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How to Create Your Writer’s Platform with Websites and Blogs


“How to Create Your Writer’s Platform with Websites and Blogs” by Joan Y. Edwards

I shared most of the information in this article at a workshop with the Luncheon Literary Society at the BacinTyme restaurant in Fort Mill, SC on Saturday, March 5, 2011. Here is a link to pictures very kindly taken by Pat FitzGerald on my Joan Y. Edwards, Author page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Y-Edwards-Author/111310278911077#!/album.php?aid=36704&id=111310278911077. I was very fortunate that Roxanne Hanna, their fearless leader, asked me to share what I’ve learned with these talented writers.

Intermingled in the article are the questions the attendees wanted to know about platforms, websites and blogs. Perhaps you might have the same questions. If you have other questions, please leave a comment below or email me at the address listed in the left-hand column.

How to Create Your Writer’s Platform with Websites and Blogs

By Joan Y. Edwards

Publishers want to know your Marketing Platform – Writer’s Platform. They want to know who is going to buy your book. Who is going to entrust their money to purchase what you have written.

What Readers Are You Bringing to the Selling/Buying Table?

The following are articles that tell a little more about the Marketing Platform and the Writer’s Platform:

1. Rebekah Sabek http://savvy-writer.com/writers-must-have-a-marketing-platform-for-their-books/

2. Book Marketing Experts http://workingwritersandbloggers.com/2011/02/28/what-is-a-platform-and-how-can-you-identify-it/

3. Joel Friedlander http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2010/03/author-platform-what-are-you-waiting-for/

4. Bill Henderson http://writeabetternovel.net/a-writer%E2%80%99s-platform-want-to-publish-start-building-yours

Who Knows You?

In other words, publishers want to know how many people have heard or seen your name in person, in books, or on the internet.

Jonathan Fields (http://tribalauthor.com/author-platform/) says publishers want to know the answers to the following questions:

  1. How many people are on your email list or subscribers to your blog?
  2. How many followers do you have on Twitter? (You want thousands.)
  3. How many Facebook friends or fans do you have? (You want hundreds.)
  4. How much monthly traffic do you get?

Blog or Website

  •  A blog is a website.
  •  A website does not necessarily have a blog.
  • A website is not necessarily a blog.
  • A website has static pages. Pages that look the same over time except a few changes of items added with links.
  • A blog is technically, a guest book with posts and comments.
  • A blog is not static; it changes with new posts and/or new comments.

How Does a Website/Blog Help a Writer?

Question 1: I write books, why should I have a website or blog?

Question 2: I write poetry, why should I have a blog?

Question 3: I’ve heard people say that writing a blog is not just important, but a must for a non-published author. How does writing a blog increase my chances of getting published?

Websites and Blogs Are Part of a Writer’s Platform

Read Jenny B’s article, “Why All Writers Should Have Their Own Website:” http://www.bukisa.com/articles/321187_why-all-writers-should-have-their-own-website

Makes them known by more people.

Gives a place to market the writer’s books or products thus making a plus to publish their works.

Web Presence Is Part of a Writer’s Platform

Search on the internet for your name. It’ll show webpages, blogs, comments on blogs, facebook, twitter, and other links.

Each time you create a blog, website page, or leave a comment, you create a listing for Google’s Search. You are increasing your web presence.

My Web Presence-Website and Blogs

  1. Website www.joanyedwards.com
  2. Never Give Up Blog www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com
  3. Joan’s Caregiver Guide Blog www.joanscaregiverguide.wordpress.com
  4. Joan’s Elder Care Guide Blog www.joanseldercareguide.weebly.com

Search for Joan Y. Edwards. You will come out with 350,000 possible links on 35,000 pages. Not all are good matches, but on the first 7 pages most of them are active, working links. You might find one, two, or no links on the other pages.

It didn’t start out that way. In 2001, I started out with one link on our church’s website. I wrote devotionals and puzzles for children’s liturgy for children who might not be able to get to church. In 2002 I took an online course at CPCC to learn how to create my own website.

Because I Had a Website

  1. I got a job writing and consulting for 4 years for Liturgical Publications – Primary Factor – My website got the editor’s attention. He needed the information below to back up his opinion.
  2. I also got the job because I taught school 35 years.
  3. I also got the job because I taught CCD (Sunday School) and did Children’s Liturgy (Children’s Church) for 17 years each.
  4. I went from 1 visitor in July 22, 2002 to 49,811 visitors as of March 8, 2011. (Approximately 5,000 visitors a year.)

Because I Had this Never Give Up Blog that you’re reading now:

  1. I shared my PubSub3rdFri idea with my readers.
  2. I received three requests to be a guest blogger on Write2Ignite’s Thrift and Gift Blog by Linda Andersen (PubSub3rdFri and Conference).
  3. Nikki Schoenfeldt used an excerpt from the same Conference blog article for the SCBWI-Carolinas Pen & Palette.
  4. I got put in the Writer’s Spotlight on Roxie’s Blog: http://roxieh.wordpress.com/writer-spotlight/. Thank you, Roxie. Yay! Yay! For Roxie.
  5. Jeff Herman’s publicist asked me if I’d like to interview him on my blog. He wrote Jeff Herman’s Guide to Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents 2011: Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over http://www.amazon.com/Hermans-Publishers-Editors-Literary-Agents/dp/1402243375/. It probably sells over 250,000 copies each year.
  6. Carol Baldwin put me my blog article on Critiques as an optional homework assignment in her Central Piedmont Community College Writing Course.
  7. I went from 1 visitor on October 9, 2009 to 6,584 visitors on March 8, 2011. In February 2012, I passed 20,000 visitors.

