Please Note: This article was last updated in 2003.
Search engines are information hogs. They slop around the internet all day looking for big fat juicy pages full of content that may be relevant to their users. By becoming on online publisher, by putting lots of good information on your web site, you can take advantage of this situation to promote your independent professional practice.
Think Like a Publisher to Bolster Your Web Presence
A well-known publishing-industry executive once said that publishing is “the business of discovering, developing, and disseminating ideas.”
In the course of your independent professional practice, you have no doubt discovered, possibly developed, and perhaps even disseminated many good ideas. You can build your web presence by packaging your unique ideas and insights as web pages, e-mail publications, and other online publications that demonstrate your professional expertise. And the internet can help you at each stage of the process.
A global communication network like the internet can help anyone ferret out more good ideas. Whether you’re a massage therapist looking for information on RSIs, a contractor looking for information on a new building technique, or a computer programmer looking for a snippet of code to finish up a project, the internet can augment your traditional information sources with information from around the world.
An interactive medium like the internet can also help you develop your ideas. Just as many publishers review manuscripts before they publish them, you can test your new ideas in news groups and other online discussion forums. You can e-mail draft versions of publication manuscripts to your editor, reviewers, and other advisors. And at a practical level, it is now much easier to get feedback from your copy editor, proofreader, and other editorial production helpers.
The main way online publishing can help you build your web presence is by quickly and affordably disseminating your ideas. Building a search-engine-optimized website and filling it with your ideas is the first step. You can also get your ideas out in the form of targeted opt-in e-mailings, postings to online discussion groups, e-zines, e-books, and other online publications.
My Online Publishing Qualifications
I have been publishing online since 1995 with both conventional publishers and internet start-ups. Prior to my internet career, I worked for more than a decade in college textbook publishing. See my resume for more on my publishing career, and see my portfolio for some examples of my work.
This page created 4/5/03; last updated 11/21/03.