7 Tips for Building Your Online Platform

Written by Jassica Atha | March 19, 2015

Authors today are expected to carry more and more weight in marketing and publicity. In the digital age, much of it can be accomplished online, which can be both easier and harder. There are many free options, but there is also a lot of competition. With so many options and market saturation, the prospect of building an online platform can be intimidating. Here are a few tips for those just staring out:

  1. One good social media account is better than five bad ones. Find something you like and stick to it, whether it’s blogging or Facebook. If you can enjoy it, it will be easier to keep up. Do you like taking pictures? Instagram. Do you like crafts? Pinterest. Do you like short and sweet? Twitter. Longer form? Tumblr. The list can go on and on. But you don’t have to.
  2. Interaction is important. Shouting into the chaotic masses can make anyone feel isolated and their efforts futile. Think about your audience. What do you like? What does your audience like? Chances are that they will overlap. Find those conversations and participate.
  3. Don’t spam. Do not just ask people to check out your book over and over. Direct self-promotion should not be a majority of what you do. You don’t want to beg, you want to be memorable in a positive way.
  4. Keep your site and postings current and regular. This is important for SEO and making yourself visible online. You don’t want your page to look abandoned. You don’t have to post so often that it feels like a chore. Don’t post so seldom that it feels like an after thought. Make a schedule or make it habit.
  5. Keep your site and postings relevant. People need to know your brand and what type of content you offer. All of your topics should relate somehow back to you and your writing. If you are selling cookbooks, you probably shouldn’t post about finance.
  6. Building your online platform is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t happen overnight. Keep realistic expectations. Use this time at the beginning to try different things and to find what works for you.
  7. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We’re all human and we mess up sometimes. As long as you’re respectful, people will generally be forgiving.

Bio: Jessica Atha is a writer, publishing professional, freelancer, and avid reader. She received summa cum laude in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has published several articles and a couple of short stories in magazines and literary journals. She currently works in a small publishing house in Arizona. www.JessicaAtha.com