I am struggling with a writing task at the moment. Part of the reason is that is has been at the back, rather than the forefront, of my mind as I worked on other tasks, and part of the reason is that it involves self-promotion in a marketing kind of way. It confuses me a little, because haven’t I been self-promoting all the time I have been writing a blog? Surely putting my ideas out there is at least presentation, if not promotion, of said ideas.
With the goal of sharing original early childhood teaching resources and stories for children on a website of my own, I began writing a blog and engaging in social media about two and a half years ago. This was in responses to advice received from attending writing seminars and reading books about website development. Preparation of resources for my website took a back seat for a while as I engaged with other writers in the blogosphere.
Now it is time to turn the focus back onto the website, the launch of which is fast approaching. With an extra effort over the past couple of weeks, I now have sufficient resources to begin. Additional resources will be uploaded at relatively frequent, if irregular, intervals, not unlike adding to my blog.
I have no issue with ideas for additional resources or blog posts. My stumbling block is the content for my bio and promotional information about the website. It should be easy, I know, but I am struggling to find the answers to these questions:
- What do people want or need to know about me?
- How can I promote my resources in an honest way that entices people to sign up to a paid subscription?
- What is a fair price for subscription?
- How can I persuade potential subscribers that they will get value for money?
- How can I ensure that subscribers do not feel let down by the available resources or ripped off by misleading promotion?
These questions arise even before I begin to tackle the really difficult one:
- How do I connect with my target audience: early childhood teachers?
I know I am not alone with these concerns.
Recently Sarah Brentyn, who blogs at Lemon Shark, questioned the validity of her profile, enflaming my anxiety by stating that “It’s seen by far too many people who judge you by those 10 – 20 words.” The thought to change my blog’s About page, with far more than 10-20 words, hasn’t yet moved beyond that guilt-ridden thought. And while I know it is not suitable as is for my website, perhaps editing or rewriting it is a place to start.
Throughout the year Anne Goodwin, who blogs at Annecdotal, shared the process of stepping out from under the covers of introversion to promote her debut novel Sugar and Snails. In her post One huge leap for Anne, one teeny tiny step for womankind, she questioned how to balance celebrating her achievement with the suspicion that many would be unimpressed. In another post on Book pricing: a cautionary tale Anne questioned pricing and value and shared the hope that people wouldn’t feel ripped off. I am fairly confident that Anne’s concern on each of these issues turned out to be unwarranted. Will mine be the same?
“My intention … (is) to write and publish novels. My intention is to be a successful author. Success to me is publishing books I want to write for readers who want to read them. My secondary goal is to market well enough to eat more than hand-picked dandelions from my yard. Many will say it’s a fool’s dream.”
Charli has expressed it well. Substitute “early childhood teaching resources and stories for children” for novels and it could be me. I hope that neither Charli nor I are dreaming the impossible. Charli at least has a long list of credentials.
I have spent some time looking at other websites which may be considered competitors and looking at bios on others. If there’s one thing I have discovered it is this:
There is a multitude of websites offering early childhood teaching resources. Some websites offer all resources free. Teachers love freebies. There are also many websites with resources available to subscribers. Why would anyone want mine?
However, I’m not going to give up now.
I hope there are many early childhood teachers who will see sufficient value in my website to pay the annual subscription. As far as I explored, I have not found anyone offering interactive resources similar to mine. It is possible that they exist and I just haven’t found them. However, I am hoping that teachers see value enough in these alone, and consider the other resources a bonus. Time will tell. If it returns nothing but the pleasure of achievement, then I will consider it my jetski. If it does more than that I will be well pleased.
So, if I am not going to give up, maybe I just need to get on with the task of writing my bio and promotion paragraph. The other day I read a bio that described the website owner as its founder. Hmm. I thought. Maybe that’s a title I could use.
I was amused at the thought that I would found something that hadn’t been lost. It just hadn’t been before. I thought about other things, briefly mentioned in other posts, that I had founded:
Create-A-Way, educational sessions for children of before-school-age and their parents.
Centre of Learning Opportunities, envisioning an alternative way of educating.
Perhaps I can now add another to my list. I just need to get the bio written.
What advice do you have for me? What should I include? What should I leave out? What is the most important thing of which I need to be mindful?
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.