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How To Build A Writing Platform

Updated on October 8, 2013

Do you even have a platform?

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First a Definition

In the one corner we have the written word, the essays, the informative articles, the poems and the books. In the other corner we have the self-promotion, that side of writing that can take the bravest of men and women and knock them to their knees and render them helpless and floundering.

What is a platform? In the simplest definition, a writer’s platform is who you are as a writer. It is your established body of work and it is your list of credentials, your accomplishments and your future plan. It is your public face and quite frankly is speaks as loudly as your writing with regards to your future money-making hopes and dreams.

If you write for your own pleasure and for the sheer love of writing, then I applaud you and wish you continued success and enjoyment. If, however, you have visions of one day attracting a wide-readership and actually making money from your writing pursuits, then you need to start thinking about your platform.

Let’s face it, we writers love to write but for the most part we hate marketing. For many writers, marketing themselves is akin to prostitution. It is un-clean. It is demeaning. It is beneath many of us to sell ourselves like a commodity. And, if we are going to eventually make money from writing, it is necessary.

It must be done! You are the product, and your success as a writer depends on your ability to build your platform and become known to the masses.

I have talked in length about my own personal platform. I have a long-range plan, and it will involve years of effort, but everything I do with my writing fits into my plan. I realize, and you should too, that there are few overnight successes in writing. Famous writers became famous, not in a flash, but during a slow, mundane, trudging walk towards their goals, following the path of their plan. They began with their writing, their craft, and then they continued to build upon that foundation.

What follows, then, are ten simply steps that will add to your platform and take you ten steps closer to success in writing.

Building your platform one block at a time
Building your platform one block at a time | Source

LET PEOPLE KNOW WHO YOU ARE

Take the time to write a short bio that you can use wherever your name appears online. Include your website, blog, credentials and any other significant information. This is painless promotion and yes, it is shameless promotion, but it also pays dividends down the road of life. It is, in effect, free advertising. Whenever you publish an article or post a blog entry, there is your bio for all to read.

USE OTHER MEDIUMS

If you have a camera, take photos of yourself and include them on your blog or website or articles. If you have a video camera, make your own YouTube videos. Find new ways to be seen online and remember that with online marketing, the more your name appears the more it will appear on search engines.

I have a series of articles called “A Moment With Bill Reflections.” I also have YouTube videos by the same name, and soon I will have a blog by the same name. I’m all about name recognition and I want that particular title to stick in the brains of my online friends.

FIND YOUR SUPPORTERS AND HOLD ONTO THEM

Who are your most loyal readers? If you can’t answer that question then there is no hope for you. J

Make a list of the top twenty readers of your work and then show them how much you appreciate them. A simple note thanking them for their loyalty will continue to pay dividends over the years, and a strong list of contacts can never hurt you.

GIVE AWAY YOUR SKILLS

A platform is about exposure. You do not have to make money on everything in order for them to have value. If you have an article that did not sell or did not do well on a site like HubPages, give it away for free. Offer to do a free blog posting on someone else’s blog. This is about establishing your name in the minds of readers, and the more exposure the better.

Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and do it on a regular basis. Who knows who is going to see that letter and remember your name? Offer to write free copy for someone’s website in exchange for your byline and bio. With each such action your platform grows.

SPEND FIVE MINUTES PER DAY WRITING DOWN IDEAS

Keep a special file with ideas that you have. They can be boring ideas or “holy crap” ideas, but get your mind working and remember to set no limitations. Involve your family and friends in this brainstorming session. Present to them the question: What can I do to effectively market my writing skills?”

I regularly sit down with Bev and have a brainstorming session with her. We throw out random thoughts and then think about how to make them work as a part of my platform.

Join me in a collaborative effort....any ideas?
Join me in a collaborative effort....any ideas?

Useful information from a pro

RECYCLE

Allow nothing that you have written to die from lack of attention. There is a seemingly endless array of outlets online and they are all there for you to use. Check some of your older writings and figure out how they would work for magazines or newspapers. Maybe you have to tweak them a bit, but tweaking will give them life and life will give you another brick on your platform.

