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How To Build Your Writing Platform In Ten Steps
Welcome to the Second in This Two-part Series
A couple days ago I gave you ten easy-to-do steps to help you build your platform, and today I’d like to finish up with ten more very simple steps to take.
Why bother? Well, if you just write for your own pleasure then there is no reason in the world why you should worry about a platform. However, if you have visions of one day making money from your writing, then you most definitely need a platform.
For those of you who missed the bus the first time around, a platform is who you are as a writer. It is the body of your work; it is the sum total of your experience; and yes, it is a reflection of your professionalism.
If you are active on Facebook then you have a platform. If you have published an article in a magazine you have a platform, and if you have twenty articles on HubPages you have a platform. Any and all qualify as a platform, and it then follows that the more you do the larger and more impressive your platform will be.
With that introduction out of the way, I guess we are ready to present ten more ways that you can easily build your platform.
Part One of this two-part tutorial
- Ten Easy Steps For Building Your Writing Platform
Step by step we build our writing resume. Try these suggestions to advance your career.
ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
If your platform is a direct reflection of your abilities as a writer, does it not follow that you would want each and every piece that you write to be excellent?
Writers are craftsmen. Writers are artists of the written word. To do less than our best is to snub our noses at a gift that was given to us, and it is also to declare to the reading world that we don’t always give it our best shot….and if we can’t be counted on to give our best, then why should anyone bother to read our work?
REVIEW OTHER WRITERS
On sites like Amazon.com it is easy to write a review for a book that you read and liked. Interact in the writing community by….well…interacting.
Offer to read a book written by one of your peers, and then offer to write a review of that book. It’s just good karma to do so, but it also is one more building block in your platform.
BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WRITING
Passion begets passion, and it also makes a lasting impression.
If you love writing how can you not be passionate about it, and if you are passionate then scream it from the mountaintops. People respond to passionate people. Their passion is infectious and makes other feel good, and if you can do that then you become memorable, and becoming memorable is yet another step towards completing your platform.
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MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH MEDIA PEOPLE
Don’t be a pain in the butt and don’t be overbearing, but making contacts with the media is a great step in the platform-building process. Follow them on social networks and support them on a regular basis until you become known to them. You are not trying to sell anything but rather just make a contact that could be invaluable down the road when you actually do want to promote one of your works.
LIMIT YOUR PROMOS
For me, the most annoying part of Facebook is the constant stream of promotions that my “friends” have going on. Join me on my new site and come visit us as we open here and buy our newest record and you can buy my new book at Amazon and on and on and on and….puke!
I’m willing to bet I speak for a great many people when I say I am turned off by the blatant and never-ending self-promotion.
Pick your spots on the social network. Doing it once right is much better than doing it twenty times incorrectly.
OFFER YOUR SERVICES
I know this flies in the face of standard marketing wisdom, but I am a big believer in offering my services to other writers for free or at a special discount. I do this because I feel a kinship to other writers and because I have a much bigger plan in place than making ten bucks answering someone’s question about writing.
I am constantly offering to help other writers and I encourage them to email me with their questions. They get help with their problems and I gain a valuable resource and friend for the future. It is a win-win investment of time from my viewpoint.
I see so very little of this, and when I do see it I am very impressed by those who did it. Sing the praises of other writers. What does it cost you to be nice and promote for someone else? A little time? How valuable is that promotion when a year down the road the person you helped becomes well-known in this business and turns their attention to you and your new book? You never know, right?
Besides, it is just good karma to promote other writers and I believe in karma.
LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I know, I know, I’m constantly harping on the value of establishing a niche, but at the same time I think it is very important to broaden your writing horizons and show that you are not one-dimensional.
What writing talents do you wish you had? Do you wish you wrote better poetry? Prose? Flash fiction? Well then practice them and make yourself better at it.
SELL MERCHANDISE RELATED TO YOUR WRITING
Seem too far out for you? Maybe so, but don’t discount it until you have seriously considered it.
For my first novel, “The 12/59 Shuttle From Yesterday To Today,” we made a whole line of lavender products that related to the lavender theme in the novel. Was it a successful idea? Maybe not monetarily but I believe in the long run it was invaluable.
In today’s world with sites like CafePress or Zazzle, it costs no money to produce products that can end up being great advertising for you. Why not?
MAKE A CONTACT LIST AND KEEP IT UPDATED
What’s a contact list you ask? Seriously? Do you remember the old rolladex files on desktops across America that contained phone numbers for all business associates? You should do the same for everyone you meet in this business. Keep their email addresses, their phone numbers if they will share them with you, their Facebook pages, their websites, etc.
Why? If you asked why then I don’t know what to say. J It’s called networking and building a contact tree, and you can never have enough contacts in the business world.
Do you have a writer's platform?
Now You Are Armed and Ready to Go
If you read Part One and now Part Two you have twenty great suggestions to help you as you build that platform and become better known in the writing community.
I truly hope that you have found this helpful. If none of it resonated with you then just stick around because you can bet I’ll have more suggestions in the future. Why? Well, have you read my tagline? “Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.” That should answer the why question for you.
Have a great day and as always, if you need my help I’m just an email away.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”