You Can Create a Website/Blog for Free

Question 4: I’m a creative writer; I don’t know anything about the internet. How am I supposed to do a blog? Learn. Children write blogs in elementary school. If they can learn it, you can learn it.

Question 5: I don’t have any extra money, how can I pay for a blog/website?

I like WordPress. Why do I like WordPress? (Fourteen Reasons Why I Like My WordPress Blog)

  •  You can add (meta) tags that go straight to the search engines.
  •  Wordpress uses bar graph statistics. I prefer bar graphs to line graphs.
  • Statistics Page shows the pages most viewed, referring sites, subscriptions, terms search engines used to get to your blog post, links from your blogs that people clicked on.
  • You can almost see it all on one page.
  • WordPress has Widgets to add things to your blog: visitor count, categories, subscriptions, text box for copyright, etc.
  • WordPress Blogs http://www.wordpress.com
  • Sign up for WordPress: https://en.wordpress.com/signup/

Statistics Page Showing Daily Visits from Never Give Up Blog February 6, 2011

Note:

 Find a blog setup that you like. I have two WordPress blogs and one Weebly blog. Blogger and Weebly use line graphs.  You can also track your statistics on these sites with Google Analytics statistics which uses line graphs. Use the free statistics that are available.

What Should You Write about? What Do You Want to Write about?

Question 6. Who would read my blog?

Question 7 Where do I find information to put on my blog/website?

Question 8 Isn’t a blog like a book? Where would I find all that information?

Pretend you’re talking to your best friend or worst enemy and write about:

  1. Write what you know
  2. Write what you’d like to know more about – research and then write. The search engine is your best friend. Give credit where credit is due.
  3. Write how you solve your problems
  4. Write what your heart leads you to talk about
  5. Write what you are passionate about.
  6. Write what makes you fearful?
  7. Write what makes you angry?
  8. Write what makes you cry?
  9. Write what makes you laugh?
  10. What you’re thankful for?

Why Should You Write?

  1. Write to instruct.
  2. Write to entertain.
  3. Write to inspire.
  4. Write to calm yourself and/or others.

What Do You Want? Time

Question 9. I write after work, how am I supposed to find time to add something else to my already jam-packed schedule?

I say to you, like a character in a book:

1. How badly do you want it?

2. What are you willing to do to get it?

The more you say you don’t have time, the more your brain is going to seek out situations to prove that you are right.

In that case you choose different words to open the possibility of having the time:

I have 5 minutes to write each day.

I have 10 or more minutes to write each day.

You choose to create the time you need. When you’re thankful for the time you have, you create more possibilities of having even more time. Sometimes our words and our thoughts create what we don’t want instead of what we want. Visualize and focus on what you do want. Visualize yourself with more time. Say it’s okay if you get more time or not, so the emotional charge is not there. Just your innate instinct of what to do to get what you want. (Study the Sedona Method or Watch the Secret movie to learn more. Listen to Joel Osteen or Creflo Dollar. Read The Bible, It tells you in Matthew 7:7 – “Ask, and it will be given to you.”

Enjoy Being You

Accept Yourself as Valuable, Lovable, and Respected

Do something good for you!

Laugh, cry, holler, scream, and shout, but whatever you do: Never Give Up!

Someone at the workshop said, “What you’re saying to us is to enjoy the journey.” That’s it exactly. Enjoy your journey in life! Whether you’re published or unpublished, whether you’re accepted or rejected by publishers, editors, and/or agents, whether you have the time you want, or you don’t have the time you want, whether you’ve reached your goals or you haven’t reached your goals. Enjoy your journey. In being thankful for what you have, you’ll get more of what you want. Focus on what you want. Talk about what you want. Accept yourself as you are now. Then you can change things for the better.

Please leave a comment. Thanks for reading my blog.

Never Give Up!
Joan Y. Edwards

Copyright © 2011 Joan Y. Edwards.

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6 Responses

  1. Great post Joan ~ I have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed your presentation! Keep up the great writing! 😉

    Like

    • Dear Roxie, Thanks for saying this was a great post. I’m so glad that you enjoyed my workshop presentation. You are a great organizer! Do something good for you! Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  2. Hi Joan,

    What a quality workshop! What a fabulous blogpost. It has something for anybody thinking of starting a website and/or blog. Thanks for making it available to all.

    Linda A.

    Like

    • Dear Linda, You’re welcome for making the websites and blogs workshop available to all. I hope it helps others to make that first click available online! Do something good for you today! Joan Y. Edwards

      Have a Flip Flap Floodle Day!

      Joan Y. Edwards, Author/Illustrator

      Like

  3. Fellow MuseConBoard member here. Great post. Creating and sustaining visibility is a key strategy in an author/writer’s promotion. Thanks for providing so much info.

    Like

    • Dear Karen, Thanks for giving me saying my writer’s platform blog post contained good information. You’re right creating and sustaining visibility is a key strategy in an author/writer’s promotion. Do something good for you today. Joan Y. Edwards, Author/Illustrator

      Like

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