FORM PARTNERSHIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU

Of course you should always be friendly and helpful. That goes without saying, and the writing community should always be supportive. However, I am talking now about partnerships with people who may be able to help you in the future, and people who you may be able to help in the future.

Is there someone else who writes about the topics you write about? Reach out to them and establish a relationship. Is there someone who has a blog that is similar to yours? Offer an exchange of blog posts. Is there a magazine that deals in your field but who is not buying articles right now? Is there a famous writer who you admire? Reach out and begin a dialogue eventually building up to a professional relationship.

SPOTLIGHT YOUR BEST WORK

In other words, put your best face forward. If you belong to a writer’s site like HubPages, make sure your best articles are highlighted for all to see. Link your best work to your blogs, and use your best work as reference when submitting articles for publication.

Remember, always, that you are your product, and your best product speaks volumes about your ability as a writer.

BE YOURSELF

I am a firm believer in letting your readers know who you are as a person. The online world can be impersonal, or it can be a showcase where people learn about you as a human being.

Do you want your readers to become invested in you? If so you have to let them know who you are and not just let them see your writing. People associate with real people and not some robot who churns out words.

BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER

Start an online forum. Organize a writer’s group in your hometown. Meet other writers and become part of a community. Promote events like a library read-a-thon or a local high school poet’s society.

Expand your circles and become the nucleus of those circles. I do not believe in the passive approach. I believe that your future as a writer is in your hands and you must step up to the plate and swing at a number of pitches until you make contact.

The platform begins here in your writer's studio
The platform begins here in your writer's studio

More to Come Soon

Of course there is more to come. I’m full of ideas and I want to share them with you. I want you all to be successful, so I share what I know in hopes that it helps you in some way.

Will all of these ideas work for you? Of course not! Some may not apply; some might not work with the platform you are building. Grab hold of those that feel good to you and leave the rest for someone else. That’s how it works in my writing world and what’s mine is yours.

Good luck with your platform. I understand that marketing yourself is not always a pleasant undertaking, but I also understand that it is vital if you are going to be successful in this business.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • marwan asmar profile image

      Marwan Asmar 3 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Very nice piece of writing, you do indeed offer great advice that should actually be studied well. Thanks

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      As always Bill your hub and advice is top notch. I had no doubt sensei that you would not let us down.

      Hmm, platform...I remember when I was a kid our next door neighbor would never let anyone talk, she always said she "had the floor"...maybe if I start with a floor I can build to a platform ;)

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      marwan, thank you very much. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Mary, the floor would be a good place to start....you already poured the foundation with your writing abilities.

      Have a Happy Wednesday, Mary, and thank you!

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Wow! Great Hub, Bill.

      Super information and a pathway to follow.

      You lead the way to success.

      Thank you for these useful strategies.

      Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

      DJ.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful as always Bill and seriously cannot thank you enough for sharing you well thought out tips on how to cultivate one's writing platform. I really loved reading all of your advice and am once again pinning to reference. Thanks and hope you are having a great day!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am planning on making my own little mini-book from a number of your hubs Billy, you are so full of wonderful information and ideas. I am not kidding either, I really plan to.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, just trying to give back to a community I love. Thank you my friend and have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, it is always a pleasure my friend. Have a great birthday day with your family.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, that is a wonderful tribute...a mini book of my work...thank you for that honor.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

      A very useful hub that provides your readers with valuable advice, Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Elias! I hope you can use some of this.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      Great tips, this hub will surely help to new writers..

      Shared with followers.

    • KT Banks profile image

      KT Banks 3 years ago from Texas

      Thanks, Bill. I like the way you put the poll at the top. Great information here. Voted Up and more!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I'm working on this. Seems like you were listening to my unspoken how-to questions. Planning my website and the whole nine yards. Thanks for the push!

