I visit with a lot of authors and when the term “writer’s platform” is brought up, a chorus of groans comes with it. Hands are thrown in the air. Shrieks bounce from the ceiling. Pens are tossed to the ground.
How to Build a Writer’s Platform?
No fear, lovely writers.
While, these days editors and agents are more likely to take on a new writer or even a mid-lister if there is proof you are working to build a writer’s platform or author brand, building one won’t kill your writing. Really, it won’t.
Here are 40 Must-Do to Build a Writer’s Platform
The laundry list of brainstorms, ideas, and thoughts below can help you build your writer’s platform, painfully and easily. Pretty soon, you’ll be blogging and Facebooking yourself to a literary deal with an agent or a prolific indie career in no time!
1 – Every writer needs a quality landing page (Facebook author page, website, or blog) — pick one to start & make it fabulous!
2 – The bigger your internet presence, the more attractive you are as an established writer – grow your followership.
3 – Your name (or pen name) is your brand … put it out everywhere
4 – Buy the URL with your author name even if you don’t use it yet
5 – At a minimum use a landing page (WordPress blog) & one social media to draw people to it (Instagram)
6 – Your internet presence must attract readers and publishers to you — make it fun!
7 – No matter which sites you use, integrate them – TIME SAVER!
8 – Post photos on Instagram at least 3 times a week & Stories every day
9 – Post polls, ads, contests or freebies to make social media fun
10 – Social media posts need 3 elements: statement/call to action, question, fun request for comment
11 – Respond to social media responses within 48 hours (24 is better)
12 – Get on Twitter! There are thousands of writers, agents, and publishers on Twitter
13 – Maximize your social media platform with a full profile and photo and location
14 – Tweet news, works in progress, interests, funny quotes
15 – Live-tweet events, speeches, live television
16 – Tweet often to build a following
17 – Use a dashboard to schedule your posts – Hootsuite, SproutSocial, Buffer, Mailchimp (yes, even they can do it now AND on Instagram)
18 – Use Facebook’s innate scheduler to make life easier
19 – Choose a good website hosting platform: WordPress, Wix or Squarespace
20 – Write/schedule posts out for 90 days – Use a scheduler or content calendar to SAVE TIME!
21 – Ensure your website is updated regularly and includes professional headshots, a bio and your buy-links
22 – Follow other like-minded bloggers to help boost your own followership
23 – Make sure the blog has social media buttons and contact information
24 – Keep the theme/layout clean. Use the Google rule. Three clicks or less to find something
25 – Use automatic sharing so when each blog post is uploaded, it automatically goes to social media — TIME SAVER!
26 – Pinterest is fabulous for giving your book a visual presentation
27 – Post pictures on Pinterest that remind you of the book’s setting, characters, favorite things
28 – Follow other authors and see what they are posting on Pinterest
29 – Create themed feeds on Instagram. Use Stories for the personal touch
30 – Your brand is the experience you offer the reader – be deliberate about creating it
31 – Brainstorm every single issue, theme, career or hobby you enjoy and your characters enjoy – use that as part of your brand
32 – Find interest groups that correspond to the list from #31. Schedule a talk or signing with those groups
33 – Develop your logo, colors, and fonts to match your themes. Use Tailor Brands.com or Canva.
34 – Give radio interviews at your local radio show
35 – Talk to a school class about an appropriate theme in your book
36 – Talk at book clubs, libraries, and bookstores … give away books while you’re there
37 – Pair with other writers for events and talks — TIME SAVER!
38 – Give presentations at restaurants, businesses, museums, attractions (yes, pimp out your book!)
39 – Start advertising the book before it’s even finished … let people know it’s out there
40 – Develop a plan! Create the communications or marketing plan and stick to it
With dashboards and integrated posting, the internet presence takes less time than it used to. Pairing speaking events with other events is also a big time saver. But most importantly, build a great book you are passionate about and people will come.