A new author who’s just starting out these days will almost always hear advice to build his or her “platform”. But what exactly is an author platform? The term is basically used to refer to something that gets you seen and heard – whether it’s a blog site, a social media page, a Twitter account, etc. – by your potential readers.
With the rise of the Internet, the signal to noise ratio has increased in favor of noise, and without an author platform, writers will find it hard to get their ideas to other people no matter how exceptional and groundbreaking those ideas are. But having an author platform is not enough. You need a wildly successful one, here are a few things you can do to build one:
Find out which platforms work and focus on them
Social networks and blogging platforms are a dime a dozen nowadays. If you try to build a platform on all of them, you’re likely to spread yourself too thin. If you want to build a successful author platform, you have to focus your energy on which platforms work, but there’s the rub: what works and what doesn’t will differ depending on the audience you are targeting. For instance, if your selling point is edgy humor and anti-establishment ideas, it might not go over too well on LinkedIn, which is designed for professionals and employers. On the other hand, promotional posts won’t go over too well on certain parts of Reddit. It’s all about finding where your audience is and building your platform there.
Provide free content
Nobody’s going to come to your platform if its sole purpose is to sell your book. Especially on the Internet, where there are other places for people to visit, ones with free content. So if you want people to flock around your platform, give them free content – whether it’s blog posts, or short stories, or you can even link to interesting content from other people and just be a content curator. The important thing is that people who visit your author platform get something more than just promotions for your books.
Don’t just talk about yourself or your works – be relevant by also paying attention to what’s going on in the industry or in the world. Pay attention to the things that the Internet is currently interested in and chime in. You don’t need to be controversial; you can be relevant even if you’re just agreeing with the majority.
Engage your readers
This is one of the most important steps to creating a wildly successful author platform. Its main purpose is to let you engage your existing and potential readers, so take the time to address them and to show that you’re listening to what they say. Communication should be two-way. Additionally, having a more proactive approach to reader engagement will also give an author an effective means of benchmarking ideas and testing which ones will be received well. For a writer who wants to make a living doing what he/she is passionate about, this direct line for feedback is an indispensable tool.
Image credit: Ross Hawkes on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]