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

      As always excellant advice from the Master. I never thought of recycling my works for other avenues; great tip. I'll have to put some of these to work for me. Thanks William. Be safe.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      jainismus, I hope you are right, and thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks KT....that was something new I was trying; just curious if it would make a difference.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, it excites me to know that you are working on your website...congrats and good luck....and of course, thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mike! I hope this helps in some way...no sense having good articles sitting around doing nothing. :) Blessings my friend and have a great day.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Great 10 easy steps here! Thanks Bill. I like that word "Easy" and I think it is most important to find that right fit for one's writings. I am a non-fiction writer for the most part, and I am submittting my inspirtational true life accounts to "Chicken Soup for the _____ Soul" as it is so easy to do, and they actually pay $200 per submission, whether it is a poem or article! It is so very easy. They must be non-fiction. So, if even I submit only five a month, that is $1,000 extra each month. But I have so many already ready to go, so I am excited at this opportunity to truly be published with the type of writing I love to write anyway. It doesn't get any better than that! You should really submit some of your inspiration true life account articles, as I am sure they will accept them, and it is pretty much hassle-free! I found out about this from another Hubber, as you may have read too.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      All good and wonderful ideas. I will remember them, thanks.

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      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Great hub! As consistently worthy as your advice! Thank you!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 3 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Bill, you are a great, inspiring writer! Whether you are sharing tips like these, or awesome stories, I always enjoy stopping by for a read. Best to you, Steph

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, I accept your compliment and I thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Randi. I always appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you once again, Manatita....I hope you had a very productive day in London.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, good luck to you. I actually wrote about this opportunity in my writing blog, and it is a great opportunity. I have already submitted several pieces and I'm crossing my fingers.

      Best wishes and blessings to you always

      bill

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Twenty loyal readers? I have two!

      Best face forward? I have one, and it's not the best.

      Maybe I should take your advice and turn to prostitution.

      Thanks for the tips, Billy!

    • profile image

      Ben Blackwell 3 years ago

      These are some good ideas. I never thought of having a platform before, but I suppose that it is a good idea to have.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ben, thank you and I hope this helps you....there is another article coming our Friday that will give you more ideas to work with....and thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LIzzy, you are just fine the way you are...I would be crushed if you changed.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Thanks, Bill!

      I'm so glad I started my walking program on January 1st of this year. Little baby steps from the couch have now become old man trots for .5 to .6 miles somewhere along my walks. I'm working on being more consistent in my frequency of walks, but, honestly, I'm still lagging there.

      Building a platform for me takes similar baby steps. The lie I picked up somewhere in my youth was that I wasn't good with my hands. That's what I told myself when I reluctantly learned how to tie flies. Just a few short months later, I began selling flies in Monroe and Tacoma (remember Butch's Gun Shop?). Point being...one of the baby steps is about to take fruition when I acquire a copy of the Writer's Market. Next step...maybe a subscription to a writing magazine. Future step...building a blog specific to my writing niche(s). Acquiring a business card. And so forth.

      Your talks...because that's what your hubs are...talks on the back lawn to people who sincerely love and appreciate you as we listen and learn, all the while sipping lemonade or whatever the choice of beverage might be.

      Think back to that very moment in life, Bill, when you were at your lowest low...and consider where you are today. My friend, it all started with that first baby step. And I'm there, my friend, on the precipice...and I thank you with all my being for all the wonderful help and support you've given me and all our terrific writing peers.

      Keep 'em coming, Bill, like a zealous and focused relief pitcher in the 9th! I'll be happily taking it all in.

      Aloha from a grateful grasshopper!

      Joe

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, I swear, your comments are better than most hubs I read during the day...great simile about baseball.

      Yes, baby steps, and I remember well the lowest of the low....approaching the seven year anniversary of that low and it still feels at times like yesterday.

      I checked out the mileage from Walla Walla to Olympia...halfway is Ellensberg....what do you think, the four of us meeting for lunch in Ellensberg one fine Saturday? It would be a thrill and honor for me.

