In the first blog post of this series, I discussed how to make a website/blog, quite possibly the most important thing to do as an emerging author. This is necessary to build your little corner of the Internet so that when people hear about your book, read your funny Tweets, or see your thoughtful blog comments…they can find you!
The second post in this series has to do with what I think is probably nearly as important as having your own website—having a Twitter account. This seems to be one of the top chosen mediums for authors (well-known and aspiring) to interact with readers, and meet one another in the industry.
This third post is going to address commenting on other’s blogs, and the other forms of social media you can explore for building your internet presence. By far, a website and Twitter are essential in marketing yourself, so if you’re not a social media lover, don’t force yourself to be everywhere.
So to continue on the list of things I’ve personally done:
3) Grow a list of blogs and websites that you frequently comment on.
This is a two-pronged approach for building your brand; not only are you commenting on a busier blog than yours—and most blogs give you the opportunity to put your website’s URL in to bring others to your site—but you’re supporting another writer. And authors love that. Write a comment that is thoughtful, maybe states a differing opinion to start a meaningful conversation, or is just a nice compliment, and you will make a fast friend in the business.
Do this regularly on a few websites and blogs that catch your eye, and I can assure you that the writer will be more inclined to let you achieve the next part of your platform-building:
4) Begin submitting guest posts to popular blogs for consideration.
The step above simply commenting on various websites is to begin writing guest posts for them as well. This is a superb way to bring traffic to your website, and gain clout as a professional writer. If another person with a popular site is willing to have you on, representing them as well as yourself, it’s a great compliment. Plus, you’re each doing each other a favor—they don’t have to write a post for the day, and you get some great, free marketing.
Just make sure that you follow these rules:
- Be extremely polite when addressing the writer. A lot of people with very popular websites even have guidelines for how they want their guest posts written.
- Mention any posts you liked by the writer, or possibly their book. They want to know you’re interested in their work, not just reaching out to everyone.
- Submit your post in a timely manner, or by the deadline if there is one.
- When it goes up, blast it on social media! The writer will appreciate it, and you may get some interest that was as well.
5) Instagram, Facebook “Business” page, Google+, and Goodreads
To start off with, Instagram is a social medium using photographs; not necessarily applicable to writers, who use words. I think that Instagram can be a beneficial way to showcase more of your “personality” and your “daily life.” As you gain more of a following—especially once your book is released and you have a burgeoning fan base—Instagram can be a great way to reach another audience, maybe one that doesn’t use Twitter.
A Facebook “Business” page as an author can be another good way to get your name out there. If you have a personal Facebook, but don’t want fans being able to access it, then you can create the business page for individuals to comment and support your work. This is the medium I currently use the least of, since I haven’t released my book yet. However, once it gains some traction and hopefully a fan base, I would prefer to keep my personal Facebook private—thus this page will come in handy at that point.
Google+ is still a fairly new social medium being used. It can be a tad confusing to figure out at first, and unfortunately Google+ makes it nearly impossible to link your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram accounts to it, so that the posts share simultaneously. I did however find a site called: http://manageflitter.com, in which you can link your Google+ account to your Twitter account so Google posts get tweeted. Use this if you like new social mediums, but not many other authors seem to be on it just yet.
Goodreads is a great website to have a presence on, even if you haven’t released a book yet. Put your profile information up, get engaged with other readers of your genre, and see what readers are sharing about their favorite books. There is a wealth of knowledge to be had about what books are currently popular, and who’s reading them (find your audience). Then, once you’ve released a book, you can become a Goodreads Author, and people can rate and review your book on the site = more free marketing.
Keep writing and keep dreaming!