Are you building your writing platform? If you want to make a good-to-great living as a writer, you need to focus on it. Nothing replaces it. It’s NOT optional. As writing becomes ever more competitive, you can choose to either build your writing platform, or write for peanuts.
Luckily, building your platform isn’t difficult. It does require something from you, however.
Yesterday, in our article on building platform – more readers mean more income, I said:
It might take you a while to break into a new form of writing like copywriting, or magazine writing, or Kindle ebooks, however, once you do break in – once you have readers, and people know you, it’s very hard to get out of it. Editors and previous clients will keep contacting you, and asking you to do a particular form of writing, even if you’ve moved on to something else.
In a nutshell, building your platform requires you to: be consistent in writing, and in platform-building activities.
You need to define a level of output you can achieve, and produce those words. Output builds your platform.
As I said in Your Writing Process: The One Big Secret:
All the professional writers I know focus on their writing. Selling is secondary; it has to be, because if you’re not writing, you have nothing to sell.
When Dean Koontz finishes a novel, he brainstorms titles for the next one. As soon as he has a title, he starts writing. Jack London wrote a thousand words a day, every day. Somerset Maugham wrote every morning, as soon as he finished his breakfast.
Production is everything: readers can’t read what you don’t write.
I chat with writers every day. If there’s one thing I wish I could wave a magic wand and change, it’s this: I’d give all writers a consistency gene. Consistency is everything.
Please don’t wait to see the results of your latest project. Produce. Finish something, then start on something else immediately.
Kris Rusch talks about bestselling author Nora Roberts’ output here:
I looked at Nora Roberts’ publishing schedule for 2013, and she will have five new titles this year, all of which are probably a maximum of 100,000 words. That’s still half a million words per year in print, not counting how much she wrote on the side or blogged or did in anticipation of future projects.
If Nora Roberts publishes 500,000 words this year, she’s written double that, easily – and that’s a million words. If Ms Roberts writes 365 days a year, she’s writing over 2,700 words a day. If she writes 1,000 words an hour, that’s three hours of solid writing time.
That kind of output may be impossible for you, if you’re working a day job, and are looking after a family. Even so, you can set production targets, and keep your fingers tapping at the keyboard.
Decide on a production schedule: your readers need something to read. 🙂
Consistency will build your writing platform.
Now let’s look at some easy platform-building ideas.
Ultra-simple writing platform building ideas…
Let’s keep it simple.
- Where are you? Create and maintain your website
Your readers need to be able to FIND you. Your website is the foundation of your platform. We’ve discussed easy 5-minute websites here.
You can create a website in half an hour or less. Spend 20 minutes a week adding some content to your site, and you’re already ahead of the vast majority of writers. There’s no need to get fancy. If someone wants to find you on the Web, they’re at your site for a reason. They don’t care about how fancy or otherwise your site happens to be.
- Be visible on social media (set a timer)
B.L. Ochman reports:
Participating in Google+ as an individual or a brand is no longer optional because Google+ profiles and content are part of Google’s new search algorithm.
Before you hit Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, set a timer. You can waste lots of prime writing time on these sites if you don’t keep an eye on the time.
What to do now…
Create a quick website. If you already have a site, add something to it. Then create a Google+ profile. Got one? Post something, and join a Google+ community or two.
These days, you have unlimited writing opportunities. Take advantage of them: SYWON 2 (Sell Your Writing Online Now) gives you all the skills and presents opportunities you may not have considered.
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