Today I want to talk about using online tools to reach your audience. What I have learned so far in my six day long journey is that it is all about the exposure. You can write and write and write and no one will see your little corner of the internet unless you tell them. This isn’t exactly news, but like many things, it sometimes requires hearing over and over before you really understand what that means. What I have learned is that this is more of an organic process than I realized. You literally grow your online persona. It kind of makes me think of AIs, which makes me a little giddy, but I don’t want to digress. My focus right now as I transition to a new career is careful online transparency. I don’t want to divulge too much of my personal life, less it come back to bite me later. But I am also learning the importance of an online presence for anyone that wants to have a career that uses the internet as a medium. I thought I had a pretty substantial online presence for my comfort zone, but I am realizing that I need to expand it in a controlled manner. That said, here is a short list of how I am getting started with this process: 1. Personal Blog (pssst, that’s where you are) 2. Portfolio Site 3. Twitter account for BOTH personal blog and portfolio site Ok, so I haven’t gotten very far yet. But it’s a start. By the way, this is my marketing strategy. It seems to be the common starting point for most people pursuing an online career, particularly in freelance writing. Every day I have to set aside some time to check, update, and work on these sites. But then I have to work on content. I can market myself to death, but if I don’t have anything to sell there really isn’t any point. Personal websites are great for journaling, practicing my writing, and giving myself an idea of what I want the focus of my business to be. I am developing my niche. It also is excellent practice of my time management and disciplines me to write every day. That is important. Every day. Especially if you are an aspiring novelist, this will increase your word count production and help you improve your writing. But it is also excellent discipline for any type of online business that requires frequent attention. You also need a portfolio, though, so people know you mean business. Whether it is writing, marketing, photography, or retail. You need a serious site where people can buy your services or products directly. I set up a very basic start to a portfolio, you can check it out here Julie Meadors It’s very bare bones. But it is up and people can get to it. I will eventually move it to an independent site where I have more control, but right now I am not making enough revenue from it to constitute that. There are differing opinions on when to move to your own site, but this is my strategy thus far. But you also need to start developing your product, whatever that may be. You probably aren’t ready to set it up to sell online yet, so for now, just get it ready. In my case, that is doing what I already love, writing content. I have a few paying gigs that I am working on right now to keep my portfolio relevant while I focus on my writing. I have already written an ebook and have it up for sell on Amazon.com. It was an experiment of mine, and in hindsight, I would have held off a little longer to introduce it. But I had some personal reasons for doing that, such as having a completed work for sell. Now I am a ‘published author’. The internet makes that really easy to do these days, so anyone can do this. I needed the personal victory. Now on to more important things. Writing the content I care about and really want to share with my audience. So those are the steps I am taking right now to build my online business. In the meantime I will continue to look for a viable telecommute position so that I can be home with my babies. That’s always the end goal, and each day, I am a little closer to it.