personal branding

How To Become Your Own North Star On The Internet

We're all digital strategists now.

 

In fact, if you aren't thinking deeply about how and where and with whom you appear and interact on the web, you need to start.

Today. You can and should be using your online presence as a 21st century life & work skill to connect with relevant people, information you need and enriching opportunities. I'm going to help, so you can get started today. (And the resources I'm sharing with you are completely free, so if you want to buy something you'll have to go find a different post.) I've been saying all of this for years. Doing it for years. As a content and digital publishing specialist, I've been showing people how to use their own content to connect purpose and action in digital spaces, for 5 years, both in private and group coaching environments. Along with Tara Agacayak and Tanya Monsef Bunger, I built a curriculum at GlobalNiche, a social web training company that's now shifting into an empowered digital life movement, so you can do it on your own, or in groups, wherever you are and whoever you are and whatever you do. If you are a person active online, this training will ask you the strategic questions you need to be thinking about. If you're not yet active or don't love being online, this will help you figure out what makes sense for you. Our combined 25 years of experience, including major expatriate life and work challenges, forced us to tap our backgrounds in culture, info tech, media & psychology to create this network-activating system using the backbone of the social web. We've used this method to survive. No matter who or where you are, you can use it to thrive.

I'm now making that training perfectly free, so you can take advantage of all our guidance immediately.

 

Want to learn how? It's my gift to you! Start by downloading the handbook

 

  When you download this powerful free handbook you're going to start to transform what you do, how you do it and with whom. This repeatable, dynamic six-step method will help you become your own North Star on the Internet and bring you closer to the people and things you care about. You'll emerge with inspiration, direction and confidence:

    • a vision that lights you up and goals you can measure
  • a do-able plan and digital skills you need
  • and a practice and peer group you can rely on to keep going

 

 

Here's what people who've done it say:

    • "I felt I couldn’t catch up. The way GlobalNiche describes social media – it’s about using technology to communicate naturally – clicked for me." ~ paralegal
  • “Opened my eyes to my own assets. It has given me the confidence to bet on myself.” ~ work-at-home parent
  • “I doubled my Twitter presence just by learning about good Twitter etiquette.” ~ scriptwriter
  • “I’m blown away by the possibilities. I now have an action plan. I feel a huge shift in my life." ~ academic
  • "For people who are wondering if what they have to say is valuable.” ~ financial officer
  • "Helped me to recognize and own how I am being virtually “seen” and make positive and educated changes." ~ landscape contractor

 

With this non-dogmatic foundational method you'll:

    • uncover the real value you've already created: by taking inventory of what you've been doing, detecting the patterns in your activities, gaining insight into what you're drawn to
  • put your mountain of natural resources to work for you: by acknowledging all that you’ve created and use it to gain insight into who you are and who you want to be
  • show the world how you make sense: by linking what you've done in the past & are doing today with your wider goals
  • recognize that you need to become visible to meet people you want to collaborate with, work for, hire
  • combine who you are and where you want to go with the tools available to express yourself
  • make empowered, focused decisions about how to operate online
  • go beyond managing your reputation online to using social media to represent your best self
  • meet and enter conversations with your peers, mentors and customers on the web
  • get recognized by authorities & peers in your field, recruiters, the media
  • identify how to use existing materials as building blocks for future projects
  • identify new ways to use social media, which platforms work for you (and which do not), and how to use those platforms to your advantage
  • express yourself with the best social web tools available, including how to use Google+, Quora, ScoopIt and Storify to your benefit
  • gain a new understanding of the best social media and content management and strategy tools, formats, methods to try
  • establish an interactive calling card at a site like About.me
  • learn best practices for blogging frameworks like WordPress and Thesis, blogging services like Twitter and Tumblr, social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram
  • learn best uses of video and slideshow sites like Animoto, YouTube, Vimeo, Slideshare, email service providers
  • grasp a new perspective on yourself as a content creator, realize the energy you generate around your interests IS content
  • publish, record, remix, repackage, reformat your content
  • design and implement a do-able plan with small steps to get your creations into global circulation in alignment with your larger goals

 

Want more?

