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Blogging for a Platform: Lost : FAQs • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Frequently asked questions. Go HERE and read the first thread.
AJW009
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Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby AJW009 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:10 pm

Hi,
I'm looking into starting a blog to start building my platform for my books, although it will still be a while yet until they (hopefully!) get published, because it's such a large project.

The world of blogging is obviously a very gib one nowadays though, and honestly I'm completely lost. I've read many of the articles on blogging on the Writer's Digest website, and I think my problems boil down to these points that I'd love some advice and feedback on:
(By the way, I'm from England, just in case that affects anything, better safe than sorry!)

1. There are now many websites where you can write your blog on, how do I know which the right one for me is?

2. On one of the articles I read on Writer's Digest (I think it was by Brian Klems [sorry if the name is spelled wrong!]) talks about... SOE...? Something about the best way to make use of search engines? I'm sorry I tried to find the article, failed, and then this post refreshed and I lost it all! Brian mentioned he was going to do a future article about this subject, so does anybody know if that happened? And where it is?

3. My biggest issue is on content. My ideas so far is to write reviews of books, especially those similar to mine, writing my own short stories, and using the fact that I am disabled, and so have extra challenges at every part of writing books, and I've sadly never come across disabled authors, best sellers or otherwise (but there must be some, if you've read any books by disabled authors I'd love a recommendation!) and so I think a few tidbits on how my disability affects writing books would offer a unique insight and set my blog apart from others.

But of course this blog isn't about selling me, it's about selling books, so some content needs to relate to my books. My problem is the richest source of content from my books blog wise is about mythology, however for a long time we as the readers have no idea mythological figures exist in my world, so as to be a surprise (so don't tell anybody!). The other most obvious thing I can talk about is magic, but I'm struggling to figure out what I could talk about pre-book releases. For just before book release or afterwards, I have tons of supplementary writing that would fit very well on a blog, but of course that doesn't help me now.....

4. Is there a simple way of searching for blogs like mine, or the way I want mine to be?

I know I've rambled on a bit, so sorry about that, but it's only because I care so much and it worries me as one of those things that if I'm not careful my disability will stop me from achieving my dream, so I apologise, and hope somebody can help!
AJW
Hi guys, you're welcome to call me AJW! That's my initials, instead of using the name of one of my main characters!!

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missybunnie
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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby missybunnie » Sat Aug 09, 2014 6:19 pm

It sounds like a large part of your issue is just being unsure of what you want to blog about. The other 3 issues you describe are all easily resolved when you know what you're goals for your blog are. Are you trying to start talking to the world so you exist before your novels come out? Are you trying to teach someone something? A blog is a lot like anything else you write. Unless you know what you're setting out to do, you don't know what tools you need.

If you are setting out for a professional blog, you'll be best off with your own domain using a platform like WordPress or drupal (I personally prefer WordPress). Starting with a free site on WordPress.com or Blogger will bog you down in a lot of ways and comes off with less authority. If you are trying to do a professional endeavor I'd suggest hiring either a knowledge-able developer or designer who is willing to teach you how to do things like search engine optimization (SEO) or find a blogging coach who will work with you (and often has a lower price tag but can still yield good results).
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AJW009
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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby AJW009 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:12 am

Hi Missybunnie, thank you so much for responding! Just to clarify, I'm fairly clear on my goals, even if on reflection I didn't make that clear in my post, to which I apologise for, I had to write it all over again because I lost it all! My goal is to start talking to the world before my book comes out, so people know who I am before I get a publishing deal and release my books, to build my platform, as many articles on Writer's Digest talk about how important that is nowadays even when looking for a publisher. How should this affect my content, and how should I deal with the content issue in respects to linking the blog back to my book? Or am I barking up the wrong tree in that respect?

With that in mind, is WordPress the best option then? How much does that cost, or is it one of the free options you spoke about? Because based on what you said in your last post, it sounds like, as a beginner, if I go with WordPress, I'll get bogged down easily and will need paid help, which could be a problem for me.

On the other hand, while I am a beginner, I do learn things quickly, so if there are websites or guides to things like SEO, maybe I can pick it up myself, and any issues I'm a little unsure of get clarity on from the community here. Do you know of any good guides?
Once again, thank you so much for responding, I was beginning to give up to ever get a response, so your help means a lot to me!!!
AJW
Hi guys, you're welcome to call me AJW! That's my initials, instead of using the name of one of my main characters!!

Trust your instincts, it's rarely wrong! Flip a coin, heads or tails. If you're sad at the result, listen and ignore the coin toss!!

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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:23 am

I wanted to test the social media waters before anything had happened with my writing. Basically do it when nobody was looking (which as not been very hard, so far). :D

I chose Wordpress because if I want to change to a domain of my own, I can just import the entire thing there and continue using the exact same tools, etc. And I've gotten to the point I would hate to have to abandon or individually transfer all of the content. Others provide the same function. About a year ago I read a bunch of articles comparing the different blogging options and that's the one I went with.

I don't expect to build a base of readers ("platform") with my blog at all, though. I tried all the social media options and found that blogging is the one that works best for me and my peculiar mind. Basically, I now know that I will use blogging as my primary way to stay in touch with readers when I have them, but don't expect to generate readers with my blog. But I write fiction, and don't see how that would work anyway.

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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby AJW009 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:27 am

Thanks for the reply Mooky!
Can I ask what you did to build a platform, or did you not do that at all? My books are going to be fiction as well, and while Writer's Digest mentions that blogging for a platform is more for non-fiction writers, it's becoming increasingly used for fiction writers too.

Thanks for the advice about WordPress, it sounds like it has important advantages. I don't suppose you still have links to those articles you read comparing different blogging options do you, so I can draw my own conclusions?
AJW
Hi guys, you're welcome to call me AJW! That's my initials, instead of using the name of one of my main characters!!

Trust your instincts, it's rarely wrong! Flip a coin, heads or tails. If you're sad at the result, listen and ignore the coin toss!!

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MookyMcD
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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby MookyMcD » Mon Aug 11, 2014 1:28 pm

I didn't save any links, but there are lots of resources out there with a quick Google search.

I honestly don't think of it as building a platform, though. From my perspective, it has more to do with trying to be able to engagingly interact with readers once a book is in place. I don't expect my blog to drive new readers to my books, it's more like having a nice customer experience available for readers when I have a book they liked. I anticipate moving the blog to a section of a web page when it's worthwhile for me to have an author page.

AJW009
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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby AJW009 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:01 pm

So you didn't do anything consciously or otherwise that can be seen as platform building? If no, can I ask how that affected getting an agent or publisher, assuming you're there? Sorry if I'm prying, if you don't want to tell me that's fine! :)
Hi guys, you're welcome to call me AJW! That's my initials, instead of using the name of one of my main characters!!

Trust your instincts, it's rarely wrong! Flip a coin, heads or tails. If you're sad at the result, listen and ignore the coin toss!!

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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby robjvargas » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:18 pm

Slowly putting together a "replacement" forum at http://writerswriting.proboards.com.

It's still under construction, but come take a look.

AJW009
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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby AJW009 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:09 am

So is there any point in me as a fiction writer trying to build a platform to help with getting an agent or publishing deal? Or have I just totally missed the point and building a platform is just for non-fiction writers?
AJW
Hi guys, you're welcome to call me AJW! That's my initials, instead of using the name of one of my main characters!!

Trust your instincts, it's rarely wrong! Flip a coin, heads or tails. If you're sad at the result, listen and ignore the coin toss!!

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Re: Blogging for a Platform: Lost

Postby pls » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:55 am

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