A few times now, I've run 30-day platform challenges for writers to help with the difficult task of creating a writing platform (also known as an author platform). I prefer the term writing platform, because I feel the word author locks a writer into only writing books. However, today's publishing environment offers so many more opportunities.
Anyway, this post collects 30 days worth of platform-building tasks into one mega-resource for writers. Use it wisely; share it widely; and prepare to find more success than you ever thought possible.
(Note: A few of these tactics may become dated over time. For instance, joining Google+ is not an option anymore. However, this task can be replaced by joining another popular social media site like Instagram.)
The biggest challenge facing an author whether traditionally published or self-published is effectively promoting your work and motivating the public to buy it. The resources in this bundle will arm you with effective marketing and platform building strategies. Determine what is unique about your story and how best to market it. Become your own publicist and learn what can come from jumping at every opportunity that comes your way. Learn how to successfully work with both individual indie bookstores as well as the larger indie network.
Improve Your Writing Platform (or Author Platform) in 30 Days
Here are 30 tasks for 30 days. Click the links to read the original posts, most of which include more comprehensive tips and advice.
- Day 1: Define yourself as a writer. Want to connect with readers? Then, you need to identify who you are as a writer.
- Day 2: Set your writing goals. Sure, you can accomplish something without goals, but it's easier to win the race if you know where you're racing.
- Day 3: Start a writing blog. Blogging requires a little bit of effort and creativity, but so does finding success as a writer.
- Day 4: Claim your domain. Platform-building is a type of branding. As such, all writers need to claim their web domains ASAP.
- Day 5: Join Facebook. Want to find readers? Then, you need to go where readers hang out, and (nearly) everyone is on Facebook.
- Day 6: Join Twitter. Same as Facebook, but everything happens in 140 characters or fewer. Concision is key here.
- Day 7: Respond to Three Tweets. Yes, there's more to social media than joining; you have to actually use it too.
- Day 8: Find and Share a Helpful Article. Networking is more than getting; it's most effective when you're sharing...for instance, this post could be shared (hint, hint).
- Day 9: Create an Editorial Calendar. Editorial calendars help editors publish successfully, so it only makes sense that bloggers would use this tool as well.
- Day 10: Include Call to Action in Blog Post. It amazes me how many people expect things without going through the effort asking for them--nicely, of course.
- Day 11: Link to Post on Twitter and Facebook. Have a new blog post? Have Facebook and Twitter accounts? Then, link 'em up!
- Day 12: Read a Post and Comment on It. If you're trying to make solid connections, then it helps to take part in the conversation.
- Day 13: Take Part in a Twitter Chat. Speaking of conversations, there's no conversation quite like a Twitter conversation.
- Day 14: Create a Time Management Plan. How do you build a platform, submit your writing, live your life, and still have time to write? Well, you need a plan.
- Day 15: Step Away for Your Writing. Speaking of which, whenever you're in doubt, devote time to your writing, because what good is a writing platform without it?
- Day 16: Join Google+. Is there something special about this social network? Not especially, but savvy writers are constantly expanding and experimenting. (Note: Google+ is no longer an option; however, you can supplement this by joining a site like Instagram.)
- Day 17: Include an Image in Blog Post. Images in blog posts, when done right, serve multiple purposes, including better design, improved SEO, and more social sharing.
- Day 18: Contact an Expert for an Interview Post. Interview experts to increase your own authority, while also expanding your network of connections.
- Day 19: Research Live Events. There's more to platform than online, believe it or not. There's a whole world of live events out there.
- Day 20: Search for Yourself. Remember way back when you defined yourself as a writer? Time to search for yourself to see if online searches match that image to your identity.
- Day 21: Research Markets. There's plenty to do online to enhance your platform, as well as live events, but one key is to get your writing published.
- Day 22: Make 3 New Connections. Pick a social network and make three new connections. For extra credit, make those three strong connections by starting a conversation.
- Day 23: Think SEO. SEO is short for search engine optimization, which is tech-speak for showing up in the first page of results when people use search engines like Google.
- Day 24: Write Blog Post. One thing about building a writing platform (or writing career, for that matter) is consistency often scores huge points.
- Day 25: Pitch a Guest Post for Another Blog. Seem weird to write a post for another person's blog? Well, this is a tried and true way of expanding your audience and building connections.
- Day 26: Make a Task List. Want to keep building momentum after this 30-day challenge is up? You need to make your task list now and keep your eyes focused forward.
- Day 27: Get Social. You've been getting social, right? Well, keep doing it. Join a Twitter chat, comment on a blog post, make a new connection or three. Remember: Consistency wins.
- Day 28: Join Goodreads. Another day, another social media site to join. It's good practice to try a new site every so often to see what fits you and your preferences.
- Day 29: Join Another Social Media Site. This link includes five potential sites to try, but there are honestly scores of possibilities. Don't join them all at once, but experiment over time.
- Day 30: Step Away for Your Writing. One final reminder: The writing should always come first, but an effective platform will help you connect with more readers. Good luck!