Another thing that’s great for SEO is links. You want people to link to your website/blog on their website because Google then thinks: she’s being endorsed, her website must be good; we’ll put it ahead of that website that no one links to. Apparently the best ‘links’ are from Government and academic websites but also a link from a national or well-visited website is great. Links from lots of smaller, more niche blogs are also good and one way to get these links is to ‘guest blog’ – so write blog posts for other sites, that include a link to yours in your bio. Usually, you won’t be paid for this but it’s an opportunity to introduce yourself to a new audience and get a link to your site.
Podcasts are another way to reach a new audience and become more known in your industry. If there are podcasts you already listen to, get in touch and ask if they’re looking for interviewees. But also research other podcasts in your field – it’s a great way to make new contacts, share your story and grow your profile.
Once you’re known in your industry, the radio and TV news sites will probably start hounding you for your response to news stories or new research that’s just been unveiled. This can be great, and it’s going to elevate your profile, but it’s important that you’re talking about stuff you’re comfortable with and that you want to be talking about.
For instance, after that article I mentioned in week 1, that Harriet Minter interviewed me for on workplace harassment, I became the ‘go-to’ for all sexual harassment stories that came out. And as you probably know, there have been quite a few of these over the past few years. This wasn’t my area of interest or expertise but they were just looking for case studies so I did one interview on the Victoria Derbyshire show then refused all other requests (from various BBC radio channels).
But if you’ve been featured on someone’s blog, or a national news site, or on your own blog talking about something you do want to be know for: the same thing will happen. You’ll be put down in the BBC’s black book of contacts as a ‘go-to’ for that subject.
Another example: I wrote a piece on gender-neutral parenting. The Daily Mail asked to interview me about this. Their article was terrible – I was misquoted and misrepresented but they paid me £200 and made me an ‘expert’ (in the eyes of the media) on this topic. This was more related to my interests and work on parenting and feminism so when the Niall Boylan show asked me to speak live on air, I was game. The host was provocative but I said my piece and got a load of hits on The Early Hour, so it was worth it.
Tell your friends and family
When you’re trying to get the word out about what you’re doing, work-wise, start with friends and family. Share your website and blog posts on social media, tell everyone what you’re doing. Make yourself known. I know it can feel a bit cringe doing this, as if you’re boasting – but if you don’t, no one will know. And in time, you may just get used to blowing your own trumpet (I have. I use social media solely for business so I post about everything I’m doing, work-wise, in case it gets me a new client, lead or reader). Once people know what you’re up to, you’ll be on their minds if they hear of an opportunity.
As an expert in your field, you should be aware of trends and news related to your work. So read about it, listen to podcasts, watch the news, talk to people, network – in real life and on social media – and share your findings (on your blog, on social, with friends). And don’t see others in your industry as a threat; see them as your comrades – you can help each other out: share opportunities, give advice.
Learn as much as you can, immerse yourself in what’s going on, and the press will then come to you when they need help with a story. I mentioned following the #journorequest on Twitter – keep doing that. Anytime a paper or mag is looking for someone with your experience, put yourself forward. You’ll soon become the person they come looking for.