Overwhelmed Online? 3 Steps To Start Your Author Platform Building

SuccessAuthors are now expected to be building their platform, their online presence, as well as writing. There are new social networks added every week, new communities and groups that look like they could be the next big thing. For many people, it is overwhelming and they don’t know where to start. It is very easy to waste time and effort online, and if you get frustrated, you may get no benefit from any of your activity.

Here are 3 steps to get you started.

  • Decide on your goals and your brand, then be consistent. This is a key step that many people forget. They jump into all these sites, set up profiles, get involved and then realise that it isn’t achieving anything. So decide what you want to achieve first. Decide on your author brand. Decide on your goals. Do you want to sell books you have already written? If yes, you will need to drive people to a sales page. Do you want to find contacts to help you write your book? Do you want to build an online presence so you can pitch a publisher, in which case you must gather an audience around your central book idea. It is important to decide on your niche so you can set clear guidelines around what you do online. For example, I only blog on topic and I tweet on topic @thecreativepenn . If you want the Joanna Penn who writes about career change, you will find her at HowToEnjoyYourJob.com. I don’t mix my niches so that my audiences for my books can remain separate.

  • Set up a blog. Authors need to have a blog these days, (even mega-publishers Simon & Schuster say so) Remember a blog is just a website with easy to use software that enables a conversation. It becomes your central hub and you own it. You can write what you want, put images of your books and drive people to it. I recommend you post at least 10 great articles before you start telling people about it, so they have something to read when they get there.  Here are some useful related posts:
  • Start tweeting. Twitter is one of my top traffic providers for this blog, as well as providing the contacts for my podcasts and relationships with bloggers, readers and book marketers across the world. It is easy to use and easy to meet people (much easier than Facebook), and I am a huge fan! You can also join one of the many other social networks that are available, but I have found Twitter the most useful for promoting this blog, myself and my books @thecreativepenn.   Here’s my tips on using Twitter effectively.
  • If you do these 3 things, and then consistently post quality on your blog and network on Twitter, you will build an online platform that is quick and robust. You can then join other sites and create profiles elsewhere, but if you want success for the bare minimum, these are my recommendations.

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    1. says

      Pinpoint information for the people yet to write. I think writing is one thing and planning what to write in an intelligible and gripping manner is more important.

      You added a great list there in the bullet points. Bookmarked and saved for further perusal.

      Thanks a ton.

    2. M.E. Staton says

      Great article and I so agree with the points about Twitter. At the moment I am unpublished so probably not blogging as effectively as I should but I find twitter extremely useful when I do have a blog post to share. Instant audiance if you are following and followed by the right people. Which means those whose content is relevant to your own or who are your potential reading audiance for future publication.

    3. says

      Thanks for the tips! I’m a new freelance writer and I’m doing it part-time. While I’ve set up a website and blog, I’m still figuring out how exactly I want to use them (and how much time I’m willing to put into them). This piece gave me food for thought.

    4. says

      To be honest I understand that one should keep all the niches separate. And I know why. But I still want one tiny place where I’ll be able to talk about everything I do (my blog), even as I start new projects and those projects get their own separate marketing tools (separate twitter accounts etc.) I know that my blog will inform about it all.


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