I have heard everywhere, that as a writer, we are responsible for advertising our works prior to their publication through social media platforms. How are to do so when we have no following, though? How do we go about building something from nothing?
It’s true that publishers will expect you to do a lot of the marketing leg work when it comes to your forthcoming novel, and that’s why writers with pre-existing platforms are so much more appealing to agents and publishers.
That said, it’s important to start building your platform early. It’s never to early to start! Even if you’re just beginning to write your book, now is a great time to get started on your platform.
First, decide on your author name, pen name, or just a general page name, like “Katie Writes” or “The Grumpy Writer.” Next, use a free graphic editor like Canva to create a logo, banner, and other uniform graphics to use on all of your pages. This will create a visual brand that people will come to associate with you.
Next, go ahead and set up a blog using a site like Blogger, Word Press, or Tumblr. Be sure to use the previously chosen name and the previously created graphics. Start by making an introductory post. Then, once every week or so, think of something to write about. Think about what you have to offer other writers, readers, students–whatever! Write posts that you think will interest people. Don’t make them too long, and offer some sort of takeaway, like a good piece of advice, a helpful tip, a great quote, or a movie/TV/book review. Make sure to tag your posts heavily so that people interested in those topics can find them. Little by little, you’ll start to rack up followers.
Once you get your blog off the ground, you can set up social media. Twitter, facebook, and Pinterest are good ones to start with. Tweet writing-related quotes, writing tips and advice, or writing-related thoughts or humor. Follow and re-tweet your favorite writers. Find other writers with similar tastes and interests, friend them, and retweet them. Use writing-related hashtags. On facebook, follow your favorite writers, follow writing organizations and writing pages, make pretty graphics on Canva of favorite quotes or writing tips and post those. Be sure to tag them. Be sure to like and comment on the posts of other writers and on writing pages. Make yourself visible. Pinterest is a great place to post graphics that link back to articles on your blog that are filled with helpful writing advice or thoughts.
Now and then, post about your writing process, where you are in your writing journey, etc.
The three most important things to do:
1) Offer something: advice, a quote, humor, a pretty picture, motivation, etc.
2) Tag: if you can use tags or hashtags, use as many as you can. Look online for lists of writing-related tags and hashtags.
3) Be visible. Tag, retweet, re-post, re-blog, like, comment, and friend.
Most importantly, be patient and be realistic. You may not rack up thousands of followers, and you certainly won’t do that overnight, but every little bit helps. It adds up over time. :)
The WQA inbox is closed for a few days while I catch up on questions. If you have a question in the meantime, please see the master list or search the tags on the main site. :) <3