If you’re an author looking to attract readers and grow your audience, building an author platform is essential.
Yes, it may seem overwhelming, and it’s easy to try and convince yourself it’s unnecessary, especially when you’re just starting out (to a lot of debut authors “go big or go home” seems ludicrous) but an author platform is a way for you to establish your online presence, connect with your target audience, and promote your work.
And it’s never too late to whip your platform into shape – that’s the beauty of being in publishing, you literally get to start fresh whenever you decide it’s time to do more for your work!
So check out the step-by-step process of creating an effective author platform that will help you reach more readers and achieve your writing goals!
Define your target audience.
Before you can effectively build an author platform that attracts readers, you need to define your target audience.
Who are the readers that you want to connect with and attract to your work? Consider factors such as age, gender, interests, and reading preferences. By understanding your target audience, you can tailor your platform and promotional efforts to appeal to them specifically. Conduct market research, engage with readers in your genre, and gather feedback to gain insights into your target audience’s needs and preferences.
This will help you create content and messaging that resonates with them and ultimately attracts more readers to your platform.
Create a professional author website.
One of the key elements of building an effective author platform is having a professional author website.
Your website should have a clean and visually appealing design, with easy navigation and clear information about your books, upcoming events, and contact details. It’s also important to have an author bio that highlights your credentials and writing experience.
You should also add a blog or resources section where you can share valuable content related to your genre or area of expertise. This will not only attract readers but also establish you as an authority in your field.
Remember to optimize your website for search engines by using relevant keywords and meta tags, as this will help improve your visibility in online searches.
Establish a presence on social media.
In today’s digital age, having a strong presence on social media is crucial for building an author platform that attracts readers.
Choose the social media platforms that are most popular among your target audience, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Goodreads.
Create professional profiles on these platforms and regularly engage with your followers by sharing updates about your writing, upcoming events, and book releases. Use social media to interact with your readers, respond to their comments and messages, and build a community around your work. It’s also important to share valuable content on social media, such as writing tips, book recommendations, or behind-the-scenes insights into your writing process.
By consistently posting engaging content and interacting with your audience, you can attract more readers and grow your author platform.
But remember what I always say, it’s not about being everywhere, it’s about being everywhere that matters. So defining your audience will help save you a lot of time and potentially money in terms of running yourself ragged trying to manage multiple platforms when your target market may only be using one or two of them.
Build an email list.
In addition to having a strong presence on social media, building an email list is another crucial aspect of building an author platform that attracts readers.
By collecting email addresses from your website visitors, social media followers, events, etc. you can directly communicate with your audience and keep them updated on your latest releases, promotions, and future events. Offer a freebie or incentive, such as a free chapter of your book or exclusive content, in exchange for their email address. Use email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or ConvertKit to manage your email list and send regular newsletters or updates to your subscribers.
By consistently providing valuable content and staying in touch with your readers through email, you can nurture your relationship with them and turn them into loyal fans of your work for the long term.
Engage with your audience through content creation and interaction.
One of the most effective ways to build an author platform that attracts readers is to engage with your audience through content creation and interaction. This means consistently creating valuable and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can include blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, or any other form of content that showcases your expertise and connects with your readers.
It’s also important to interact with your audience through comments, messages, and social media. Respond to comments on your blog or social media posts, engage in conversations with your readers, and ask for their feedback and opinions. This not only shows that you value their input, but it also helps to build a sense of community and connection with your audience.
By consistently creating high-quality content and actively engaging with your audience, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche and attract more readers to your author platform.
Remember to listen to your audience, understand their needs and interests, and tailor your content and interactions accordingly. You want your readers to feel like you understand them, what interests them, what makes them laugh, etc.
Building a strong relationship with your audience is key to growing your author platform and attracting loyal readers.
Never stop asking for reviews and pitching for coverage.
Reviews say a lot about you and your book. Consumers read an average of 7 online reviews before making a purchase decision, and according to one study, there is an 88% positive correlation between the number of Amazon reviews and a book’s total sales.
So your platform includes what people are saying about you, and reviews matter. Don’t stop reminding your network how much reviews help your brand, most of the mean well, they just get busy, and regular reminders are part of being in business as an author.
Coverage also matters. Whether it’s genre influencers or industry thought leaders or local media, it all adds to your credibility and expands on your online real estate when a potential reader or influencer Googles your name or your book title.
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