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Ask Daphne! How did you get the word out?

04shoes-1-popupI’m in love with these shoes, which, according to this article from The New York Times, are the product of a shoe-making workshop you can take. With a shoe guru! If only my upcoming trip to NYC wasn’t fully booked already! Anyway, moving on, today I wanted to share a question from Callie, who asks:

I’ve been following your blog for quite a while and have found it to be extremely useful and a lot of fun. My question is, how did you get the word out about your website? Was it just a natural consequence of people submitting to you? Or were there specific steps you took in order to establish your web presence? I know this isn’t the usual advice you give, but I have read quite a bit on the importance or building a platform and, since this pertains to that, I thought you might be able to give me a few ideas to work with.

First of all, thanks for the kind words! The business of building a website — or any online presence, honestly — is a lot of hard work, but can still be fun.

How did people first find out about this site, when kt literary was just a fledging little agency, lo these two years ago now? (btw, Happy Birthday, kt literary!) Well, I used to have a personal blogspot page, where I would semi-anonymously share occasional “Advice From An Agent”. When the kt lit site first went live, even before I officially opened my doors, I posted a link on my blog where people could check it out. News of the link got around (this was before Twitter, even, so I couldn’t tell you HOW), and I had over 300 queries in my inbox before I even officially was open to them!

Since then, I have my information posted around the web — on the Publishers Marketplace site, where I have a page, but also every time I make a sale and post it; on sites like AgentQuery, Preditors & Editors, Absolute Write, and the Verla Kay boards; in the lists of agents compiled by the SCBWI, Writers’ Market, and the AAR; on my clients’ sites; and now, on other Twitter users’ lists of Agents Who Tweet. (Note: some of the above links require memberships to access.)

But it’s not just about being listed. It’s about driving traffic to your site. If all I did was throw my name and address and submission guidelines up and the web, sure, people would find me, but would they keep coming back for more? Doubtful. So I blog daily (on weekdays), tweet often, and comment on posts by other agents and bloggers.

What about the rest of you? I would imagine almost all of you have websites that you’ve worked to promote. What tricks or tool did you use? Let us know in the comments!

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