      Aloha my friend

      bill

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 3 years ago

      Hey there fellow Beatle lover! Haven't been around to read any of your work as of late. Actually I haven't been around that much period. Seeing some of your work as well as others reminds me of why it's good to be here at hubpages! It's a cool way to network with great writers! Your words and advice are always appreciative!

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is so full of advice and tips for writers who wish to build their own platform. There is always something new to learn from your writings Bill. Thank you for being kind and sharing this with us. Have a good day.

      Sending you smiles and blessings :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sam, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are well and you disappeared from us simply because you are busy and not some trauma. The summer is a good one with John, Paul, George and Ringo playing in the background. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dahlia, you are all my writing family, and family shares with each other. :) It is my pleasure young lady.

      blessings and a hug coming your way

      bill

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for another great list of top tips for building a platform. I certainly would love to build and keep on building my work into a regular income from different avenues. My own videos definitely appeals to me (unless I come across badly!!) after seeing hundreds of videos in my niche subject which were dreadful and I could improve on.

      No, Mic and I will not be gracing the British Open in Micks words he associates The British Open with prison?? Yep, I picked him!! LOL

      Cheers my friend, votes, shared and pinned this for more to avail of!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, I strongly encourage you to make some videos to support your niche writing....it is one more piece of the puzzle and you have such a great beginning....I WANT YOU SUCCESSFUL!

      Mickster just isn't any fun! :)

      Thanks Suzie...one day you can count on Bev and I standing on your doorstep asking for a crust of bread.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. You continue to give us the tips, advice and tools necessary to be successful as writers. All we have to do is apply what you are sharing with us. Great job.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That's the big task, Bill, is applying it all. I know it keeps me pretty busy. :) Thanks buddy!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      Iwish I had the following I did in my days of fame ....You give some really good advice...and it all takes time, energy and total dedication.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I wish you did too, but maybe that was just a warm-up for bigger days ahead. :) Thanks and enjoy your evening.

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      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      You're so right about the marketing. I sometimes wish I could hire some of the people who have reviewed my book to actually write the descriptions for my books, because what they write is often so beautiful- I wish I would've thought of it.

      I also agree that the passive approach, while more humble, does not work.

      On a side note- How wonderful that Bev brainstorms with you!

      Another great hub, Bill! Have a great night!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Great article, as usual!

      I got the Writer's Market book today! I paged through some of the articles first, and the first thing I thought is that it would be great if YOU wrote an article for them. Wouldn't that be great?! Your articles are just as good as theirs, if not better.

      I was also thinking of maybe designating a good 1/2 day once a week toward writing, where I can focus only on that. It's a start! I have Friday off, so I will try that plan out then!

      Thanks for the great information, and I hope you are having a fabulous day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, I love the idea of setting aside writing time and yes, that is a great start.

      Thanks for the nice words. I don't think I rank real high on the editor's list of possible writers for that book, but it's a very nice thought. :)

      It's been a normally busy day for me but I'm on schedule and got tons done.

      Enjoy your evening and thank you as always for stopping by.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, the marketing side of this business is the downfall of many a good writer. I think we all want fame to just magically happen and that's just not reality.

      Thank you for the visit. You are appreciated.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      This is another hub of excellent advice. I have just moving along expanding my writing in different areas but have not really thought about it as the platform you described. I know you are right about steadily trudging toward our goals, but I think mine need a bit more tweaking. Thanks for the good advice.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello my friend ( you told me so ).

      Once again exceptionally expedient . Practical advices for mainly those ( (my understanding) being already " in" the bravest on the road of success- ful. Inspite of the fact not being one of them I'm continuing effort to ... arrive . To my fading hope encouragement glinted as I was reading repeatedly " if you write for own pleasure and for the sheer love of writing."( others included also).

