One thing anyone reading this has in common is that we are writing online. Its a different market/ medium from print, obviously. But not always in obvious ways. The language is different. The rate at which content needs to be refreshed is much different. The problems with having content stolen are also different and more challenging. But, there is a huge audience out there, if you can lure them in. You don’t have to be a big ticket item like Woman’s Day, Cosmo or National Geographic to pull in readers. But, you do have to find a way of pulling them in.
One other difference that not a lot of writers take advantage of is self promotion. You can set yourself up as the controller of your own little empire. Add all the clips you want, promote them everywhere possible and even break into new markets by offering free content to other sites.
But, you do have to take those first steps and get yourself out there, into the community. A big part of doing that is a personal/ professional website. You really do need a place to hang your hat online, an address to send people to when they want to know more about you, see what you know and how you think. Also, of course what you have that someone else doesn’t already have.
One important thing is balancing personal and professional. Unless you have a couple of separate websites You need to make sure your website isn’t saying too much about you. There are some hobbies, collectibles, activities, political leanings you might not want to offer up right away. For me its Wicca. My sister was looking over my resume and was astonished that I had left in a reference to my BackWash column, Bewitching Vagabond. She strongly suggested I take it out. I decided she was right and I have removed it.
What about your own site? Is there anything there you need to consider a problem area? Assuming you have a site, of course.
Add a resume to your site too. Just don’t be careless about leaving your street address and phone numbers on there. Blank them out or just delete them.