Dos and Don’ts When Building Your Online Career
Identifying your talent
Do start out with what you have the knowledge and skill to do, as opposed to what you think is popular on the web. If it’s popular, chances are the market is already saturated.
Don’t try to cash in on the popular niches like making money online and how to blog. It will take you years (if at all) to make it to the top of this market, by which time you may lose your own distinctive skill and become frustrated enough to give up.
Building a blog or website
Do build a blog if you don’t want to build a website. Start establishing your platform and showcasing your skill by blogging within your niche. This will be advantageous to your brand when – from the beginning – people can identify you with connections to your chosen niche.
Don’t blog about general information. Identify your target market whether it’s knitting baby wear or taking care of roses. Hone in on one specific niche within a topic and stick with this. This will work so much better for you in the long run and give you an edge over people like me who started their blogs with general topics and had to re-start from scratch after learning the hard way.
Building a platform, securing a network
Do make friends by visiting other people’s websites and blogs. None of us is special. We’re all in the same boat. No one will come to you unless you’re already a big name in their business. Do a Google search for blogs and websites in your field and visit them. Share their stuff and make friends with them. Stay away from the biggest names in the business for now. They don’t have time for anyone else.
Don’t spam your friends and associates. You’ll lose them if you do. You don’t want to turn them off you because they are your stepping stones to building a bigger network system. A 20-80% is a great measure of how well you’re balancing your promotion. Only 20% of your communication should be self-promotion.
Do use your social networking sites to promote your work, your talent, your career. Tell people you’re starting out and offer to do work for them for free – just to build up a client list. Remember that a lot of these people you network with have blogs. Ask for a link to your site in exchange for your work.
Don’t spread yourself too thinly on social networking. Join up a few which are good for your type of business and only stick with those that work for you. There is no rule that you must be on all of them. For example: if you’re into craft and design, Pinterest can be great for this niche. Twitter doesn’t work for all types of blogs, and neither do Reddit and Tumblr.
Earning money online
Do start small. Join up sites like fiverr and showcase your talent. Sell gigs for $5.00 each until you’ve built up a sound clientele. Lead them to your blog and encourage them to subscribe there. Give discounts and even work for free in exchange for services, links, promotion etc.
Don’t follow the crowd to try and earn pennies from your blog with ads and cheap reviews etc. Only people with a large following, tons of traffic and great SEO skills can earn enough from affiliate programmes and blog ads. If you’re building your online career you won’t have achieved this yet. You’ll just be wasting precious time you could be using in a fulfilling manner.
Have you built up a successful online career? Are there any more dos and don’ts you’d like to share here?