      My tendency to believe - since forever - is that whatever I'm reading is directed to me personally ( imagine five year boy reading in prehistoric time when there wasn't tv nor radio ), besides your persuasive way writing creates an image of a teacher pointing toward me saying do you get it?! Yes, sir. I do. ( Any suggestion that I'm complaining would be fals accusation since this is an expression of gratitude of someone who believes that to say/ write " I love you" can't be expressed by mere words but with deeds and actions instead.)

      Voted up useful and interesting .

      Stay blessed allways.

      MichaEL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, it is very easy to spread ourselves out in different directions....I have been guilty of that many times....so this was a reminder for me to focus just like everyone else should. :) Thanks for the visit and I hope all is well with you and yours.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, your comments are eloquent....there is a writer lurking around inside of you with all the heart needed to be an impact. I hope you break out of your self-imposed exile and treat us all to your talent soon.

      Thank you my friend and yes, I said so. :)

    • profile image

      Vickiw 3 years ago

      Hello Bill, as usual I enjoyed your article, and as usual it made me think of my own work. This was interesting, because it made me realise that I have instinctively done several things you recommend, and it has worked for me too. Still a long way to go though! Thanks for this discussion.

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      Michelle Liew 3 years ago from Singapore

      All important tips. The letting people know who you are is the difficult part, because while we need to promote ourselves, we do not want to be too aggressive with it. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, that's great news when you are instinctively doing some of this stuff. Well done and keep it up...Rome wasn't built in a day, or so they say. :) Thank you for your loyalty.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, you hit on a very important point...aggressive promotion just doesn't work in our business, unless we have an agent and big bucks behind it.....slow and steady will win this race. :) Thank you as always!

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Bill this is great. Thanks for helping us. Lol...I know the ugliness in self marketing...the way you write about it, is like if you were inside us. Thanks!

    • DON BALDERAS profile image

      DON BALDERAS 3 years ago

      Obviously, this will be a great help to writers. To start or begin writing on something is something difficult because for one, a writer has to lure his readers and let them read through the article. That's one secret in writing. The next is to be very skillul in the useof the language. Thank you for this hub. Hope to read more.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I think all writers have the same concerns and needs....in this case it is easy to get inside your head. :)

      Thank you my friend and blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Don! I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great idea to check your old hubs and update them. When i read some of my first hubs, i am amazed that anyone read them. We learn as we grow. Thank you for always teaching us how to write better....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, I was looking at some old hubs this morning and I was almost embarrassed. LOL We do learn as we grow my friend.

      Thank you!

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      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I have to thank you yet again for your useful tips, Bill. Your hubs for writers are very helpful!

    • WannaB Writer profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 3 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I'd have a much better platform if I had used the same name on all sites at the beginning. But at the beginning I did not envision writing for more than one site. I do make my full name available on all sites, but my user name is different on Squidoo and Bubblews than it is on HubPages. I'd change it if I could so all my names match.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Great article, Bill! As usual, you shared your top notch advices. I appreciate that. I´ll keep this tips in my mind. Thanks for sharing my friend. Have a great day with Bev;-)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning Bill

      I just wonder...you may have said this before and I missed it...are you compiling your many valuable writing tips and tools into a book so that readers can have them all in one reference manual? I hope so because this would be great not just for adult writers but for serious writers of any age. Angels are on the way to you right now my friend...happy Thursday...the sun is just peeking through here in my little town.. ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Good morning Bill

      I just wonder...you may have said this before and I missed it...are you compiling your many valuable writing tips and tools into a book so that readers can have them all in one reference manual? I hope so because this would be great not just for adult writers but for serious writers of any age. Angels are on the way to you right now my friend...happy Thursday...the sun is just peeking through here in my little town.. ps

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico

      great information Billy--I will visit your blog too.