If you want more guidance, get the free multimedia curriculum which expands on the handbook with video coaching and other materials. You'll have lifetime access to the self-paced course, 24/7, on all your devices. I'm making that entire program perfectly free for you, so join with a friend and do it together! 4,700 people already cashed in this free coupon to get connected & effective. Did you? Let me know how you're liking it!

2014 Marks 2 Years Of Offering The GlobalNiche Program: An Update & Shifting Of Gears

An update from me, my GlobalNiche cofounder Tara Agacayak, and our team member Tanya Monsef Bunger. 

Today over 3000 are taking the course, with 13 study group leaders working to bring the program to their own communities of artisans, expats, servant leaders, writers and academics, and women entrepreneurs.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 10.36.28 AMIt’s been a privilege and a pleasure to have worked full time on this endeavor for the past 24 months.Today we’re excited to share what we’ve achieved -- as well as how we’re shifting gears.

Back in 2009, we envisioned a professional alliance of people connected online sharing ideas and supporting each other’s work.

 

We began speaking to groups about how to use social media to develop professionally by building an online web platform. We conducted on and offline seminars and workshops, masterminds and community-building programs.

By committing to work in community, we evolved the GlobalNiche program as an easy, systematic, iterative way to build a platform for opportunity to happen. We realize that our individual platforms open us up to opportunity -- not by magic, but by connecting us with our global community via the social web.

In the past two years, we’ve won an award for our global community-building methodology, hosted 20+ live web conversations with emerging thought leaders on cutting edge GlobalNiche issues, designed, created and delivered email tutorials, program pilots, a self-study workbook, a high-touch 6-week coaching program, on-demand multimedia programs, 2 online study groups, a peer study group training, supported 3 peer study groups with more on the calendar and published a Kindle handbook. We’ve also provided our platform building tutorial to the Global Tech Women conference, become a LeanIn platform partner, spoken at numerous events and broadened the GlobalNiche network to include women leaders, content creators, social business people and entrepreneurs everywhere. We’re proud to have contributed to, participated in, and added GlobalNiche’s definition and practice to these global life/work movements:

  • every-day entrepreneurial thinking and acting, creative entrepreneurship as a solution for everyone
  • location independence and lifestyle design in populations beyond expats, travelers and life hackers
  • recognition of the importance of digital identity, personal branding, digital footprints and online social networking for personal and professional development
  • re-envisioning the future of work with online collaboration and co-creation
  • the adoption of global communication best practices
  • the tidal wave of online content marketing
  • the rise of the transformational consumer and transformational online communities

Working on GlobalNiche educated us in what it takes to build a business. We’ve gained a new appreciation for what we know, as well as identified gaps in our own knowledge, skills, abilities and experience.

Our early stage founder experience took us into the startup world. We opened and maintained profiles at accelerator and incubator application platforms like Gust.com, Angel.co, and F6s.  We attended founder events, applied to accelerators, got VC training for elevator pitches, learned the investment landscape. We learned about the role of mentors, advisors, and equity positions.

We tried our hand at investor presentations, worked toward that elusive thing called “product-market fit”, learned about choosing vendors, designed logos and website look & feel, investigated shopping cart and affiliate network solutions until we ran screaming in the other direction.

We worked on what seems like a lifetime about brand messaging - writing taglines and elevator pitches on a weekly basis (and still not there yet).

We discovered what it means to be a globally distributed team managing a variety of time zones, test driving collaboration software.

Looking back on all that we’ve achieved and learned, we realize that we’ve reached our 2009 goal of building an online global support alliance. More than that, we developed a curriculum that teaches people the skills they need to do this for themselves.

Now we’re turning the method over -- to you, and to your communities, and to people far beyond those in our current networks -- to let it grow.

