I am sure that anyone who writes has heard how important an author platform is. You may even be a little sick of hearing about it. It is time-consuming to do and really takes away from the writing. But it is a vital step to gain readers. In fact, it is an important tool that people who aren’t authors can use to gain exposure.
If you are anything like me you probably just want to be writing rather than spending you time networking to get readers. Unfortunately, building your platform is an important part of it. Readers have to know who you are and what you are about if they are going to want to read your books. To minimize the time that you spend away from writing there are five things you can do to get going. There are a lot more, but I consider these ones essential and they can all be done for free. Even better!
The first one is Facebook. It is very beneficial for an author to set up a Facebook Business Page, (also called a Facebook Fan Page). Facebook has a high global ranking of number 3. So you can’t really afford to miss out on that kind of traffic. What is nice about business pages is that unlike a profile anybody can interact with them. People don’t have to send friend requests so it is much easier to gain followers.
You can set up a Facebook page right from your personal profile. Even though it is connected to your personal profile none of your friends will even know it exists unless you invite them to it. You can keep the two totally separate if you want to. They are very easy to setup too. If you can setup a personal profile on Facebook then you can also setup a business page.
The next thing is Twitter. Most people know about this one too. But surprisingly, I know a lot of people who aren’t on it. Twitter has a high global ranking too of 12. So that means millions of tweeters for you to connect with. Or tweeps as some people like to call them!
Twitter is also pretty easy to setup a profile on. You just have to keep everything to 140 characters. I find it incredibly easy to get Twitter followers. It is getting people to my Facebook page that I find challenging. But everyone is different in that respect.
In case you are wondering where I am getting my website ranking information from, it is a site called Alexa.com found here, http://www.alexa.com/. It is an Amazon.com owned company and it has a lot of valuable information on it when it comes to site ranking.
The next thing that I think is vital to building your platform is a blog. A lot of people turn their noses up at this one because it is probably the most time consuming of all. But there is no better way to spread the word about what you are doing. It is your own little universe that you can use to get your message across any way that you want to. The more creative you are the better.
Another bonus is that you can connect your Facebook page and your Twitter profile to it. That way they can all be working together to build your platform. I think that in today’s world it is expected that people have this no matter what field they are in. It is the first thing that people look for. This can also be done for free by using a service like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. Then as your blog grows you can move it to a self-hosted site if you want.
The next two are connected to Amazon.com. If you don’t sell any kind of books on there then it really doesn’t pertain to you. But most people who sell books today will sell some of them on Amazon.com.
If you do sell books on Amazon, one of the first things you should do is take the time to setup and Amazon Author’s Page. You can do that by going to this website, https://authorcentral.amazon.com/. Having an Author’s Page is a good way to display all of your books in one place. You can add a profile picture here and a biography about yourself. You can also hook your blog to it, another bonus.
Lastly, you should have a profile set up on goodreads.com found here, https://www.goodreads.com/. This website is, of course, owned by Amazon.com. Setting up a profile here is another way for you to showcase your books. You have the opportunity to connect with a lot of readers here too because this site is all about books and reading. You can also hook your blog to it and videos as well.
I didn’t mention videos before, but they are a good way to promote yourself if you are into making them. They are just another promotional tool that you can use to get yourself out there and spread the word about your books. There are so many ways to do that I could go on and on especially when it comes to social media. But unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day. So it is up to you how much you want to take on.
The key to all of this is consistency and determination. In the beginning, you may feel like you are posting and tweeting to yourself, we all do. But you have to be determined enough to keep going. Everything is so saturated today that you have to cut through all of the noise and make people notice you. I have been at this for a while and I still feel that way. I read some of the stuff that people post, especially on Twitter, and I think to myself, this is just frivolous garbage. So you just keep sounding your message and it eventually gets through. If you keep doing that then you will get the quality responses that you are looking for.