But don’t I need a platform? And if so, how do I get it?
Platforms aren’t 1970’s high heeled shoes. Nope, they are what a writer stands on to proclaim, HERE I AM!!!READ MY BOOK!! I’m certainly not an expert on them, but I have learned a bit about them. So how does one make a platform?
Well, they’re not easy to create, but they can be done.
First of all, look at your own life. What do you do outside of writing? Are you an animal rights activist? Are you a pastor of a church? What is your profession? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? All of these things can become ‘your platform.’
You don’t have to be published to create the platform, but you do have to let people know what you are doing. Build it and they will come. If you peek their interest, then they will follow you. If you ignore them, they will ignore you.
So let’s start with what you do now.
The easiest and least expensive is, in my opinion, to start a blog. But you have to let others know that, hey, I have a blog here that I think you might like to read. So create the blog that goes with your interests or profession.
Some moms have created blogs that talk about the hardships and joys of being mommy. http://www.topmommyblogs.com/pages/index.php
So you see, you can take your profession and turn it into a blog. And add along with it, here’s my book!! Now you have to get the blog out to the public. That’s where Face book comes in handy. Post the blog post on your page and ask them to pass it onto to their pages. Don’t worry about the numbers, if your blog is good then people will read it.
Now I advise against buying a .com as I had one with 2000 followers. It was pretty cool. Then I got bored with it and stopped posting. And the hackers found me and took it over. That poor blog had so many bugs, an exterminator couldn’t help me. My domain company wanted more money to chase out the hackers on top of the money I was sending them each year/month to keep the blog open. So I gave it up. So just go with the free blogs; they are easier to maintain.
Don’t despise small beginnings. You might have a small following now, but if you keep at it, it will grow.
Another way to create a following is join a writing group either in person or on FB. Yeap, they can help you. Remember, the name of the game is get your name out to the public. I’ve also had others follow me from writing boards like Absolutewrite.com. I put my blog address in my signature and folks hopped over. But you need to make sure that your information is accurate. You don’t want to sound like an expert when you know nothing at all. You’d be surprised as to how many folks can catch a fib. And it’s hard to get back a damaged reputation.
Who is your target market? Mine is nerds, whom I adore, so I like to hang out at Doctor Who websites and FB pages. I also love Lord of the Rings and hang out at Cosplay boards. Again, it’s a great way for me to say, Hey, I have a book coming out this summer! Check it out. And I love hanging with you all. And please don’t get all high and mighty regarding others. Everyone puts their pants on the same way. Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you are better than the non-writers. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Just be yourself and enjoy people
Do movie/book reviews. What did you like or dislike about the subject? What videos on youtube caught your eye and why? I’m into Star Wars and I want to post a great Fan movie a group made revolving SW. I need to do that. Yeap, that’s on my list.
Think of others before yourself. Remember the Golden Rule? Do onto others what you wish they’d do to you. If you put others first by promoting them, they will promote you. What comes around, goes around. Don’t make the blog about you, make it about others. Yes, you can drop in what you are doing now, but lean more to others.
Don’t make your posts super long. Two pages should be enough. Make it fun, not tiresome or difficult to understand. Think of your target market. What do they want to see?
If you are an animal activist, then look around for other groups in your area that deal with the animals. Ask if you can write articles for them or if you can be a guest speaker, but only if you are an ‘expert’ in that field. I.E. you work with other groups or have saved animals and fostered them. Then let others know, I have a blog and here it is. And oh, by the way, here’s my book.
Don’t insult others’ race, religion, gender, sexual preferences. That’s just plain not cool. Keep it to yourself. Remember Prov 18:2: Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions. Only a fool expresses his opinion about someone else’s life. You may not like what that person does, but keep it to yourself. 😉 Be respectful of others.
So what is my platform?
God. He is my major platform and I write mostly about Christian writing and what I’ve learned about the art. I also write about what I’ve learned about Him. Nerds are another platform for me. I adore them and love to drop in nerd stuff. So I’ll hang out with the nerds on different boards with this blog address attached to my signature. It will allow others to pop on over. I lead a writer’s group through my church and teach lessons on writing. I hope to attend several writing conventions throughout the year to teach writing lessons. I look for writing tips in others’ writings or movies, then I pass on what I learned and how it helped me.
Keep the blog updated with interesting stuff that your readers will enjoy. Keep the blog site itself updated to keep the hackers out.
It will start small, but never despise small beginnings. Build it and they will come.