We already talked about what a writer platform is, but what does (or can) a writer platform actually consist of?
Your writer platform probably won't look exactly like mine, and it won't look like those of your colleagues necessarily. There are no tools or tactics that you must use, although there are some that are used more commonly than others. It's up to you to choose the things you're most comfortable with, which will also appeal to your own target market.
30 Ways to Build a Writer Platform
Here are 30 ways to build your writer platform, starting today:
- Setup a professional website and public portfolio
- Start a blog where you can demonstrate your authority in your niche or industry
- Conduct original research and publish the results (to again convey authority status)
- Give speeches at industry events or organizations
- Conduct seminars and / or webinars
- Offer a course or e-course (free or paid)
- Get published in trade or niche publications read by members of your target market
- Write and release e-books and / or reports
- Write a book (again related to your specialty area)
- Have op-eds or letters to the editor published in newspapers, magazines, or Web publications
- Take part in article marketing
- Comment on blogs or websites in your niche or industry
- Write guest posts for other blogs in your niche or industry (the more visibility the better)
- Setup your own virtual publicity tour (combining reviews, guest posts, interviews, etc. over a week or so)
- Write for a larger site, blog, or network regularly within your niche (by-lined work, and often paid)
- Solicit or make yourself available for interviews
- Release a white paper
- Start your own podcast series
- Create a video series or video blog (can be good for tutorials)
- Guest lecture at an educational institution
- Send pitch letters to targeted journalists, pitching a story concept and offering yourself as a source
- Actively take part in forums, social networks, or other online communities in your niche or industry
- Take part in joint promotions with others
- Publish (or allow others to publish) excerpts of longer books or e-books you've written
- Join professional organizations
- Create your own networking group or professional organization
- Build a following on microblogging services like Twitter
- Offer a print or email newsletter
- Offer related products (if you're a health and fitness writer, for example, you may publish and sell--or give away--your own fitness calendar or training plan)
- Give away free stuff (freebies are a great way to give people a taste of your expertise and style, and they attract links and buzz)
Like I said, you don't have to take on all of these 30 ways to build a writer platform. Everything in the list isn't appropriate for every freelance writer out there. But there sure are a lot of options, aren't there? How many do you currently use to your advantage? I find that even experienced freelance writers often don't make use of many of the tools available to them. Are you doing enough? At a bare minimum, pick one thing from the list this week and start pursuing it. Yes, there's some market planning to do (which we'll cover also), but for now just narrow down your options and lay the framework (always keeping your target client base in mind of course).
Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.
She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.
Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.
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