How to Build Your Writing Platform
Is your goal to become a published author? Then you need to find an audience and develop your writing platform. Your writing platform showcases your skills as a writer and demonstrates to prospective publishers that you’ve got enough of a following to promote and sell your work on a national or even international level.
Create a strong writing foundation to stand on.
If you're a freelance writer, aspiring novelist, or full-time blogger trying to find new markets for your creative projects, you must remember that your work isn’t going to sell itself. Unless your creative product is a talking horse, you’re going to have to do all the selling.
The good news is that with a bit of research and planning, you can take advantage of some simple content marketing strategies to build awareness about your freelance writing business or other creative ventures to increase sales and build a loyal client base.
How many followers, subscribers, or blog readers do you have?
1. Blogs for writers. As a freelance writer, blogs are an essential ingredient in your overall marketing strategy because blogging makes producing, distributing (i.e.; syndicating) and sharing (i.e.; social bookmarking) your informative or entertaining content incredibly easy. Google loves blog content because it’s always being updated. Blogs allow you to write and share your thoughts, views and opinions on everyday issues that your consumers are talking about, which in turn, helps you and your brand stay relevant. Furthermore, blog posts can easily be reworked, expanded or adapted into material for feature length articles, workshops, print books or e-books.
2. Social media for artists. Take advantage of all the free promotional tools available to you by building social media profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. A rich profile with optimized links can direct traffic back to your main site (the one that makes you money, of course). Well-written profiles that detail your work experience, training, accolades and achievements help establish you as a credible writer or visual artist which is essential in today’s information age, especially when anyone with an internet connection can hang up a shingle and call themselves an expert.
3. Seminars and webinars to promote your work. Presentations, workshops and seminars and webinars are cost effective ways to provide potential clients and buyers with value-added information served up in an entertaining and interactive format. If you're not comfortable speaking in front of large audiences, or even small audiences for that matter (your dog and hamster don’t count), then consider joining your local Toastmasters chapter. I believe the peer support, networking and learning opportunities available through Toastmasters are more valuable than any post-secondary training on presentations skills I’ve ever received.
4. FAQs. The format of a Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Sheet has search engine optimization written all over it. If the questions that you ask and answer on your website are written with a mind to how people are searching for information on your product, your page will more likely be served up as a response to their queries. Long tail search traffic is a rich source of potential buyers for your product.
5. e-Publishing. It’s predicted that online publishing, including e-books, e-magazines and e-newsletters, will soon surpass sales of printed books and publications. Dismiss this trend as a flash in the pan trend at your own risk.
Five Things You Should Know If You Want to Be a Freelance Writer
1. You must take full responsibility for your work.
2. Planning your time well is critical to your success.
3. Earning can be sporadic, even for the most experienced freelance writers.
4. Marketing yourself is part of the job. (So is good bookkeeping and tax planning!)
5. A successful freelance career won't happen overnight, but if you keep at it, and you enjoy what you are doing, success will be worth the wait!
© 2014 Sally Hayes