In the business world, it’s important to diversify your products and services. This applies, to a great degree, to writers, too. You sell more books (and get more opportunities to sell books) if you have two books to sell, instead of just one. You have more opportunities to build your name recognition if you write more than one kind of book or article. You have a steadier flow of income if you write books, articles, short stories, and provide other services, such as resumes or marketing copy. The more you diversify, the more opportunities you give yourself to succeed.
This tends to be (but it’s always) common knowledge when it comes to products. What doesn’t seem to be common knowledge is that this also applies to how you market yourself.
Online marketing is great. You can build a website, add a blog, post on YouTube, network on LinkedIn, and it’s all either inexpensive or completely free. All it takes is time: time to create content, time to interact with fans, and time to build a following. And all that is just fine. And it is one form of diversity.
But, because it’s so easy and so inexpensive, the risk of online marketing is that you’ll stop there. You shouldn’t. At least, not once you actually have something to market. You need to try different things to gain different readers. You need to expose yourself to readers who don’t gravitate to the online communities you’ve developed. You need to get out and meet people. You need to send mailings. You need to give talks and interviews. You need to expose yourself to as many people as possible, as long as they are reasonably well-targeted to the work you do. (This refers to exposing your name, your work, and your marketability—just in case your mind gravitates toward the gutter.) Some of these attempts are going to be big flops and others are going to be unexpectedly huge successes, just like some online attempts are going to be big flops and some are going to go viral.
The thing is: You won’t know which is which until you try.
So, you need to get your name out there, not just online but in the real world, too. You need to experiment. You need to diversify.