    • stanmurphy profile image

      Stan Murphy 3 years ago from Kansas

      Thanks for your insight Billy. I am new to Hub Pages and rely on people like yourself for this type of information. I work full-time and try to squeeze out a couple of hubs a week. Do you have any advice for people who have a limited amount of time to write?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alicia, I'm glad to hear that, and I thank you sincerely for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      WaanB, that is a common mistake and I think most of us have made it over time. All you can do is move forward from here with that knowledge. Good insight and thanks.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Thelma! Bev is off to work and I've settled in at the computer for a long day of writing....something I love to do. :) Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning PS.....and the answer is.....it's on my to do list. LOL The list keeps growing and that concerns me just a bit. :) Thank you my friend. Sending you blessings and a hug from sunny Olympia.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      and thank you again PS. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Greg! The more the merrier on my blog. :) Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stan, welcome to HubPages! It is hard working full time and trying to write...advice? Designate one specific block of time per week just for writing....lock yourself away during that time with no distractions.....good luck and thank you.

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      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Of course I agree (as usual)!

      I do want to emphasize that recycling, as you suggest, can be a huge self-promo platform. I've been getting traffic to my blogs using a WordPress plugin called Tweet Old Post. What's really interesting is when I see people in my tweet stream retweeting my "reruns."

      Let's just call it the Seinfeld and Star Trek rerun business-building platform.

      Cheers!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi....LOL....you are a creative genius. I love the way your mind works. Thanks for my morning laugh and dose of professional marketing.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for the advice, as always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure vkwok! Thank you!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 years ago

      Every time you amaze me.Unique,informative and I saved the best for last down to earth.Blessing to you and Bev.Great job and if I said anything else I would just be repeating the words of your million followers.I am very proud to be one of them.Learning more each day.Forgetting some things so I have good reason to reread your hubs.Thanx so much.Build a platform.Build a platform.Oh I was just talking to myself.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 3 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is so, so useful, Bill! I was fired up at first when trying my hand at freelancing, but now I just feel so unfocused. I bought a WordPress domain and need to get started on that. I'm actually going to a WordCamp next weekend in town to learn more about it. It will be my author page with links to all my stuff. That's my plan, anyway. I do need to connect more with other bloggers who have like interests. I also need to do some local stuff. I don't even have a business card! I'm way behind. After I get my website, I'll do the business cards. I also have a query letter (with help from a course) ready to submit for a hub I think is great for a magazine article. I just have to try to get it out there.

      So much to do! Thanks for the reminders. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dream, you are too nice. I'm just a guy who is trying to share some things I have learned....I am so very grateful that I have a voice that people respond to and listen to...thank you for your kind words and blessings to you always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, it sounds to me like you have a plan in place....now all you have to do is execute it. :) Good luck my friend and thank you!

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      Cheri Hutson 3 years ago from Eastern Ohio

      Billybuc, I think you wrote this for me :) (I especially liked the remark about the idea of selling ourselves as being akin to prostitution; somehow the thought strikes me as familiar - maybe just déjà vu - but regardless, you expounded on the thought quite nicely :) )

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cherihut, thank you so much. I need to go read your hub about the rosary....I look forward to seeing more of you and I hope you have a great weekend.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 3 years ago from United States

      Bill, I saw the follow up hub today but somehow missed this one. I love your practical writing tips. Thanks for sharing them!

      Suzie, I would stand in line to watch your videos on the different recipes in your hubs. I think that is a great idea!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gail thank you and I agree with you about Suzie's future videos. :)

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Helpful ideas, thank you. Have a great weekend! :-) Lurana

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Lurana! You do the same.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Yes, Bill, do what your faithful readers are suggesting! Start putting that book together of your writing tips and suggestions. It would be a bestseller appealing to every writer who wants to be published. Trust me!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, time is the issue....it always seems to be. :) Thank you....I'll hire you as my publicist and we'll get rich together. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Great advice, Billy, and I am glad to have it. Thanks once again for all that you do for us.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, your hubs should be required reading for every would be writer...great tips and ideas, but above all, you write with such conviction. Your enthusiasm and exhilaration never fails to motivate. Well...you certainly manages to energize me to get of my butt anyway.

