Before you can build your writer's platform, you need to know what a writer's platform is. Like the platform on a woman's shoe, it gives you a step up, a support to stand on. In today's publishing world you need to prove to a publisher that your book will make them money. How do you do this? By bringing your own audience to the table. This tells the publisher that you have a “following” that will purchase your book, as well as any other books you write down the road. So how do you build yours?
In order to build a strong writer's platform, you will need to be your own marketing manager. If you are a lawyer and write about the law, you've already proven your expertise. If you are a teacher and want to write children's books, you already have a leg up on your competition. But what if you consider yourself to be a “nobody” without an expertise? Maybe you are a stay at home mom who writes poetry, fiction, or young adult literature. Maybe you're an unemployed college student who wants to write science fiction or screenplays for movies. Or maybe you're a full time mechanic who likes to write romance novels in your spare time. If you aren't an “expert” in your field of writing pleasure, then you will have a little bit of work cut out for you. Luckily with the establishment of the telephone and the Internet, it's not as hard as you might think. Here are some tips to help you get started:
What Is Your Niche
Before you can start building your platform, you need to know what your niche is. What do you want to write about? Pick one or two subjects and do tons of research.
Write On Other People's Forums
Search the Internet for forums that you can ask questions on.
Write For an Established Website
I write for Yahoo’s Contributor Network. You can write articles with a minimum of 400 words and get paid for it. The pay isn't great, but getting your name out there is priceless.
Build Yourself a Website
You can promote your writing through your own website. Add a blog for different topics, put out a monthly newsletter. Use social sites like Twitter and Facebook to help spread the word.
Arrange Opportunities To Speak
If you have a topic to share, call schools, churches, and/or book stores to see if you can speak to a group of people on your subject. Make calls and write letters to promote your ideas.
Sign Up With Community Education
Check with your local Community Education center to see if you could teach a class or offer a workshop of your own.
Become a Freelance Writer
Writing articles for newspapers and magazines is a great way to get your name in print and share your message. You can do this for websites like Yahoo’s Contributor Network as well.
You could design magnets, pens, t-shirts, key chains, as well as other merchandise to get your name out there in the public. Come up with a favorite phrase or quote to add to them.
Start or Join a Writer's Group
Put an ad in the paper, advertise on Craig's List, post flyers at the local mall, or put a message on your website that you are starting a writer's group in your area. Getting together with like-minded people will help all members network.
There are countless writers conferences offered each year. Check out some local conferences to see if they need volunteers. It helps to get your name out and you will be in the mix of other writers, agents, editors, and publishers.
The bottom-line is that you need to make yourself known in the genre of your writing choice. Whatever you can do to increase your image as an expert in your field will help publishers believe in you as well.