For any author looking to create a loyal readership in the twenty-first century, online author platforms are an amazing resource.
Because they are so important. It’s almost a necessity in today’s writing world.
Whether you plan to self-publish or query, just getting started or knee-deep in the publishing world, this article is for you, writer!
And without further ado, here are five basic tips on building a platform your readers will love to follow!
5 BASIC TIPS FOR GETTING ENGAGEMENT ON YOUR AUTHOR PLATFORM
1. FIND WHAT YOUR FOLLOWERS WANT/NEED.
Ask yourself: what do my readers want or need from me, even if they aren’t completely aware of it?
Do they need inspiration? Do they want quality writing resources? Do they want to read your posts and laugh because you’re just so darn relatable?
If you aren’t certain, it can help to host an open poll and just ask what people want to see from you.
2. BE YOURSELF.
The difference between a business profile and an author platform is you. You are the author. And before they read or even buy your work, your readers want to know who you are.
That’s why it’s important to be authentic, real, and honest. You need to appear as a whole person, not just somebody whose pictures pop up in my feed.
To help with this, you can share some things that aren’t related to writing, so people can get to know you better.
Prove to your reader you’re a real person. And if you’re sitting here thinking, “well, I’m not interesting enough for people to care who I am,” let me assure you: you’re always more interesting than you think you are!
3. ASK QUESTIONS.
This is the. best. way. to encourage engagement: ask your reader about themselves.
People love to talk about themselves. If given the opportunity, anybody would share their latest work-in-progress or their writing routine in the comments of your Instagram photo.
I try to ask a question in every one of my social media posts: such as, what time of day do you write? or what are your goals this week?
It’s totally okay to talk about yourself; in fact, readers want to hear about you. But they also want to be heard, and Q&A is an excellently simple way of making that possible.
Speaking of wanting to be heard:
4. ENGAGE BACK!
You know what makes a huge difference in community? Responding to comments on your page.
I know, I know, we don’t always like to do that. My inner introvert panics when I suck it up and reply to comments. But I promise, it makes such a difference. It tells your reader that you saw them, and you’re interested in what they have to say.
In addition to this: try to comment on other peoples’ posts, too! Even a reaction to their Insta story makes a big impact.
Sometimes we forget the actual point of hashtags: reaching people!
On Instagram, people can follow hashtags and see its posts in their feed. When you use that tag in your own post, it shows up for those people.
I suggest you look into good hashtags relevant to your content. Because I reach mostly fellow writers through my platform, here are a few hashtags I’m prone to use:
- #writersonig (and #writersofig)
BONUS: BOOK SALES ≠ COMMUNITY.
Can having 10,000 followers boost your sales? Absolutely.
But you shouldn’t build an author platform in the mindset of getting book sales.
Being a writer, especially an indie writer, is much like owning a business. The distinction is, as the sole marketer of your own books, you should be focusing on creating community; not scrounging for sales.
To sum up this whole post in a sentence:
Be yourself, build a community, engage with your community.
I know, it’s easier said than done. And like all good things, author platforms take time and effort. But it’s absolutely worth it.
If you’re a writer or reader, I would love to follow you on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest! So please, feel free to share your profile(s) in the comments below.
And of course, it would just be wrong if I didn’t end this post by saying: happy writing!