Platform, platform, platform! That’s all we hear about, but how do we do it! Blogging is a great way to begin building your platform. It’s low cost, it’s not limited by a number of characters, and it’s a great way to show off your writing skills. So, how do you get started?
- Pick a name and claim it. Every blog starts with a domain. If you haven’t purchased your name, do that now. Otherwise, you’ll be sad once you’re a famous author and you have to send everyone to www.JohnSmit482.com! You can also choose a name like MiddleGradeMafia, but I’d be hesitant to use the name of your book as your domain. What will you do when the next book is published? I buy my domains at GoDaddy and they usually run less than $10.00 dollars.
- Reserve your spot on the world wide web. Now that you have a domain, you need to rent space for your blog. Think of it like paying rent to park your camper. We here at the Mafia use a self-hosted WordPress blog. That means we pay a hosting company every year. You can also get a free WordPress or Blogger blog, but I think it’s more professional to have www.JohnSmith482.com than www.JohnSmith482.wordpress.com, but that’s just me. We use Fat Creative. They charge $50.00 to host blogs for the first year and they’re very helpful, especially to newbies.
- Decided what type of blog you want to write. What do you know? What do you like to write about? Is there a tie-in with your book? For example, if you’re writing a book that takes place on a horse ranch, why not write about different types of horses, how to ride, the care of horses, etc.? Unpublished authors often get hung-up on the fact that they’re not experts on the craft. Who cares! Write about the struggle, a new agent that’s looking for authors, a great book you’ve just read. Take some time and brain-storm ideas. You’ll have enough for the first month in no time.
- Commit to consistency. Do you have to write every day? No, but you do need to set a schedule and stick to it. If you can only write on Tuesdays and Thursdays, fine. It’s better to be consistent on two days than to commit to five and then get overwhelmed and quit.
- Still overwhelmed? Consider a multi-author blog. If writing every week seems too difficult, get a group of writing friends together and share the burden. That’s how the Mafia family got started and we are having a blast.
If you want more, check out Michael Hyatt’s book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.
While your at it, check out the Mafia family blogs below. Let us know when you have yours up and running. We’d love to stop by and say hello!
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