One of my favorite topics to research is computer anxiety. I see so much evidence of it in authors who want to do their own online marketing, but hesitancy or fear keeps them from striding forth with confidence. I came across an article from October 2002, “Reducing Computer Anxiety in Adult Microcomputer Training,” that seems just as relevant today*, even though it cites references from the 1990s. Inspired by this article, here are some ideas on how to reduce your anxiety.
Approach your tasks with humor
While sharing your book with the world is important, it isn’t the end of the world or rocket science (unless your book is about rocket science!). Adopt a light-hearted attitude. Here’s a joke to help you get in the mood:
The water I was heating for pasta refused to boil, and if my 12-year-old son was right, I wasn’t helping by constantly checking on it.
“It’s like that old saying,” he said. “ ‘A watched website never loads.’ ”
Helen Russ, Medford, Oregon
Start with the basics
If you feel nervous about your skills in working with computers, don’t jump right in to a type of program you’ve never worked with before. For example, if you haven’t used software for creating graphics, don’t try to learn Photoshop first. Start with a simple program, like Canva, and work your way up from there. If you start with something too difficult, you’ll frustrate yourself from the beginning. If you do want to learn a more advanced program, take a course first from a reputable teacher who will guide you (like me!).
Look up terms you don’t understand
Every discipline has its own terms that mean something in that particular context, and online marketing is no different. If you don’t understand what is meant by “autoresponder,” google it. That’s the best way to learn. I know it’s tempting to think, “Oh, I bet it means this,” but it’s better to know for sure, and from a reputable source. Start with Wikipedia and go from there.
Understand the purpose of the tool
This point is something I return to again and again. I think people assume they know the purpose of an online marketing tool and dive right in. Making assumptions is the direct cause of frustration over something. Sure, you may be using it for this purpose, and complaining that it doesn’t work well for you, when actually it’s intended for that purpose instead. Before you start any online program, look for an “About” page that explains to you what it’s for and what it can do for you. I wrote a post on that subject related to WordPress.
I hope this article has given you a way to reduce your anxiety about the web and online marketing. Let me know if you have questions!
*Pam Dupin-Bryant. “Reducing Computer Anxiety in Adult Microcomputer Training,” Journal of Extension 40 (2002). Accessed 24 June 2016. http://www.joe.org/joe/2002october/tt3.php