      Thank you my friend...oh by the way, did I see you applying honey and lemon face scrub on Susie's page? I have some imaginative ways of removing it:). Have a wonderful Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it is my pleasure and thank you! I'll see you at Boomer Lake later on in the day.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Jo, you just gave me a great laugh. First of all, thank you. As for Suzie's page and your suggestions, maybe you better send those to me in a private note. :) Have a great day my friend, and blessings to you always.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Great words of advice here, Bill. I'm sorry I'm so late in reading and commenting. I've been knocked on my ass by the flu and am still battling the demon. Lordy, will I ever catch up?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, you are never late to my party.

      Feel better soon my dear friend.

      bill

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another great hub from you Billy my friend. As always you get your point across so naturally and I vote up, across and share. Hope you and Bev are well and lots of love from Wales for you both.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy! All is well here and I hope the same is true for you and yours.

      love,

      billy

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Much of this I know, or should know, but what I find valuable is that it acts as a reminder, a prod, a catalyst to make me actually get on and do more of it. I keep advice like this in a separate file on the desktop of my laptop so that it stares at me before I start writing! You are someone who says to me, 'Get on with it and ignore the distractions!' Always a natural flow of wise words in your easy style, billy. All the best, Ann.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, most of this is definitely things that we already know.....I, too, forget rules and tips like these....so I toss them out occasionally to remind all of you....and me. :) Thank you my friend.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      This was interesting to me Bill. When I first started ready I immediately thought about a platform as a niche, but obviously the platform is more about the writer personally and the niche is what the writer writes about (I think). Never really thought about the 2 as separate, but it makes sense.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, you summed it up perfectly. The niche is your own personal writing genre, like quilting...your platform is your body of work, your history as a writer, and your marketing campaign, all rolled up into one. :)

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      Another excellent article Bill! I have worked on a bio - but I need to create a solid one as you suggested on here in order to use it on all the avenues that I am pursuing. I like your suggestion of using other mediums. I am trying to edit all my hubs to include original pictures only. I would also, like you, to create a series of personal youtube videos to represent myself. I liked it when I read somewhere that you started out by doing some free work with content mills. I'd like to get myself out there - get noticed - get exposure. It's just a long process. I guess having the flu or whatever for almost 3 weeks put me out of the game for a while anyway! lol. Does the Writer's book have information on how to approach local newspapers or magazines? I mean, in the sense of what kind of query letter to write. I will have to check it out. I have been following it pretty faithfully and reading it diligently. You have recommended a couple other great books. Which book do you think would be the best one for me to read about next? I started a rolodex for my writing contacts - so I think I am getting my writing business somewhat organized (even though I have been in bed for weeks lol) based on your great advice. Keep it coming! You are helping so many people! Thank you as always! Michele

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, I don't think the Writer's Market has examples of query letters for newspapers, but they do have for magazines.....you can also find some good ones online. I like that you are organizing before taking the plunge. In the long run that will help you. As for other books no....there are great articles you can read, and I really like the Writer's Digest magazine. Full of great ideas.

      Thank you my friend.

    • L.M. Hosler profile image

      L.M. Hosler 3 years ago

      Some really good ideas and advice as always. There are several ideas I will work on but my main problem as always will be in the marketing. I have never been a real social person, just my personality so that part is going to be hard for me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      L.M., believe me when I say I understand. I am a very shy person; quite reserved. It is not easy for people like us.

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      That part is so hard for me too! Although I must say being social online is much easier than in person. I applaud you Bill for your public readings and social gatherings. That will be a big step for me someday. :-) Michele

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, it will come in time for you. None of this happens overnight. Keep the goal in sight and keep moving forward with your plan.

    • misslong123 profile image

      Michele Kelsey 3 years ago from Edmond, Oklahoma

      Thank you for the encouragement. Some days I need it more than others. This winter flu has really knocked my motivation down. But I have faith it will pick back up. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So do I, Michele. You have the passion; the rest will fall into place in time. Have a great weekend.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 2 years ago from Philippines

      Very useful and well-written!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jill! I'm glad you found it useful.

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