2014’s shift toward a community-based movement not only makes the method available to more people but it also allows the founding team to focus on applying what we’ve learned, what we built, and the skills we developed on new projects and in ever wider communities. This is the next chapter for GlobalNiche thinking and methodology. Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 5.03.33 PM Tara is leaving her position with GlobalNiche. She is putting her strategy and analytical skills to work doing market research for a London-based company and she has been contracted as project manager on an upcoming socio-cultural book about Turkey.

Anastasia continues to lead the GlobalNiche movement by holding the vision and on-going operations. She has taken a community-building position in a new social storytelling startup being incubated at RocketSpace in San Francisco. As a speaker and consultant, this spring she’ll be talking about platform at the Exceptional Women In Publishing conference, and leading a workshop with Tanya about the GlobalNiche Method at Women’s Startup Lab.

Tanya is continuing business development related to the GlobalNiche movement. She is working with female founders/entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley to accelerate their businesses and has also accepted a professorship at Santa Clara University where she’s exploring opportunities to use the GlobalNiche curriculum. She will act as director of the Global Fellows program.

As we shift gears, we’re grateful and proud of what we’ve created together, how the GlobalNiche movement continues to support our growth through the principles we’ve established in the program and using social technology.

And as ever, we appreciate being on this journey with you.

Being Hip Offline Doesn't Make You Hip Online

I have bad news for you.

Being a hip person offline doesn't mean you're suddenly hip online.

 

Same goes for being funny, deep, interesting or another quality you're known for and proudly own offline.

To be so in online spaces actually takes effort and awareness to build up your faculties on the web and with online tools for expression.

To be hip (etc, whatever!) online you'll have to interact in places appropriate for your qualities with a freshness and understanding that telegraphs your au courant nature, for instance. You'll have to display how on-trend you are from concept to execution. You have to prove it.

You can't just declare your qualities in your digital bio and assume because you've logged on you've automatically brought online everything you are offline. No, your work has just begun.

Is Marketing Yourself As A Brand Right For Your Career?

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 3.36.20 PM"Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Is this right for your career?" asks 85 Broads, the high-powered global women’s network, on its Facebook page today. My answer:

It seems like the question should be "what possible reason could you have for not being a distinct, knowable, findable professional entity?"

 

Social media strategist Tara Hunt replied too, and said "I owe the lion's share of my career success to personal branding", despite struggling with the term and being criticized for her self-promotion.

I think Tara Hunt's right that personal branding is a loaded term and the act of it doesn't come easily for women, nor does becoming visible always bring positive attention for women.

But none of that makes it less a valuable, meaningful, self-actualizing way to operate.

Online Self-Loathing & Surveillance

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 1.41.41 PM Personal branding online sure gets a bad rap, like this New Yorker post by Tony Tulathimutte, which warns us "You Are What You Tweet".

He's talking about the self-loathing variety of personal branding online -- heavy on the self-censorship with no mention of integrating what matters to you with the vulnerability that actually connects us as people,  both concepts we emphasize at GlobalNiche.

Tulathimutte concludes, "The more immediate threat may be the surrender of private identity: to perfect the total image of an impressive life, we prune off the parts of ourselves that can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t be seen."

Meanwhile, The Guardian writes about the psychological effects of surveillance. Research shows being surveilled fosters distrust, conformity and mediocrity.

I can't help noticing that the most deleterious effects of being watched seem to track with the defensive, inauthentic personal branding approach Tulathimutte writes about. As if when we reveal ourselves voluntarily we're avoiding actually being seen.

"Science can lay claim to a wealth of empirical evidence on the psychological effects of surveillance...indiscriminate intelligence-gathering presents a grave risk to our mental health, productivity, social cohesion, and ultimately our future."

That's serious business not to be taken lightly.

But do we have to approach the online presence we build as if we are being watched against our will? As if all we aim to communicate is 'successful' conformity (which is of course mediocre and gives the rest of us nothing to connect to).

