Then - as if by magic - I got a free €50 voucher for Google Adwords, so I thought I'd give it a go. Signup's easy, and using the provided tips and tricks I picked my keywords, wrote my ad, and had it live within about half an hour. Here it is:
After about a month, I get a bit of a wrist slap from Google:
"Your ads are showing too rarely to spend your full budget. You may need to add keywords or raise your click price limit."
Bugger that. 40% of my (free) money has been spent on something like 23 clicks through to my site. The reporting's excellent though. I can see which of my keywords gets the most hits - "Amsterdam", and how all the rest get bog all attention in the first place, which convert into zero clicks. Most of these non-clicky terms are variations on "interactive copywriter", by the way.
I enjoy the disapproving, pull-your-socks-up tone, but I shall respond by thumbing my nose, farting, and cancelling my Adwords Campaign. Nice system, but pretty useless for me.
By far my most powerful self-marketing tools at the moment are my personal network and word of mouth, and - believe it or not - LinkedIn.
Therefore, my tips for successful self-promotion in these connected times are as follows: Be present online. Keep your sites up to date. Talk to your friends and contacts.
Also, give people cakes. Everyone loves a good cake.