Discoverability. It’s the most important word for an aspiring author to know and to master. The Internet is where everyone and everything gets found today. If someone searching for you, your book or subjects related to your book can’t find you on the Internet, you will remain obscure. Unknown. That’s not what any aspiring author wants. That’s not what a publisher wants in a writer.
The fact that you can’t be found on line when someone searches for you, that you and your book aren’t discoverable, can feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you want to sell books to readers or to publishers. Yet, so many writers fail to develop an online presence. They don’t want to create a blog or a website, both of which provide them with a way to be easily found on the Internet. Why don’t they do so? Because it feels hard. It’s out of the realm of writing. It’s techy and unfamiliar. The task feels overwhelming.
Creating an online presence with a blog doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Today, my webmaster and blogmaster, Linda Lee, offers a few basic tips on how to begin a blog, or a blog website, in a way that will reduce your sense of overwhelm and give you an online presence in no time flat.
How to Find Your Zen While Working Online
By Linda Lee
Finding Zen is this crazy hustle bustle world of working online can be tough. There is a million things going on, distractions galore and then there is our old enemy: fear. People have lots of fear around working online.
Some of the things I hear almost daily are, “I am so stupid with computers,” “I don’t know anything,” and other negative statements. When you work on the computer, no your current skill set, you need to realize several things:
- You can do it. (Please do not tell yourself you are stupid, you are not.)
- Take it one task, one item at a time.
- Take a break when feeling frustrated.
- Google for help. I find answers to almost every problem I run into online by Googling the question.
- Stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish.
I would have to say that the most important thing I have learned the last 13 years working online is to stay focused on what you are trying to achieve. When you work online there are literally millions of things that will be clamoring for your attention. You will suddenly begin to notice all these internet marketing ideas, and “get rich online” messages, and this tool and that tool, and then your friends will start to tell you things you simply must be doing, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and tons of things you may never even have heard of! Everyone will tell you that they know best, you simply must try this. Paying attention to all these other things will just suck up all your time if you start to listen to everyone. No wonder people get so overwhelmed.
My best tip for you today is to write these two questions down on an index card and post the card somewhere where you see it each day.
- What am I trying to accomplish online?
- Is what I am doing right now getting me closer to that goal?
This will help you stay focused and not get distracted from your primary purpose. I also suggest that you do not start buying any internet marketing products or go down that path until you have at least gotten a website or a blog up and have spent some time developing some content. This is always the first thing you have to learn, no matter what your goals are. Staying focused on the basics—a blog or website—will allow you to get a little experience before you invest in some of these internet marketing products that have an entirely different learning curve and can be complex and a waste of money.
If you don’t yet have a blog or a website, you might be wondering how to get started—and feeling overwhelmed by the undertaking. I suggest you simply get a WordPress blog. WordPress is the most used blogging and website platform online—and it’s easy to use.
It is best to get your own hosting and domain name and most hosting companies now offer a one-click type of install for WordPress. Once you have that all set up, you will login to your new website and start setting things up. Or if you would like to try it out first and figure things out, you can sign up for a free WordPress website at http://wordpress.com.
At first, it might feel a bit daunting because it is new. Once you start working on the site and posting and adding pages, it quickly feels more comfortable. However, there is lots of free support online. For instance, I have several websites that offer paid and free training and many short videos on topics such as:
- How to post and write pages
- How to add images
- How to add youtube videos
- How to add keywords, (or tags is what WordPress calls them)
There is quite a bit of help available online and from WordPress itself, too.
As far as the work you do to create an online presence, I encourage you to keep a list of goals and what you are accomplishing each day, so you can track your progress. If you can just get three things a day done on your list to move yourself forward, whatever your field or endeavor, you will be amazed at how quickly things will snowball.
Good luck and stay focused. And don’t forget to take a walk or go outside when you feel overwhelmed. Real life is still out there! And you can find the Zen even as you work online.
About the Author
Linda Lee began her own online business in 1998, and since then her entrepreneurial sensibilities have helped others find their own place on the web. She has uncanny ability to disarm anyone’s computer anxieties. Linda teaches technophobes of all generations, from Millennials to Boomers. She is not your typical techie. Linda is the founder of Smart Women Stupid Computers and Askmepc-Webdesign, and WordPressBootcamp, She demystifies the online experience. Whether you’re a novice or veteran Internet user, Linda can train you, and help you optimize and monetize your website. She builds custom, easy to manage, user-friendly websites and blogs. Linda also creates tailored-made logos, graphics, and banners. She offers remote training domestically and internationally, helping hundreds of people in China, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden and Canada. Linda’s clientele includes small and large businesses.
Linda Lee runs monthly live WordPress Bootcamps around the Bay Area, CA. If you are interested in signing up for the upcoming WordPress Bootcamp, please click here: It is Sat, April 21, at Stanford University, from 9-12. In the afternoon session, they have Self Publishing Bootcamp with Carla King and Laurie McLean; get more information on their session here.