Recently, I presented a webinar for Writers Digest with the same title as this series of blog posts. More than 2,000 people registered, which made it the most popular webinar in the history of Writers Digest. That tells me there is immense interest in this topic as the publishing landscape changes at ever increasing speed. So if you did not have a chance to hear the webinar, here’s the fifth secret I have learned from successful self published authors. They know how to use the power of social media to build a platform. More specifically, they have learned how to use the internet to connect them to readers and potential readers and get others to promote their books using their social media.
Seems like a simple statement, but the challenge is how do you find the time to keep up on social media given the number of options out there today. The key is you need to pick one one social media platform to be your hub. For most authors that means a blog or Facebook fan page. Then use technology like Feedburner to push out your content to other outlets such as LinkedIn or Twitter. However, no matter which platform you pick to be your hub, you need to have a plan or editiorial calendar. In other words, you need to have a schedule and set of topics you want to write about or promote. If you leave your posts to chance, then you will likely be infrequent in what you post and that is not good. Consistency is a key to building a following. If you have a blog, make sure your content is not just about your book, but about the topic you are interested in. You need to think about your book as just one of your platforms.
If you have a Facebook fan page, pay attention to what people comment on and what they like. It gives you an indication of what people are most interested in. Personally, I think a blog is the most effective way to build a following, but you may be afraid you don’t have time to write the blog your self or you won’t have anything to say after one or two posts. Not to worry. You can use other means to create content for your blog.
- Look for other posts on other news sources or blogs and repost those. (Of course, you want to give them appropriate credit.)
- Ask people who are also interested in the topic to do guest posts. They will then promote it out to there followers.
- Do interviews with people who can offer valued opinions or lessons on the topic of your blog
Clearly, this is a big topic that warrants more than just 500 words, but the key thing I want to make sure you take away is you have to be involved in social media if you want to build a platform today. So pick something to be a hub and get started. You will be glad you did.