What about all that platform stuff?
By Devin Berglund
One of the big questions authors ask about expanding their platform… is… how do you expand your platform? Haha… crazy, right? Have you ever asked yourself this question before? If so, I have some helpful tips for you.
Blog House Keeping
In order to have people spend time on your blog you have to make sure people would enjoy spending time on your blog. Check out some blogs that you really like and see what they are doing right.
I’m sure you know of the blogs out there that are made up of few pictures, unreadable font, and colors that scream cheap. Well, that is something we don’t want. Oh, I forgot to mention the blogs that start playing cheesy music as soon as you enter them – that’s one thing that drives me crazy!
House Keeping Homework:
1.) Make sure it’s easy to maneuver around your blog. If it’s hard for you, it will be hard for your readers.
2.) Set a subscription box up for your readers so you can collect emails. (feedburner)
3.) Free vs Self Hosted - I recently switched from the free WordPress to a self-hosted WordPress account (.coms are important.)
4.) When people comment on your blog, be sure to respond.
5.) Publish posts consistently. (And if you are a fiction writer be sure to share your stories. Start writing some short stories to share with your blog readers.)
Stretch Your Blogging Wings
Yep, I just said that.
Haha… but for real. You need to take a little trip out from your blog to find other bloggers who write about things you enjoy as well. How are other bloggers going to find you, if you don’t? And make sure to comment. Form a relationship with them (The blogger will most definitely comment back and will probably check your blog out too.) That’s what platforms are all about. Relationships.
Stretch Your Blogging Wings Homework:
1.) Be sure to post on your social networks. (When on twitter be sure to use the hash tags.)
2.) Take part in writer’s/blogger’s workshops. The more you learn the better.
3.) Share your readers – guest post on people’s blogs. (Make sure you know how to do it professionally. I once had a writer contact me saying they were a freelance writer and were wondering if I accepted guest posts or features. I was thinking “Sure” until I read that she charged so much. That was a huge turnoff to me as a blogger. I am sure many bloggers are put off from that.)
4.) Have a call for submissions – Send a line out that you are looking for submissions (guest bloggers). When I went on vacation, I wasn’t going to be near the computer much so I had a call for submissions and set most of the posts up to publish before I went on vacation. It keeps your blog from going dry, while also introducing other writers to your readers. This goes back to relationships. You can also ask a blogging friend you respect, to guest post. Ask them. I am sure they’d love to.
How about you? What are some things you’ve found helpful for platform building?
I am a writer, dreamer, wanderer & all-time enjoyer of life. I love crafting stories that change lives. I recently finished my first book The Mason of Hearts. It is the first in a Fantasy Adventure trilogy. I am also working toward agent representation.