Having published two RubyGems now, I think my projects are pretty cool. Sure, boardgame_engine and consolo could use some polish, but at their core, they do fill niches that haven’t been filled, and I’m pretty satisfied with how they are progressing.
But despite my being proud of them, I haven’t quite figured out how to “get the word out” to other people. Same thing with this blog. I don’t really know how to advertise my work to the world.
Thankfully, I do have friends who are pretty successful with advertising their material. In preparation for my next project which will I really want people to know about, I benchmark and analyze what they do for self-promotion.
This is probably the quickest and easiest way. I have some friends who have substack blogs(Duck’s, YS’s). Between the two, I particularly took interest and inspiration from Duck’s blog, mostly because it’s more active. Duck’s blog functions more like a newsletter; he compiles interesting insight/information about a certain topic, then posts about it rougly weekly. In this way, his blog is rather different from mine, but I think how he promotes his blog is still very applicable. Whenever he posts a new article, he posts a few instagram stories about the post. The stories all have a screenshot of the article taken on mobile and a link to the article. The first story is always of the start of the article (i.e. title and first paragraph), then sometimes a half-line description.
His strategy is pretty vanilla, but it’s been surprisingly effective, at least for me. I remember clicking on the article whenever I saw that he posted something. My only concern is that some of my friends may consider it spamming my story. This can probably be addressed with keeping my stories to 2-3 slides. I expect that having more than just a single slide is useful, since it somewhat ensures that the readers stays on the story for a bit more time.
Besides posting on his story, an interesting strategy he used this week was to “invite a guest.” He asked one of this friends who worked at a FinTech Startup to share his experience. It’s a very clever strategy: by having a guest over, he can tap into not just his own audience, but also the friends’ followers. It also diversifies the content, bringing in a fresh perspective to a one-man-show.
Duck’s strategy is easy and effective. This is the strategy I want to take in the short term. The only thing I need to overcome is my social media shyness - I don’t really upload stories and rarely upload posts. Duck posts a good number of things on his post besides just his blog promotion like his spotify playlist. Because I don’t post much, it just feels awkward on a personal level to self-promote there (same reason why I feel weird on LinkedIn). But, I hope to gather up the courage and post something very soon about my blog.
This is a more long-term strategy. I used to be very interested in content creation, so much so that I wanted to be a film director. So, I have good experience (albeit dusty) with video editing tools like Adobe Premiere. Thus, I hopefully won’t need to invest too much time into re-learning editing/video production. Furthermore, if I make videos, I won’t necessarily need to promote my work outright. Instead, I can find more subtle ways of having audiences visit my profile and naturally come across the different things I made.
But of course, making videos take much longer than just writing up blog posts. I would need to ideate a topic, write up a script, film it, and edit it. Because of the long production time, the effort may not pay off in the beginning. How long this “beginning” would be is also unclear. Therefore, this would be a long-term commitment towards my promotion.
Regardless of the promotional effect, however, I think it will be a fun experience and a excellent chance for me to learn about the creative process. I really enjoyed making videos in high school and maybe I’ll feel the same way now as well. I can’t guarantee exactly when, but at least by the end of the semester (ideally during March), I hope to have uploaded at least one video.