Can we make being seen (when we choose it, that is) a path to our own resilience?

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Sarah Kendzior makes a related point in Al Jazeera September 9, "The danger of data: Not the information, but the interpretation".

She writes: "Our online self-expression - selective and self-censored, complicated and contrived - is being mistaken for the summation of our being. The great existential fear is no longer not knowing who we are. It is not getting the chance to find out." 

Personal Branding Interview By Peter Sterlacci

Peter Sterlacci, an American expat and personal branding expert in Japan, included me in his Brand Mechanics video interview series.

Peter writes: "As a long-term expat, she had to learn from the ground up how to build a global life and work solutions to survive. Her years of experience led to the creation of a holistic approach in building one’s global niche, or what she also calls a global personal brand.

"Her formula is simply: Personal Discovery + Professional Expression = Your Global Niche. The foundation of her formula rests in the fact that each of us already has what we need to be successful and we can use it wherever we are."

Thanks, Peter, it was fun!

Talking 21st Century Tools For Legal Careers

In April I'll be speaking to female law students and young lawyers about taking control of their career with the help of an intentional online presence. The event is a new 21st century legal skills conference launched by Alison Monahan of The Girl’s Guide to Law School and Law School Toolbox and Lee Burgess of Amicus Tutoring. Along with Adrian Lurssen of JD Supra and Titilayo Tinubu of  JD Job Coach, I'll be a member of a Catapult 2013 workshop about using social media and online publishing to develop your career, build your personal brand, and expand your networks.

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Read my follow up of the conference, "Lawyers Online: The Merits of Taking Calculated Risks" and the handout I made for my social media workshop.

Led Cisco's Connected Women Roundtable on Personal Branding

I was pleased to facilitate a table of women in a discussion about using your online presence to create and sustain your personal brand. Held at Cisco's San Jose campus, the event was  part of Cisco's Connected Women series of professional development gatherings for women from Cisco, Citrix, Intel and EMC. Anastasia Ashman and Tanya Monsef Bunger at Cisco's Connected Women

My top 3 take-aways:

1.  a personal brand is what you want people to know about you to help connect you with the opportunities that are right for you 2.  embody your brand -- show-it-not-tell-it -- on a daily basis, using your online presence at social sites 3.  demonstrate your expertise, your thought leadership, the talents you bring, how you operate by sharing news and information and being helpful

My GlobalNiche team member Tanya Monsef Bunger joined me at the event, pictured here.The roundtable event aimed to provide actionable insights into specific topics while enabling attendees to meet other women who are interested in that particular topic.

There were 10 tables of 10 people, each with their own topic, so the evening was like attending a miniworkshop at a conference. Work-Life Fit. Mentoring. Thinking Big. Developing Cool Designs. Thinking Outside the Box. Career Development. You can imagine I made my table all about Twitter. Twitter is my answer for everything. I’m joking.

I wanted to make personal branding all about Twitter — and social media in general — since it’s the most effective way to form and communicate your brand widely.

But many of the corporate women at my table weren’t on Twitter and had their reasons for not wanting to show themselves and their expertise much online, including in company bulletin boards and chats.

That’s a different blog post for a different time. It’s a serious issue.

I got a lot of questions about stalking and security, but none about the opportunities of being optimally online.

 

Talking To Cigdem Kobu's Creative Solopreneurs

Anastasia Ashman interviewed by Cigdem KobuExcerpt from a profile in Cigdem Kobu's A Year With Myself program for introverted creative solopreneurs.

Are you location independent by choice, or necessity? Why?

Both!

First by necessity when I lived very far from my culture, removed by thousands of miles by people who knew me, who spoke my language, dislocated from my professional fields. Swallowed up by my foreign-to-me surroundings.

Then, as I realized the power of location independence, I became location independent by choice.

