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Read a Post and Comment on It: Day 12 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

It's hard to believe we're already 12 days into this challenge, but here we are. Before we get started with today's task, I just wanted to let people know that it's okay if you have to complete tasks in a different order than presented in this challenge.

For instance, the blogging: If you post on Wednesdays typically and I'm asking you to post on Saturdays, then it's fine if you continue to post on Wednesdays. I'm not as concerned about the day of the week as the action itself.

Read a Post and Comment on It

For today's platform-building task, read at least one blog post and comment on it (and in the process link back to your blog). This is in addition to commenting on this blog; let's spread our nets a little. People who want extra credit can comment on multiple blogs.

Do not do this: Do not comment on a blog with something along the lines of, "Hey, cool post. Come check out my blog." That's defeating the whole purpose and intent of today's task.

Use this list of the Bloggers of the 2015 October Platform Challenge to find a blog or blogs that appeal to you and, in the process, start making connections with fellow writers.

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Build an Effective Author Platform

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Learn how to build an effective author platform with a power-packed bundle of platform-building goodies, including three paperbacks, two webinars, three tutorials, and much more!

Check out The Comprehensive Author Platform & Promotion kit, which includes Create Your Writer Platform, by Chuck Sambuchino; Sell Your Book Like Wildfire, by Rob Eagar; and Blogging for Writers, by Robin Houghton. Plus, the webinars, tutorials, marketing plan template, and more!

Click to continue.

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What's the Point of Commenting on Other Blogs

One of the more effective ways for writers to grow their platforms is to reach outside of their current circle of readers. By leaving thoughtful comments on other blogs, writers can share interesting perspectives with potential new blog readers. Beyond that, it's a great way to make stronger connections with other like-minded bloggers.

Here are a few possible ways to respond to a blog post:

  • Share your own experience. If you've experienced something similar to what's covered in a blog post, share your own story. You don't have to write a book or anything, but maybe a paragraph or two. And maybe that even leads to a new post on your own blog.
  • Add another perspective. Maybe the post was great, but there's another angle that should be considered. Don't be afraid to point that angle out.
  • Ask a question. A great post usually will prompt new thoughts and ideas--and questions. Instead of keeping them to yourself, ask them.

As far as linking back to your blog, avoid telling people to check out your blog. If your comment interests other readers, they will check it out...if you include your URL somewhere. Most blog-commenting tools include a spot for your URL.

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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.

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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.

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