I’ve recently had a friend begin building a writing platform so I’ve handed out some advice and suggestions. I’ve written about some of my work over the last year in building my own platform so I thought I’d start a how-to/advice series. Though I’m far from being expert, I do have some tidbits that may prove useful to aspiring authors. Back in December, I wrote a series reviewing my year as an author so I’ll build on those posts with some specifics about what I’ve done and why as well as what I’ve learned.
So, for starters, here’s what an author is facing when building a writing platform. You’ll need the following:
- A registered domain – it’s best to have a domain named for you as an author. This is important for branding your content. This branding associates your name with what you write. This is how people find you to learn more about what you write. Don’t name your domain something outlandish as this will not add anything to your brand and could take away from it – think professional. You can register a domain any number of ways but usually you can pay for it when you setup your hosting.
- A website and/or blog – Next you’ll need a website. Depending on how your hosted there will be different tools available. If you’re on a budget try using free hosting with something like WordPress. You can create a simple design for your site. It may be important to blog as well so think in those terms as you design your site. Running a blog can be important to attracting readers who begin to trust your writing.
- An email address using your registered domain – your email address should be easily associated with you as a writer so use a name that makes since. Also, if you are on a tight budget you can have your email hosted over Google at minimal cost. I chose to pay monthly in case I move to a full-fledged hosting service. This way I’m out of Google easily without having paid ahead and wasting money.
- Various social media accounts using your author email – that email address now becomes important since you will likely setup all your social media channels with it. But with what social media should you start? Don’t overdo it with too many. Twitter is very important. For authors it is also important to have a Goodreads presence. Beyond that, you will emphasize your channels based on your genre.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll dig deeper into the nuts and bolts of how I approached these various platform needs. But suffice it so say at this point that I’ve built what I have to this point on a low-cost budget. I intend to grow what I have this year but that depends on my available funds but I’ve made the whole writing prospect self-based rather than one that I pour lots of money into on the front-end.
As you can see there are many aspects to a writing platform project. There’s a lot to do but if you take it one step at a time you’ll progress much faster than you think. Next week, I’ll start with the foundation you’ll need for your writing platform. The main takeaway for today is this: be willing to start, stay on a budget and grow into a bigger platform as you go. This will remain an ongoing project for me and it probably will for you as well.
Here are some related links from previous posts that relate to some of this topic and may help you think in terms of getting started:
A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 1
A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 2
A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 3
A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 4
A New Author’s Year in Review Pt. 5
4 Free Photo Sites – More Tips for the Fund Challenged Writer
4 Platform Tips for the Fund Challenged Writer
12 Things I Learned About Blogging In 2014
I Heart Writing: Why You Need To Commit
What questions do you have about starting your writing platform? What tips can you offer from building your writing platform? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.
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