I believe that we all can tap into that same power no matter where we happen to be. If you think about it, we’ve all felt like a fish out of water at some point in our lives, and for too many of us, that’s an on-going feeling we have today. It doesn’t have to be that way.

That’s what GlobalNiche.net is about. You could say we teach people how to be globally unbound -- by choice.

Although expats and international types have more reasons than most to find a way to operate independently of where we happen to be physically, I see now that we don’t even have to leave home to do it.

It’s not about being mobile physically (and working on a beach in Thailand, as many in the location independent and lifestyle design movements talk about).

It’s about being okay with where you are, and setting up your life so you can be fufilled and, unlimited by your surroundings.

With today's economic uncertainties no matter who or where we are, we all have to embrace an enterprising view of ourselves -- a way to operate unlimited by the options around us.

We’re really lucky to be part of a trend toward entrepreneuring and indie creative careers, as well as using the social web and mobile devices to help us achieve what I call “psychic location independence”.

We don’t have to be a tech expert or social media guru to build a micro-yet-global base of operations with a professional web platform and virtual network for continuing education, professional development, and a close-knit but world-flung set of friends. We can be digital world citizens and achieve a cutting-edge state of being.

You believe that our metamorphoses choose us. Can you explain that a little?

I said this after a year on Twitter, back in 2009. I noted that the major undertakings of the year hadn’t rated a 2008 resolution. I didn’t plan any of them.

Nilofer Merchant, a cutting-edge entrepreneur I admire and author of The New How and the upcoming book Social Era Rules, recently tweeted, “Once you find your purpose it pulls you effortlessly into the future.” That’s definitely what happened when I opened a Twitter account and followed the trail of my interests out into the world of all possibility.

I was on soul-auto-pilot. Suddenly I took charge of my own web presence, an intention I hadn’t held, a vision I didn’t see, and a plan I don’t recall making.

All it took was that first microblogging step that lead to a curated-webpath to what I now recognize as my specific interests and larger intentions. I was pulled into my future, effortlessly, and without warning!

I was virtually attending conferences on publishing, interactive media, women’s issues, and participating in live webchats on branding, innovation, and literature.

I became a joiner and a beta-tester, signing on for an experimental blogging course before I even had a blog, and volunteering for a life design course for expat women entrepreneurs that helped me hone my vision and introduced me to my present day business partner, Tara Agacayak.

I experienced a reawakening of my inner student to learn exactly what I needed to know, and fresh direction on how I might contribute to the future of my communities.

I have seen this same thing happen with other people on Twitter too, so if you’re willing to dive in and let your metamorphosis choose you, that is the first place I’d recommend you go.

How do you help other women change their lives?

By sharing my own journey, and how I’ve combined my talents, interests and experience to create solutions for myself.

The largest solution I have to offer is the power to change our own lives by building a custom platform to operate from.

Also, by seeing in them what they could be, and telling them, which gives them the opportunity to see themselves and build their own place in the world.

The Native American Medicine Wheel card for hummingbird really resonates for me. The hummingbird is an agile creature which withdraws nectar from flowers and pollinates them at the same time, making them productive and viable.

I would love to be that force for the women in my life.

At Home In The Body

Getting out of our head is a fab way to both calm the inner [com]motion, slow down that ultraprecious commodity *time*, and get out into the world...who knew!? +++++ AT expat+HAREM, and AROUND THE WORLD & AROUND THE WEB

An American erotica artist in Germany Tatiana von Tauber confesses she paints in the nude to get back in touch with her most life-loving senses when expat circumstance (3 kids in a hotel room for a month, anyone?) overwhelms her.

If "the body is the real and final home" as writer Toni Morrison says, a whole troupe of Third Culture Kids find a new sense of belonging when they throw their global souls into this multidisciplinary dance performanceDancing their way home. Lucky people in Toronto can catch choreographer Alaine Handa's "Chameleon" at the Fringe Festival this month.

