Well, we've made it through a week of platform-building tasks already, and we're starting on week today. I hope you've been enjoying it--or at least, getting something out of it.
Find and Share a Helpful Article
For today's platform-building task, find and share a helpful article that is relevant to your target audience. The key word in this task is "relevant."
For me, the article would likely be about publishing or poetry. But for another writer, it might have something to do with law or a love story or an inspirational event or tips on healthy living. What is relevant for one writer's platform may not be relevant for another writer's platform.
Where do you share it? The most likely spots are Facebook and Twitter.
Social media isn't the only way for 21st-Century writers to find success, but it is definitely one of the more effective paths to publication and audience development. Learn how to find more success using social media with the Author Social Media kit.
In this kit, writers will receive:
- Get Known Before the Book Deal.
- Using Social Networking Tools to Succeed in Publishing.
- How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself.
- And more!
The Golden Rule of Platform Development
One of the most common mistakes I notice writers making in developing their writer platforms is that they start the process off by asking for others to do things for them. Here are a few common scenarios:
- Writer new to Twitter goes around following people and sending messages to the effect of, "I'll continue following you IF you follow me."
- Writer comments on another person's Status Update (or their wall) on Facebook to promote their book--or their most recent blog post.
- Writer comments on a blog post only to say something like, "Follow MY blog," or "Read MY blog post."
Don't be THAT writer. Instead, follow the golden rule of platform development: Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Yes, it's okay to write a blog post when your book is accepted for publication AND when it's actually published. It's also good form to share the news on your social media outlets and any other method possible. But...
If that's the only thing you do, you'll become known as "That Writer Person Who Always Talks About His/Her Book And Nothing Else All The Time," or TWPWATAHBANEATT for short. And no one likes to be around TWPWATAHBANEATT, even TWPWATAHBANEATT gets tired of ceaselessly promoting his/her book.
Instead, be an author who talks about their book sometimes, but a person who knows how to talk about other relevant stuff as well. Everyone likes that person, who has an actual name, not just an impossible-to-pronounce acronym.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.