The Question of Effective Self-Promotion

Last year on Linked In, I published a post about personal branding - where I looked how diversified or focused your personal brand is, and whether it was better to separate your writing career and your day job into two distinctive online identities - or just to throw it all into one bowl and hope that it amounts to a tasty recipe.

With David Nickle, whom I used as an example, he has always worked hard to keep his journalism separate from his fiction writing. While he's allowed the two identities to overlap (he used to be concerned about how the people who followed his beat reporting in The Mirror newspapers would react to his wild and crazy and sometimes icky horror fiction. While he maintains separate Twitter accounts for each persona (@DavidNickle and @byDavidNickle), he has realized that one reputation can often enhance and complement the other - no matter how unrelated they are.

I have been much less deliberate with the separation of my identities and I have a few extra identities - which results in some strange gaps and overlaps. My Linked In account is very focused on my day job persona as a magazine editor and (non-fiction) content creator. My Twitter and Facebook accounts are sort of catch-alls, but Facebook leans toward family and fiction writing with a dollop of stone sculpting and other art. The DLSproule on Twitter is pretty much a writer - of both fiction and non-fiction. The blog you're reading has been mostly about my fiction with a few posts and ads about the art and my sculpting site. is completely about my own sculpting and that of my life-partner, Laura Belford. is also mostly about the fiction with a nod to the artwork. I have another site called that focuses entirely on the business/non-fiction/content creation and content strategy side.

Each one of these sites requires regular updating - which makes me occasionally fear that I am spreading myself too thin. Then again, I don't imagine that someone thinking about hiring an editor for their financial magazine is the least bit interested in looking at my sculptures.

What inspired today's post is my growing conviction that I am wasting my time on Linked In. It contains more than 20 blog entries that I wrote exclusively for that site. They are well thought out, topical and serious looks at issues affecting the business world and society in general. And I  put a great deal of thought and effort into each one. It seemed very worthwhile when Linked In was promoting them regularly and some were getting in excess of 1,000 views. But for some reason, they have stopped promoting me entirely (they larded one post up with a few thousand fake views - trying to appease me somehow?)  If so, they're trying that on the wrong guy. I don't give a damn about numbers unless they represent actual readers who I'm engaging with my ideas. Perhaps I've offended them somehow. Maybe I'm being too political, too self-promotional, putting in too much opinion, weighing in on contentious issue, being too diverse, not diverse enough or otherwise not fitting into their algorithm. Most of the followers I do have seem to be from the US, India, Kenya and New Zealand. And when my best posts are getting 20 views  - while one of the most mediocre ones got almost 5,000, I am forced to wonder whether it's worth it. Doing so has neither got me a job/job offer nor brought me any new freelance business, and it's taking time away from the other websites where I don't blog regularly enough - and from real stomping through the streets job hunting.

Many of my friends have shared some pretty harsh views of Linked In and I'm beginning to believe them. I know that I need to maintain a presence there - but am beginning to think that  their so called "Job Seeker Premium" package is a complete waste of money.

When Linked In doesn't promote my posts, I get far more readers on my own sites than I do on theirs. If no one is reading, does it matter what I'm posting there? Would anyone care if I talk about my fiction writing, my sculpture or the bunions on my butt? (I just made that up BTW - I don't really have bunions on my butt - eww).

At any rate - I'm beginning to convince myself that I should invest more of my time here and pay far less attention to Linked In. Thanks for listening, eh. Hello?  Hello?  HELLO-o-o-o...?

Or maybe I should just find a monastery or ashram or something to hide away in...


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