July 23, 2012 - Miscellaneous

I would never have expected social media to be a large part of my life. Why the change?

I’m active on Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, digg, LinkedIn, Google, Twylah, Pinterest, GoodReads, Shelfari, Squidoo, LibraryThing, ShoutLife, YouTube, and several others. Why is this so important?

For successful authors, platform is second only to the content of their writing.

The publishing world has changed over the past several years, placing the emphasis on the individual writer. Is this going to change anytime soon? Not likely.

If you are an aspiring author, before you write your first word, there are key building blocks you need to prepare your foundation.

  • Be honest about where you are going
    • If you’re embarking on a writing career, or even if you are just getting started, focus on the future. There is no room for deciding as you go. Have a plan—stick with it.
  • Construct your web page/Blog page
    • Successful authors must have a solid, highly accessible blog page, and it must be kept current.
    • This is a big deal, and it can be a deal-breaker. Starting a blog page and adding a post every couple of weeks is not going to help—in fact, it may cause more harm than good. A successful blog will:
      • Tell something about the author
      • Provide an easy method of contact
      • Offer a forum for discussion
      • Be uniform, consistent and genuine
      • Offer blog posts of value
      • Post new blogs regularly and maintain your site daily. It’s best if your followers know when you are going to post so they can look for it.
        • It’s also important to remain true to your theme. You are an expert about that which you are an expert. Don’t try to knowledgeable about everything. It is better to be respected for what you know, than criticized for what you act like you know.
    • For more information about the format, vehicle or blog theme, contact me directly at donbrobst@gmail.com.
  • Build your platform brick-by-brick
    • The best advice I could possibly give on constructing the foundation of your platform is Michael Hyatt’s New York Times bestseller, Platform. This is a must for every author. No shortcuts—buy this book.
  • Facebook
    • There is no doubt that you need to establish a Facebook page and keep it active. Building your friend-base takes time, so start now. Don’t fall into the popular trap of buying friends with a service that increases your numbers.
  • Twitter
    • Use Twitter wisely. No matter how important you are, nobody wants to know you’re stuck in traffic and mad about it. Make sure your Tweets are valuable. That way they will be read instead of ignored. Again, no buying followers from a follower service. Build it brick-by-brick. This too takes time, but it’s necessary to be genuine. Numbers are important, but only if you build them properly.
  • Twylah
    • Twylah is a Tweet trend organizer. It allows tweets to live on in an organized fashion, and although I was skeptical at first, it has proven to be a very useful social networking tool. The best way to see how this works is to right-click on the yellow star button on the toolbar above.
  • StumbleUpon
    • This is a unique network connecting large groups of followers based on topic and personal preferences. Some of my largest referral numbers have come from this network, and the times my blogs have gone viral, StumbleUpon has been directly responsible for thousands of hits in a matter of hours.
  • Pinterest
    • Truly different not only in it’s mode, but also in those who follow. It has been a treat to be involved in a social network that sweeps you in so easily. I not only contribute—I receive from others as well.

Not all social networks are for everyone. It depends on your target audience, your focus, area of expertise, and ability to build a true platform. Again, this is where Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform is important.

Remember, if you wait until your writing is done to build your platform, it’s too late. Do your research and get started now.