And finally, at Psychology Today, creativity consultant and yoga proponent Jeffrey Davis illuminates why feeling at home in the body makes us flexible and inventive, focused and calm, vital and connected to our emotions.

Moving our bodies makes us all the ways we hope to be alive in the world.

It helps us process where we've been, who we are, when and why we were lost, where we're going now. And why we love it. +++++ YOUR THOUGHTS

So many of us are mobile, or in personal or professional transition. How do you make sense of movement and change? How do you retain the assets you've established?

Tell us what question you want to ask a personal branding expert. If I hear from enough of you I'll make a webinar to get you the answers!

Masterminding How To Deal With Social Media Anxiety

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). These are my thoughts on a session dealing with social media anxiety.

Successful social media use is ALL ABOUT THE FILTERS. Definitely a good topic for a mastermind because the solutions presented this week have the potential to revolutionize your experience with social media and that is major.

My first thought is *use automating tools* so you can stock your feeds at your convenience, decide when the info goes out and where to, and you don't have to visit the sites to post. Much less overwhelm. I use SOCIAL OOMPH for my twitterfeed. It's free, and dead simple. (I also post extemporaneously, but for purposes of this response on automation, that doesn't matter.) Social Oomph allows me to enter as many posts as I want, choose the time and date. Hashtags. Only thing I can't do is post the same tweet twice or "@" replies. You use Networked Blogs at Facebook, I see, great. Email mailing providers also let you post a link to FB and Twitter. You can hook up LinkedIn to Twitter to post at LI your Tweets. For Twitter if you try a third party app like HootSuite or Seesmic or Tweetdeck you can break your subscriptions into categories and only peruse one category at a time. "Friends", "Photographers". "China." That might help you dip a toe in.

Also, you can create a category based on a search term so you can easily respond to tweets on your favorite topics without having to wade through lots of material. So, my first advice is USE SOME FORM OF AUTOMATION on each platform and alternate it with spontaneous contributions, reactions to others, replies. (There is such a thing as overdoing it, and obviously not being present which makes people feel they are being pushed at by a machine.) On the Twitter site itself you can use "Lists" to group your subscriptions and only peruse what one list is tweeting. Personally I have used lists to expand who I follow without making my main stream 10,000 people strong! Here is a good list of "power twitter tips" from Chris Brogan "in five categories: intent, technical, business, integrated usage, and off-twitter. Here's a post about "How to overcome the concern that social media is a time suck" with tips on strategic following and here's a personal branding checklist for Twitter usage. Someone here mentioned to weed out tweeters who 'don't say thanks'. To me, I'd rather not read tweets solely thanking people -- empty tweets that say "thanks for the RT!" are a last case scenario. Sometimes I do it when I'm falling behind, but it's of little value.

A way to better thank someone is to look thru their stream and RT or react to something of theirs. To engage with them, then it's not about keeping score, but the fact that it becomes natural to be involved with them.

You might like this latest post from TRIBAL WRITER's Justine Musk about building an author platform with social media (whether you're an 'author' or not). She writes that the path comes partly from 'strategy' and partly from following your instinct.  Figuring out why you're driven to write (or whatever else creative thing you're doing) and sharing that "inkling, which will lead to other inklings, which lead the way. You'll promote your own work while you're at it."  Musk also she talks about how your blog is your hub, and all these other sites are spokes where you meet your network. "And those different platforms require different forms of content. But you can take your big content – long blog entries, or ebooks or whitepapers — and break it into smaller chunks and bites and tweets. You can take your small content and explode it into something more in-depth. You can transcribe your podcasts and post on your blog; you can tweet cool quotes from your video interviews; you get the idea. Your content feeds your content feeds your content." In a recent Third Tribe seminar Sonia Simone interviewed Naomi Dunsford who said "scare off the people who aren't interested". That could be by your topic alone, your attention to detail, your tone, your seriousness or flippancy, whatever. But basically, you need your people to gather, and how will they know if they're you're people if you're holding back and trying to please everyone? You mentioned not wanting to break down your blog posts. Here's a list of 40 things you can tweet that aren't derived from your blog postings. Good ideas, show the depth of experience and expertise you can demonstrate.

