itemize those expenses in future posts. I’ll describe the process as I learn it. I know there are plenty others interested in writing and self publishing. In an age when most of what you read online is click-bait, I feel good about producing original content. I’m sharing here what I intend to use for my book’s cover art. Let me know what you think. Or if you have other suggestions on something that would speak to cyberwar, which is the topic of my techno-thriller.