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Spreading Yourself Across Sites

 
Sheri_Oz
Posts: 439
Message
on 01/29/2012

I am quite new at writing on the Internet. I take in as much as I can in learning about keyword research, how to set up articles, etc. and one thing I learned was that building up traffic in part depends upon backlinks and that can be helped by writing in different sites and linking to your own articles (among other things). I want to build up a presence on the topic of child sexual abuse and eventually self-publish my own book on the topic (it will be my second).

For that reason, I write on squidoo (where I started), then on ezinearticles and now here on wizzley. In my short time (really since the end of October 2011), I am seeing my squidoo articles start to attract attention from a variety of sources, wizzley articles just took off at an amazing pace (for me) and my ezine articles are getting a dribble, but most people who land there do click onto what I have in my resource box.

What I don't like about ezine is that you cannot really build up a web of connections since they limit your links so much. I don't have a blog so I send people to my book and to my squidoo lensography.

So here's my question: Is it worth building up a presence on ezinearticles and submitting more articles there (it seems to be prestigious, if I'm not mistaken)? Or would I be better off with a different platform? How many platforms would be optimal for the purpose I stated?  How necessary is a blog for what I want to do? I don't want to spread myself too thin. I want to be known for having high-quality, informative work for other therapists as well as for the layman.

Another issue - I am aware that my topic is heavy and unpleasant and I hesitate to write too many articles on abuse for wizzley as this is such a lovely and pleasant place. Am I making any sense?

Ideas?

Thanks in advance,

Sheri


wrylilt
Posts: 220
Message
on 01/29/2012

Hi Sheri,

I think you should take it one step at a time, at the start. I spent a year on Hubpages, then started to branch out more. I built up a good base of earning articles there, now I have probably about 400 articles across about 5 revenue sharing sites, plus about 6 websites I regularly update. Stick with one place and build up your content there, then move onto the next. I learnt last year that leaving all your eggs in one basket can be a bad move.

With your articles, be careful with content - Adsense (and other PPC advertisers) have rules about family friendly content, so your topics could be borderline. 

I personally have never used eZine. I really don't backlink either (except a few links thrown at my sites.) eZine articles don't pay you, so never much saw the point. And articles on revenue sharing sites generally rank well from the size of the site. If I spend time backlinking I'd prefer to do it for something I own, not someone else's site (although Wizzley is a great site!)

Sorry for the ramble, hope that made sense, bed time over here!

nightowl
Admin
Posts: 519
Message
on 01/29/2012

Hi Sheri,

I'll throw in my two cents (personal opinion).

Before determining a strategy, I would think about your ultimate goal. Is it...

  • establishing yourself as an authority on the subject
  • selling your own product (book)
  • making a living from writing online

Even though these are not mutually exclusive, and can certainly overlap in some areas, to lay out a strategy you should focus on the most important one.

From what you've written, my best guess is that you want to gain credibility as an author in a very specific niche, and derive a substantial portion of your income from publishing (and selling) books.

If this is a correct assessment then my suggestion would be to focus on building up your own hosted site as the "go-to" resource for all things related to your niche. You can then funnel more traffic to your site by contributing to publishing platforms such as Wizzley.

If setting up your own site seems daunting you can contact me for more info and help.


SEO Praxis: Specializing in WordPress Hosting and Small Business Web Design.
Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 01/29/2012

What NightOwl said, just to give you an idea, having your own site on your own domain and self-hosted will typically cost you less than $100/ year. If you can invest that amount of money, go for it, having your own site ads a huge amount of credibility to your voice!

Any help you need with that, just give me a shout, I have 30+ own sites, I can help you with yours also, free of charge as this is a topic close to my own heart ...


lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 01/29/2012

Sheri, I completely agree with what NightOwl said.  Figure out your main goal, then follow through with that in mind.  Her steps are absolutely right, and if you aren't already aware of it, she has an awesome site to buy domains, and will help you with every step of setting up a site.  Site is seopraxis.com


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
Jimmie
Posts: 338
Message
on 01/29/2012

Here's my take on it. You say you want to be an authority and to sell eBooks.

