[Ep 219] Whether you’re interested in increasing blog readership or building a freelance writing business—and especially if you’re pursuing traditional publishing—you’ll want to connect with readers. You’ll want to reach people who are interested in your stories and ideas and appreciate how you present those ideas as a writer, in your unique style, tone, and … [Read more...]
Ep 86: Your Writing Platform – First Steps to Launching Your Social Media Presence
When people talk about building a platform, they often think immediately of social media. I suppose it’s because the word “platform” is often used to describe them: Facebook is a social media platform, Twitter is a social media platform. It’s referring more to the technology that makes it possible for that service to run. But no wonder it’s confusing to talk about our … [Read more...]
Ep 85: Now Is the Time to Start Building Your Platform
There’s a proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” It’s true of so many things, isn’t it? We would be in such a different place if only we had started years ago. Building a platform might feel a little bit like that, but it’s not too late. If you haven’t already begun, the best time to start is now. Most of our … [Read more...]
Ep 84: Your Writing Platform – Do People Expect Writers to Be Speakers?
Last week I volunteered to serve at a speech and debate tournament for junior high and high school students. One of the women I served with asked if I thought writers were expected to speak more than ever before, whether through all the video options that are popping up like Facebook Live, or in person at events. I thought back to the late 1990s, when I was pitching my … [Read more...]
Ep 83: Your Writing Platform: What’s the Definition of Platform (and Do I Really Need One)?
At a writing conference a few years ago, I attended a panel discussion that included acquisitions editors from several publishing houses and a couple of literary agents. I’d been wanting to meet one of the agents, so after the session, I stood in line to introduce myself. I told him I was a writing coach working with several authors who were developing book proposals. … [Read more...]
#79: Your Writing Platform: Who Is Your Who?
When building a platform, we might be told to build our email list or increase our social media numbers, so we're tempted to do a lot of things maybe before we’re ready—some people advise writers to buy a bunch of Twitter followers or set up an Instagram account even if we don't like taking pictures. We get so busy trying to follow somebody else’s plan, we forget that … [Read more...]
#76: Your Writing Platform – How to Confirm Your Niche
Your writing platform will have a lot of elements, but it starts with you, the writer, and what you’re about or what’s your thing, your topic, your niche. We’ve talked about establishing an online home, because you want to have a place to welcome people who are searching for your niche or your name. When people arrive, they should have some idea of your focus. “Ah, I … [Read more...]
#75: Your Writing Platform: What Fascinates, Captivates, and Energizes You?
If you’re writing nonfiction, you’re probably trying to zero in on a category or topic that you’d like to write about and be known for. You’re trying to find your focus. If you haven’t already been exploring the possibilities by writing blog posts or articles, you’ve probably had some inkling. If not, look for clues. When you’re leafing through a magazine, what … [Read more...]
#74: Your Writing Platform – The Need for Focus
Back in 2004, I was on the phone with my publisher and he told me I should start a blog. "It’s what authors are doing," he said. So, I tried to figure it out. I started learning about blogs and paid particular attention to the sub-category of mom-bloggers because my first book was for moms and it felt like the right world to run around in. Rather … [Read more...]
#73: Your Writing Platform Needs a Home Base: An Author Website
Let’s say you send a query letter to a magazine or a book proposal to an agent. She reads it through and feels there’s potential—it looks like there’s a match between you and her publication or agency. What’s the next thing she’s going to do, most likely? Google you. She’s going to type your name into a search engine and then click around the links that … [Read more...]
#72: Don’t Miss This Platform-Building Opportunity (like I did)
Last weekend I presented a breakout session at a writing conference. I arrived in time to register and had a snack before the opening session, then headed into the auditorium with my plum-colored backpack, a rather chunky bag I take everywhere. It serves as my mobile office, so it’s filled with a wide range of items. I found a seat next to an attendee and flopped my bag … [Read more...]