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Think You Can't Build a Platform for Your Writing? Think Again.


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If you’re a writer who wants to one day attract the interest of an agent or publishing house, or create products to sell on your own, creating a platform for yourself is a must. In essence, this platform is your visibility as an author. 

There are several different ways you can work on building your platform if you haven’t already. 

You can: 
  • Create a website or blog. 
  • Build an e-mail list where you can alert subscribers to upcoming projects, books for sale, and provide free content. 
  • Write guest blog posts or articles for online publications. 
  • Grow a social media following through sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. 
  • Become a public speaker on topics you write about. 
When I first started my freelance career, I looked at other authors with large followings and thought I’d never be able to emulate those types of platforms. For several years I fumbled around, worrying too much about having the necessary platform elements in place all at once. Then slowly, the puzzle pieces started coming together. I created a simple writing website for my clips. I found consistent work as a freelance writer and editor for regional magazines. I developed a specialty on writing about parenting topics, and then, one on human interest stories. I won my first magazine writing award, which helped solidify me as an expert in freelance writing. A local writing group invited me to speak to their members, an event which also offered me a free dinner and a small stipend. Then, I won a few awards for fiction writing, which gave me solid credentials for my bio when pitching literary agents. 

I began researching and writing regularly about true crime on my blog, then developed my own true crime podcast. The following for the podcast has continued to grow and not only am I producing regular content, but I’m networking with other true crime writers in the process. I’m almost at the point where I’ll be able to promote more of my products through this channel. I’m about to approach a few writers’ groups and the public library to see if they would like me to speak on the art of true crime writing and places to submit in this genre. 

WOW! also offers classes for anyone looking to begin the process of platform building. There’s a video course on “Online Clips for Freelance Writers: Websites vs. Portfolios” by Bernadette Geyer that begins upon ordering. Karen Cioffi has “Build Your Author/Writer Platform” beginning on Nov. 1. 

Now I want to hear about your platforms! What steps have you taken to solidify yourself as an expert? What are some easy ways you could build up your platform more? 

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and magazine editor who also hosts the true crime podcast, Missing in the Carolinas, which recently surpassed 30,000 downloads. Learn more about her at www.FinishedPages.com.

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