Writing articles can help to build your reputation. Go for it. (Personally I've never been impressed by ezine articles. The text only platform is boring IMO.)

But I would save my very best content for my own personal site/blog. (And I recommend a static site versus a blog which has to be updated regularly. See Lisa Irby's thoughts on this at 2 Create a Website. She's a smart woman.)

Use articles to build reputation and build backlinks/traffic to your own site where you will eventually sell eBooks. This means you should be spending more time on your own site than on article writing. 

But do think of it all as a unified whole because your online portfolio should work together. If your goal is authority and selling eBooks, every single article you write must be evaluated in light of that goal. Ask yourself, how does this article help build my reputation or drive targeted traffic to my blog to sell my eBook?

Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 01/29/2012

Jimmie, whilst I fully agree with the rest you said this one is not completely correct:

"(And I recommend a static site versus a blog which has to be updated regularly. See Lisa Irby's thoughts on this at 2 Create a Website. She's a smart woman.)"

Wordpress, the major, free blogging software, can be configured to look, behave and update like a static site and is still far easier to use and set up than a static html or other site.

Actually Sheri, if funds are tight, you could just go with a free blog, plus own domain, on Wordpress.com have a look at it, it might be just what you need ;-)


Jimmie
Posts: 338
Message
on 01/29/2012

Oh, yes! Use WP platform and set it up to look like a static page. That is exactly what I would recommend. If I had it to do over, this is what I would do instead of a blog. Blog content gets lost so easily.

Sheri_Oz
Posts: 439
Message
on 01/29/2012

I am so appreciative of all your responses here. It is very helpful.

What it led me to think is that perhaps I would be better off having two online identities - one in my real name for my professional articles and another for the fun stuff I am also doing (such as photo enhancement, zazzle). I wonder if having the fun stuff in my real name would detract from my professionalism in the child abuse field. What do you think?

I now I need to decide whether or not I go with wordpress or a real website. I did start a blog on wordpress to put up letters I wrote to friends during my month in Xi'an helping a pediatrician set up hospital child abuse clinic. It's called Xiandiaries and is easy to do as I am just retyping letters I already wrote (and have only the hard copies) and putting up photos. I am still getting used to is and for a beginner willing to have a basic blog it is easy. I didn't know it could also be a static website. Interesting.

Aside from a bit of teaching, I have essentially been working full-time on this Internet stuff since November and intend to keep this up.

I am really touched by the offers of help setting up a website and for your thoughtful responses to my question. I need to think this through.

Thanks again,

Sheri


Digby_Adams
Posts: 698
Message
on 01/29/2012

Sherri if you intend to do this as a full-time living. You need to think about your monetization strategies. How are you going to make a living writing about these topics. You may indeed need a separate one for making money, given your topic is so serious. People might resent you for "cashing in".

Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 01/29/2012

 

Digby_Adams: 29. Jan 2012, 16:47

Sherri if you intend to do this as a full-time living. You need to think about your monetization strategies. How are you going to make a living writing about these topics. You may indeed need a separate one for making money, given your topic is so serious. People might resent you for "cashing in".

Counseling and ebooks / books come to my mind. I wouldn't run Adsense ads on your main site tough.


wrylilt
Posts: 220
Message
on 01/29/2012

Sheri, Wordpress IS considered a real site these days. I think you're thinking of a FREE wordpress site (wordpress.com) as opposed to a hosted wordpress site (wordpress.org)

With the second type you buy a domain and get a host, then install wordpress on it. Most things on a hosted wordpress site can be done without knowing much (or any) coding and to almost any look you want (as well as being blog or static.)

Here is an example of one of my personal wordpress hosted sites: http://toowoombawriters.com

As you can see, it doesn't look like a "blog". 

If you're going with wordpress, I'd recommend Namecheap for domain names (cheaper than Godaddy and a better rep) and Hostgator for hosting (only about $4 per month for one site, or $8 for unlimited sites.)

