177: 177- How to Set Up a Simple Author Platform
This post may be a review to some or completely new to others. But I wanted to get super basic on how to set up the very basic author platform. If you don’t have much time, money, and experience, but want to do this for the long haul, here’s the best foundation.
WHAT IS PLATFORM?
Your platform is your people. It’s not made up of numbers but actual people who follow you and will (to a greater or lesser degree) support you and your writing.
Platform matters if you want to traditionally publish, because you’ll be expected to bring something to the table. Namely, sales. In my talk with Maria Ribas in episode 40, you can learn more about this.
If you’re an indie author (self publishing independently), you’ll need a platform to sell books and get reviews.
HOW TO SET UP A BASIC AUTHOR PLATFORM
Your platform will include other areas, that people often refer to as platforms: email, social media, blogging, and podcasting. Email is about direct communication with your readers. Social is like hanging out with them in a room with other people. Blogging, podcasting, YouTube and other platforms can be about connection, but involve a higher level of creating more content. If you’re already writing books, you may not have as much time to devote to creating other content.
PART ONE: SET UP YOUR EMAIL LIST
- Create a freebie that relates to what you plan to send AND your paid products.
- Set up a single form or landing page to give away that freebie.
- Create a name for the group or list or create a tag for the people who join by downloading your freebie.
- Set up a super simple automated welcome series of 1-3 emails.
- Promote your free thing through Bookfunnel, Story Origin, Book Cave, Prolific Works, or by sending paid traffic via Facebook ads.
- Show up consistently in people’s inboxes.
PART TWO: PICK A SOCIAL MEDIA
- Choose a platform that you love, know, and where your readers hang out.
- Get your basic bio, images, and info up to date.
- Promote your social media to your email list and vice versa.
- Show up consistently with a mix of conversational and promotional content.
SHOULD AUTHORS BLOG, PODCAST, AND CREATE VIDEOS?
Maybe. Those things require time that could be spend writing your books. Will they serve to help sell and promote your books or find new readers? If you understand SEO and how to create content, then yes. Blogging and podcasting and other content-heavy platforms might bring you new readers.
For non-fiction, this can be vital. You need to not only find readers, but build authority. You can also do this by guest posting on other blogs with authority or being a guest on relevant podcasts or other places. Just be sure it’s RELEVANT. Does it help serve your ultimate goals? Is the audience YOUR audience?
Platform doesn’t have to be complicated. It does take work and upkeep. But platform is really about connecting with your ideal readers and helping turn them into raving fans.
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