If you’re a writer who is working towards publication, you’ve probably heard about the importance of building your platform. Essentially, a platform is your base of readers, those who read your work regularly via your blog, newsletter, or social media posts. Building a platform can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing life, but it’s a necessary one. Publishers expect us to build an audience for our work.
If you’re struggling to build your readership, author and acquisitions editor Jennifer Dukes Lee offers practical advice for how to take steps towards publication — even with a small platform.
Jennifer’s advice can be summed up with a single memorable phrase, “Grow slow.” Read on for her practical tips on growing slow.
First, we need to decide which platforms work for us and then show up regularly to serve our readers. Remember: Our goal is to share a message. Our goal is not to strive...
Author and prolific blogger Frank Viola wants writers to know: Blogging isn’t dead. If you are a writer who wants to reach readers, a blog is still the best place to do it. Blogging hasn’t disappeared, it has evolved since the height of its popularity in the early to mid-2000s, and that’s good news for writers who are beginning to build their online presence.
For many content creators, social media has taken over where blogs left off. While social media is an important tool for reaching followers and growing a platform, it’s also a borrowed digital space. Writers are subject to algorithms, platform changes, and the possibility of losing their work altogether. On the other hand, a blog belongs to you, the creator. You can offer whatever you want in your space.
“A blog is still pertinent, relevant, and even more appropriate today than ever.” — Frank Viola
Why do you need a blog? Here are four reasons blogging remains an...
No matter what genre we write, chances are we’re using stories to illustrate our point and communicate with our reader. It can be tempting to save our best stories for a book, but if we’re on social media, we have instant access to our readers right now. We have the opportunity to develop our storytelling skills on social media every day, in real time, as we interact with our followers.
Carlos Whittaker is one writer who does this well; he’s a multi-book author who also creates compelling daily content on Instagram stories for his followers. Storytelling is his gift, and he hones this skill while also reaching out to his readers in a way that compels them to stay connected to his work.
“I continue to tell stories on a daily basis. I use my storytelling . . . to allow my [followers] to feel like they’re in my life. That’s the goal. Not only am I building my storytelling skill set, but I’m allowing my readers to feel this soul...
Growing a robust platform through online marketing is most often a task associated with nonfiction writers. However, novelist Katherine Reay believes this is the job of the fiction writer as well.
In a conversation with hope*writers, Katherine gives novelists the following advice, based on her own personal experience, for growing platforms and building a loyal readership.
When it comes to a strong social media following, a large subscriber list, or other marketing metrics, the starting line is the same for all of us. No one has a built-in platform, and all writers have to work hard to build a following or readership from scratch.
Rather than waste headspace lamenting a small beginning, we can embrace our platforms for what they are right now while still holding on to hope for growth. Our modest beginnings will grow as we continue to build our platforms with equal parts fun, effort, and strategy.
Among writers, the word “networking” conjures up images of forced connections, mixed motives, and try-hard conversations. The thought of networking can leave many writers with a feeling of overwhelm or even dread. However, networking is an important part of sharing your work and growing your audience.
At hope*writers, we know writers can’t do it all on their own. We’re committed to helping you balance the art of writing and the business of publishing — networking is a necessary part of the process.
We interviewed author and speaker Katie Reid, who shared the wins and pitfalls she experienced in the networking process.
Katie offers us the following do’s and don’ts of networking as writers:
Get to know people in the same casual, friendly way you would if you sat down over coffee.
Try to impress people. This doesn’t build authentic relationships. Building real relationships that benefit both...