In the digital age, writing a book is just the first step. For self-published authors, or even those with traditional publishing deals, having an author platform can be the difference between obscurity and success. But what is an author platform? Simply put, it's your ability to reach and engage with your readership. Here's how you can utilize tools like social media, newsletters, and blogging to build a robust author platform.
1. Social Media: More Than Just Self-Promotion
Choosing the Right Platforms: Not all social media platforms are equal. Where does your target audience spend most of their time? For fiction authors, platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are popular choices. Non-fiction writers might also consider LinkedIn.
Engaging Content: Share snippets from your writing process, book recommendations, and engage with trending topics related to your genre.Hosting Q&A sessions or going live can foster deeper connections with your audience.
Join Communities: Engage in writer and reader communities on platforms like Twitter (e.g., #WritingCommunity) to broaden your reach.
2. Newsletters: Direct Access to Your Readers
Why Newsletters Matter: Unlike social media platforms, where algorithms can affect who sees your content, newsletters reach your subscribers directly. They are a powerful tool for announcements, such as book launches or events.
Content Beyond Promotions: Share exclusive content, behind-the-scenes looks, or even personal stories to make your newsletter more engaging. The key is to provide value, so readers look forward to your emails.
Building Your List: Start by offering something of value for free—a short story, a chapter preview, or even writing tips. Promote your newsletter on social media, your blog, and within your books.
3. Blogging: Establishing Authority and Building SEO
Consistent Content: Aim to post regularly. Whether it's once a week or once a month, consistency helps in building an audience.
Variety is Key: Blog about topics related to your books, your writing journey, book reviews, and even guest posts from other authors.
Engage with Your Readers: Allow comments and engage with readers who take the time to share their thoughts. This two-way communication can provide invaluable insights and foster a loyal reader base.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): By optimizing your content with relevant keywords, you can attract organic traffic from search engines. Over time, this can significantly increase your blog's visibility and, by extension, your books.
4. Combining Platforms for Maximum Impact
Cross-Promotion: Share your blog posts on social media, offer exclusive sneak peeks of your blog content in newsletters, and promote your social media channels in your blog's sidebar.
Collaborations: Collaborate with fellow authors for joint giveaways, guest blog posts, or social media takeovers. This can introduce your work to a new set of readers.
Integrate Feedback: Pay attention to the feedback from your readers across all platforms. The comments on your blog, replies to your newsletter, or social media interactions can provide valuable insights into what your audience wants.
5. Best Practices for Building an Author Platform
Authenticity Over Virality: While viral posts can boost visibility temporarily, authenticity fosters loyalty. Be genuine in your interactions and consistent in your online persona.
Patience is Key: Building a platform doesn't happen overnight. It requires consistent effort and engagement. Celebrate small milestones and remember that every big platform started with a single follower.
Stay Updated: The digital world is ever-evolving. From algorithm changes to new platforms, keep yourself updated to make the most of your online presence.
Building an author platform is akin to crafting a story—both require patience, consistency, and a touch of creativity. In the digital age, your platform is an extension of your work, offering readers a window into your world beyond the pages of your book. By effectively leveraging social media, newsletters, and blogging, you can cultivate a community of readers eager to embark on every literary journey you undertake.
If you want to learn more to help you on your publishing journey, join our author training academy. You can start with our FREE courses HERE