Planning

4 Platform Tips for the Fund Challenged Writer

ListHave you got a list of things that you need to do as a writer? Do you lack funds to acquire some or all of these needs for your writer platform. Here’s 4 tips for inexpensively improving your platform without breaking the bank.

1. Lack funds to create a website? Use a free one like WordPress.com. Want a custom domain name with your site for minimal cost? WordPress and other such hosts can help with that too. Here’s what WordPress can do!

2. Need to use email with your own domain name? Try it for minimal cost via Google Apps. Here are the instructions.

3. Have a product, announcement or other tweet you want new followers to see and retweet? Pin your tweet to the top of your feed and it will be the first post seen on your feed by visitors. Here are some visual instructions to do just that:

Go to your feed and choose something you’ve posted and click on the 3 dots for “More” and then click “Pin to your profile page”:

Twitter Pin Instrusctions 1

Here’s what currently stays at the top of me feed:

Twitter Pin Instructions 2

4. Want to add pictures to your blog posts but lack funds? If you have Microsoft Office installed you can use Click Art from Office. Verify that the Click Art is from Microsoft by either hovering over the image or right clicking on the image and choosing properties to see the originator. To access this library from Office 2010 click on the Insert tab and then on the Click Art button:

Office Click Art Instructions

In fact, the picture at the top of this post is from Click Art. Read the terms of service for Click Art and understand how you may use it. If you need to use royalty free pictures for re-sale that’s another issue altogether so know what your are doing with pictures. For a great discussion of Microsoft’s Clip Art usage click here.

That’s all for today. See the News page for upcoming announcements like the month-long October special for “The Black Bag”! Feel free to leave comments below and I will reply! Remember to sign-up to follow by email and receive a coupon for a FREE copy (any e-book format) via Smashwords for “The Black Bag”. Thanks for reading!

PHS

One of Those Days Pt. 2

Just a quick post to follow-up on my post earlier in the week.

Ever stare at your own work?

Ever stare at your own work?

I intended spending a lot of time on writing endeavors yesterday afternoon. That quickly changes with a minor family emergency involving a car accident. Thankfully everyone appears to be fine and that’s something to smile about.

However, all my plans went out the window quickly since my presence was needed for several hours. Once the proverbial smoke cleared I had much less time to work than anticipated. But hey, I’m glad I could be of help even if it interrupted my plans and the day turned into “one of those days”. Instead of phoning it in, sat down and edited a short story and it’s now close to being ready for submission to some magazine markets.

So that’s all I have for the moment. What are the disruptions – large and small – that you encounter while writing? Do you let them stop you in your tracks or do you push on anyway? Leave comments below.

8 Crowdfunding Tips

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

Photo used in The Bow of Destiny book trailer

The crowdfunding campaign for The Bow of Destiny began this week on Indiegogo. This led me to some tips I wanted to share since this blog is largely about my ongoing growth as an author. So here’s some of what I’ve learned so far. Please read and visit the campaign site to provide your support!

1. Make sure you are ready to receive funds.

In my case I created a new PayPal account but did not complete setting it up. Likewise, Indiegogo had requirements for campaigns that I didn’t know about. Both of these issues delayed me some and it’s possible limits what I can receive (which I am confirming and working out on both sides). Read carefully about the instructions and explore the site.

Perks2. Make affordable funding levels.

I received a lot of views and referrals the first day but no contributions. Now this may be due to some PayPal-Indiegogo issues but I added a few funding levels that are low impact on wallets which is important these days.

3. Continue growing your social media platform.

Don’t let the number of your followers become stagnant. If anything you need to be more aggressive in pursuing followers to increase your reach. Always encourage others to share your campaign with their followers too.

4. Have some automated social media messages ready.

You don’t want to be writing social media messages all the time and you need to get your message out often because on busy feeds people just miss your announcements without knowing it. Use an automation service since you may be busy with any number of inquiries, changes or problems that may arise – and you want to do something else sometimes.

Campaign5. Don’t panic if it starts slowly.

See above – there may be problems so just keep on moving in the same direction and if anything tweak your overall message, keep growing your following and keep getting the message out.

6. Keep posting updates regularly.

The more you get your message out the more likely you are to be featured. Include services like Indiegogo in your tweets and other posts because they track these types of activity in addition to your funding level. Everything helps and if your are featured that means more reach for your campaign.

7. If receiving private messages to offer resources & services check them out well.

When receiving offers of service, interviews or other offers of assistance check them out. They may be legit and they may not but some due diligence will go a long way to avoiding any trouble or overspending your budget. Make sure you know the terms of anything and don’t give out private information thinking that someone is helping when they may not be. Someone may take advantage of any initial euphoria from conributions or from desperation over no contributions. Think clearly and remember to keep going ahead.

8. Don’t hover & don’t walk away.

You cannot just stay in front of the screen watching – it will drive you crazy. You get excited and wonder what will happen or nothing happens and you watch and wait for anything. If nothing is happening don’t abandon hope, keep working, be willing to be fluid in your approach – just don’t sit watching the paint dry. Do not give up and stop all work. Stay in it to the end – bitter or sweet.

Do you have tips or comments regarding crowdfunding? Do you have questions about the subject? Please leave comments below and see my campaign and help make my project a success with your support.

Share a comment below and also consider following this blog via email for a FREE copy of The Black Bag. I’m on Facebook, Twitter (@ph_Solomon), Pinterest & Google+ (ph@phsolomon.com).

Thanks for reading!

PHS