Masterminding A Writer, Artist & Cultural Curator Platform

Along with Tara Agacayak, I run a private mastermind group on LinkedIn (it’s a subgroup of my Creative Entrepreneurs & Social Media group). Once a week someone steps into the center with a case study and asks for feedback and suggestions on their next steps. Here are my thoughts on building out a writing and artist platform:

I use Wordpress and Tumblr (simply as a feed of my blog, microblog and Delicious activities). It seems moving to Tumblr or Posterous might make things much simpler for you as a blogger-- they seem easy/breezy as blogging platforms -- whereas Wordpress's wider capabilities will encourage building a bigger site with more going on. So, since you're talking growth and not just 'make it easier' then I'd say Wordpress.

As for platform building, where are you meeting and engaging with potential readers of your novel (besides Twitter, SheWrites, Facebook, LI, your blog)? Any communities out there specific to the topics in your novel? Taking part in reader-based litchats on Twitter would be another way to start being known as the woman behind the voice that people will be able to read when your book comes out. (Consider posting small excerpts of the book so we know what it's about and grow connected to it?)

Maybe someone here can share leads to artists, writers, cultural curators that you are aware of online -- if you know of them, they're doing something right to get your attention.

As for making the hybrid nature of your work clearer through your platform, I'm reminded of the blog convention of another multifaceted woman: Ruth Harnisch.  She breaks down the different channels of her being and lets that be the structure of her site. "The Maker of Mistakes". "The Philanthropist". "The Catalyst". "The Recovering Journalist". Perhaps something like this might allow you to indulge your interests and help a visitor to your site/blog comprehend your better?

The expatharem site has sold books through its Amazon link -- in the first couple of years of the site. The #s since I relaunched the blog are too tiny to count for anything and that may be a result of the maturity of the book or the fact that I don't push it much on the site, and/or people aren't coming to the blog to buy the book or learn more about it. However, yes, making things available to our interested parties is part of making what we do a business. We have to make the offer. It's relevant. However, I also know being on twitter has sold books. People I met there, people who found out about the book on twitter (like during #litchat on expat lit).

Also: here's a great interview with a 'unmarketing' book author about how he built both a support system and a target audience on Twitter and presold 3,000 copies of his book. Good lessons there about how to engage and when to sell. 

In response to your question about using your own name as a brand, an SEO specialist I know from ThirdTribe (@CraigFifield) just offered an impromptu SEO consult on Twitter before the end of his workday/workweek. I took the liberty to ask him for an opinion on this, in general terms. Here’re the tweets (which overlap, as Twitter does)....

CF: i have 15min before I quit for the day -- how can I help you with SEO or your Blog?

AA: wd someone's name be a better blog name for SEO than tagline about art and the creative life?

CF: in terms of SEO I would use a keyword that people are searching for. Or, I would go for branding and ignore SEO

AA: that is, are proper names SEO at all? and generally used words and phrases amount to very little in SEO world?

AA: so in researching keywords "creative life" what result would prompt good use of that phrase in blog title?

CF: depends how your audience uses those words. I would do some keyword research to decide. do you have an example?

AA: ok think i got it! (branding with a proper name means SEO considerations unnecessary)

CF: well, unless your brand will eventually be big enough to be searched on :) make your brand name unique to win there

Expat Personal Branding For Career Success Abroad

In a two-part interview with Career by Choice, a blog run by expat career coach Megan Fitzgerald in Rome, this week I talk about the lessons of Expat Harem in forging my expat writing life. Answering questions about personal branding and career success abroad, I explain how writing about my life overseas and editing Expat Harem connected me to a worldwide band of peers, and gave my career and conflicted expat mindset a new cultural context. Part one Part two