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10 Ways to Build Your Writer's Platform

January 3, 2010 Leave a comment

1. Create your website.  This is your calling card, your business card.  It is evidence to the world that you are committed to writing.  Obviously, you do not have to wait until your published to start a website.  You should begin NOW.  It will take time, especially if you haven’t created one before. A website will establish a following, so that when you get your first book published, you can announce its birth!

2. Blog or write for an established website.  There are websites out there that pay you (minimally, of course. Common now, you have to earn the title of a starving artist.).  Check out Suite 101 or About.com.  This provides an income stream and exposure.

3. Capitalize on your niche.  Pick a theme or specialty and wrap your writing, your website, your promotions around that theme.  For example, if I am a dog lover and all my writing should be about dogs — my website, blogs, newsletters. etc.

4. Give talks about your specialty.  Many of us like to talk about writing, because that is what we do.  Be kind to your target audience.  Only writers like to hear about writing. For all the rest of the world, it is a snore.  That is why you build up your exposure talking about Not What You Do necessarily, but WHAT YOU KNOW.  People flock to topics on how to solve or resolve their dilemmas.  If you are writing fictional mystery stories, then maybe your talks will revolve around weapons.  Or say you are a romance writer, then your talk might be about the pros and cons or comparisons between online dating services such as eharmony.com, match.com, or chemistry.com.

5. Print up business cards.  These are handy and more professional than writing your telephone number or email address on a scrap of paper.

6. Offer a product.  Let’s say your book is about dogs.  What about selling t-shirts promoting you, your book, or dogs online?

7. Participate in online communities and forums.  Focus on building your writing platform by offering thoughtful comments and helpful information.  If possible, leave your website address under your name after your contribution.

8. Sell or donate articles or parts of your book to magazines and newspapers.  Writing for free can be a great way to getting noticed.  Remember to leave your email address or website address, if you can. At the very least get that byline.

9. Offer to teach classes or hold your own workshop.  You get some money for your efforts, while building your exposure.

10.  Depending on your niche and topic, get an organization to commit to buying 100 copies of your book.  Include that letter of commitment with your book proposal.  For example, if you wrote an inspirational story about a sales person.  Might not any large company like IBM think this would be a great book for their sales training…or to inspire new employees?

One word of caution.  All these suggestions will take time to implement.  And once implemented, you will have very little time for what you really want to do…and that is write.  So, guard your time wisely.  Think out your game plan…get your family to help…then, put it into ACTION.

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