A few people have offered to help if you do want to set up a site - I'm adding my own offer in there if you need it. Smile

Sheri: 29. Jan 2012, 16:11

I now I need to decide whether or not I go with wordpress or a real website. I did start a blog on wordpress to put up letters I wrote to friends during my month in Xi'an helping a pediatrician set up hospital child abuse clinic. 

Jimmie
Posts: 338
Message
on 01/29/2012

Sheri,

Since your field is so heavy and serious, yes, I think having a separate account for the more lighthearted topics is wise.

I'm just thinking as a parent. If I needed help with my child in your field, I probably would be put off by some graphic design articles. It might make your serious articles look as if they were written from a layman's perspective or just to make money.

That's silly in one way. I mean, a very skilled therapist obviously can have other hobbies. But somehow it's not as professional.

Sheri_Oz
Posts: 439
Message
on 01/30/2012

OK. I am at a coffee shop before giving a lecture this morning and on the drive I was considering: do I or don't I open a new account here and on squidoo for the light stuff?  On the one hand, I see the logic of it and I certainly had to be careful when I was still a therapist seeing clients here in Israel, not to appear too human outside of the clinic.

On the other hand, some of these overlap, such as my trip to China, of which I am very proud. In my blog I will show photos of me lecturing, but not only that, also a light-hearted view of the Westerner spending a month in Xi'an. Also, if one of the things some of us in the field and many survivors are trying to change, it is that survivors are outside the normal loop of life and that having suffered sexual abuse is in a way the end of normal life.  If I was an expert on depression or schizophrenia, or a medical doctor specializing in orthopedic surgery, would the advice be the same - open a separate account and keep your "other lighter life" separate and perhaps even secret?

I also want to write on therapist burn-out and that is personal. Would that, and my lighter stuff, detract from my professional reputation even if I do open a static website (something I now do intend to do) that will not feature any of that other stuff?

Thank-you for all your help. I cannot really ask my 3D friends here as all of them are therapists and still working and their answer would be a definite - separate them! - as they are still needing to protect clients from the fact that they are human.

Sheri


lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 01/30/2012

Sheri, I have both Wordpress sites, and a "real site" and frankly, for your purposes, I believe a Wordpress site, (Wordpress.org), would be sufficient.  My regular site cost me $6000 plus a monthly fee of maintenance.  Since I have a very complex site with a high quality ecommerce portion, it is worth it.  But to outsiders, the look and feel of a Wordpress site is no different than what I have.  You can make it as pretty, or professional, as any other type of site.


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
AJ
Posts: 251
Message
on 01/30/2012

Lots of good advice here Sheri - but just one bit I am going to recommend...take up nightowl's offer of help. In the UKwe have a saying:

"been there, done that and bought the T-Shirt"

you will get all the help you need AND she really does know what she is talking about 

Marisawright
Posts: 24
Message
on 02/05/2012

 

Sam: 29. Jan 2012, 15:38
Actually Sheri, if funds are tight, you could just go with a free blog, plus own domain, on Wordpress.com have a look at it, it might be just what you need ;-)

Wordpress.com is a good way to get used to the Wordpress interface - but be aware that advertising of any kind is strictly prohibited.

If you want to monetize your site but can't afford (or are daunted by the idea of) hosting, then I now know several non-technical people who love using Weebly, with their own domain name.

Finally, as others have said, there's no difference between a "real" website and Wordpress website - it's all in how you set it up.  The important thing is to have your own domain name which sounds professional and is descriptive of your service.

As for your original question - as nightowl says, your website is the key.  Once you have it set up, then you can write on Wizzley, HubPages, Zujava, PubWages, ThisisFreelance - the list goes on.   Don't worry about building a following on rev-sharing sites, look on them as a way to get backlinks - and for backlinks, diversity of sites is what you want.


Marisa
Sheri_Oz
Posts: 439
Message
on 02/06/2012

I want to thank you all for your advice. I am definitely going to set up a website, but first I am getting some help with designing a business plan and setting goals for developing my online presence. All your comments here helped me focus my thoughts and I appreciate that so much. For those who offered me help, I am also grateful and moved.

Will let you know how it goes.

Sheri


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