Guest Post: Giving Your Author Platform a Fresh Start
Every new year, there’s talk in writer groups about forming new writing habits or setting word count goals. But, I already have word count goals for the week, so I looked at my author platform instead. I picked a couple of things I didn’t like and decided to give them a fresh look.
What I did to refresh my author platform
I actually decided to redo my website and blog a couple weeks before the new year. My site was “ok” before, but I didn’t think it reflected me very well as a dark fantasy and horror author. So, I rearranged some things and changed out the fonts. I rewrote my bio, too, since I was just accepted into the Horror Writers Association for my dark fantasy thriller Into the Darkness.
In terms of my blog, I made a major change.
Blogging had become a bit tortuous for me. I wearied of general posts about writing and publishing. After all, I already write about those things on Our Write Side. I didn’t want to do it on my author blog too.
Instead, I started writing about me, my books, my works in progress. This requires tapping into one’s inner narcissist a little, but I’ve found it much more rewarding. The response to my posts improved as well, so I must be doing something right.
So far, I’ve written a re-introduction post, a post about my struggles with writing a short and effective blurb for my first novel, why I don’t set resolutions, and others. I’ve enjoyed writing every post for once.
What you can do to refresh your author platform
You probably already know what that thing is in your platform that isn’t working. Here are some suggestions for easy fixes.
If it’s your social media presence that’s not working for you, consider scheduling posts or tweets. Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to set up posts on a schedule and spread your posts out throughout the day. They easily connect to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other common platforms.
If your blogging seems like a burden to you, try shifting the focus of your posts. Maybe you need to take a more self-focused approach rather than focusing on broader writing topics. Maybe turn your eye toward more direct marketing.
If it’s your website that’s bothering you, take a look at your site’s organization, fonts, and even the theme you’re using. You can take a look at other sites that you like to visit for ideas. What I generally suggest you ask yourself about your site is:
- Is it uncluttered and easy to navigate?
- Do the fonts and images reflect who you are or the genre in which you write?
Sometimes changing out what theme you’re using or adding a new plug-in is all you need to refresh your site’s look. If you’re not already using some kind of email capture tool to gather emails for your mailing list, this is a good time to add that too. Personally, I like SumoMe’s tools.
Major changes aren’t often required to refresh your author platform. Little changes might be enough to make a big impact. Give it a try this new year.
A.M. Rycroft is the award-winning author of the dark fantasy Cathell series, the upcoming Corruption of Honor series, and several horror short stories. She was born and raised in the Steel City — Pittsburgh, PA — and often schedules her writing time around Penguins and Steelers games.