As a writer who is continuing to build a platform, I found the following article from Richard Ridley’s blog to be helpful and wise. One of the key points: engage with your platform frequently so it has a fresh look and new insightful and/or usable information is constantly appearing, keeping your readers returning for more.
The word “platform” became forever linked to the word “author” for many of us when the world of Web 2.0 became a part of our everyday existence. Publishers, marketing experts, and publicists introduced us to the concept of the author platform. In short, it is all the elements used by authors to reach the book-buying public. It’s the foundation of your brand. Before the internet, platforms were built and maintained by specialists for authors.
But when the world became accessible through high-speed internet connections, authors began to build their own platforms. It was a movement met with resistance at first, but now authors everywhere are not only encouraged to build and maintain their own platforms, they are expected to do so.
What does it take to build an author platform? It’s really very simple. Every platform is built using three basic planks. You can experiment and extend beyond these three elements, but they will be the building blocks of your author platform.
The Message– This is fairly obvious. What are you trying to say? It may not be unique. It may have been said a million times before. Don’t concern yourself with your spin on a particular topic when it comes to identifying your message on any given day. Simply identify what you’re trying to say.
The Messenger– Now’s the time to start thinking about your spin. If you are commenting on something that has been covered ad nauseam, how will you make others think of it differently from all the other messengers? Do you have inside sources? Do you find something tragic funny or something funny tragic? How one presents his or her message defines the messenger.
The Medium– What is the primary delivery point for your message? Will you use a personal blog as your platform’s home base? Will it be Twitter or Facebook? Or maybe you have your own radio program or television show to deliver your message.
Building a platform is not a static activity. It’s not something you construct and then walk away from. It’s something you participate in every day. An author’s platform is fluid and changes and grows with the author. The more you add to your platform, the more strength it has. The great and scary thing about today’s publishing world is that authors are now responsible for their own platforms. Own that responsibility, and build a strong foundation for your brand!
Richard Ridley is an award-winning author and paid CreateSpace contributor.
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