Using Google and Yahoo Alerts

Clip Art Courtesy of Microsoft Office Clip ArtWhen other writers ask me what’s the single most important thing they can do to grow a career, I always say, “Have a web presence.” Dollar for dollar, being on the Internet is one of the most effective forms of advertising that you can do.

You can accomplish that in a number of ways. A website. Blog. Social Networking page. I always tell people to keep those Internet sites as current as you can.

I also tell them to balance the work involved in all of these things with the singlemost important thing — writing a good book.

But once you’re on the web, what can you do that will help grow that web presence. Lots of things that we’ve discussed before and one that we haven’t — using Google and Yahoo alerts.

“Huh?” you may say as you shake your head in wonder.

It’s simple really. Both Google and Yahoo (as well as other search engines) have what are known as “alerts”. Plug in the keywords of interest and ask them to notify you whenever one of those keywords is found by one of the search engine spiders.

I do it at work all the time to keep track of what clients are doing.

Authors can do it to see who is talkingabout/blogging about/reviewing them. More importantly, it’s always good to acknowledge when someone has done so and leave a comment or message for them to say “Thanks!”

Call it Politeness on the Web. Politeness is always a good virtue to foster.

So with that in mind — thank you all for dropping by today and remember — GO VOTE!!