Laura Howard: Find What Works to Build Your Platform


Find What Works to Build Your Platform

Imagine five years from now when you have 10,000 Twitter subscribers and 50,000 blog subscribers. Each day when you log in to check your email, you have pages of eager requests for your attention. What will you have done to get yourself to that point?

 Large followings don't just happen, do they? I've been experimenting in April, and I want to share what things I've found to be the most helpful in building my platform and growing my audience.

  • Make Goals Having a goal in mind is not the same as having clear, written out goals. Something about putting your goals on paper (or monitor) cements your commitment. I find that the cork board next to my desk is a great place to pin my personal goals, so that when I feel particularly lazy, they are there to stare me down O_O .
  • Create a Schedule  Everyone is busy. Using the I have no time excuse doesn't fly in the real world, so it shouldn't fly in your virtual world, either. The truth is that if you want to be a writer in today's world, you need to schedule time to write and time to nurture your followers. Five minutes before lunch, ten minutes after. First thing in the morning, or just before bed. The point is if it's important to you, you make the time.
  • Focus on What Works There are so many ways to connect with readers and writers on the web, how do you decide which one is best for you? I think the only way to know is to experiment. In April I've decided to tweet daily, and it's been a true eye-opener. I started the month knowing next to no one, now I find myself checking my Twitter feed even when I don't plan to, just to see who's on. Which brings me to my final tip...
  • Avoid Too Many Distractions  Like anything else, Social Media and blog-reading can become huge time suckers. It's easy to become too focused on Twitter or your RSS feed, but if you're so busy posting/reading updates, when do you write? 
I hope one or more of these thoughts resonates with you. I've had a great month meeting new people, and I hope to keep the momentum up in May. Make sure to leave a message in the comments about what you're doing to grow your following! And, follow me on Twitter too :) .


  1. Hi Laura!
    I like the way you chose 4 of the most important ways to help bloggers/writers build their platform. I just read on a self-publishing blog that many of the big publishers don't want to pick up author's bks unless they are already famous or are well-establish with a social platform. Now, I don't know whether it is true about NY publishing houses not choosing new authors often, but I do know that it definitely doesn't hurt to have an established social platform.

    I worked very hard before April, to develop a good portion of mine because I knew that readers would not know about my new blog/website (est. 4/1/2012) unless I got out there on the main social networks and basically "pounded the pavement." I created a FB page for my blog, created a twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn acct. And I read tons of blogging and social media bks.

    I'm not trying to toot my horn. Basically, my blog and writing is important to me, and so I created the time, set my goals, and focused on what works by reading and commenting on blogs for writers/bloggers. It's starting to pay off, but I also know that it takes time to build a following.

    Thanks for reminding me, Laura, of what is most important because I have to admit, I was getting side-tracked. :)


  2. Hey Laura!

    This is really good information for people just starting to build their platform. I've said it once and I'll say it again if it weren't for the April Platform Challenge I wouldn't even have known where to begin.

    When I started getting ready to send out queries to agents I kept reading about having a writer's platform but I just put it off thinking it wasn't a big deal and that I'd get to it later. Now when I send out my queries I can tell the agents to "Follow me on Twitter" or "check out my (sad but still posted... LOL) Fanpage on Facebook". And since I started my blog I can even encourage them to view that via a hyperlink!

    It is nice to be "out there" in cyberspace and be able to point the right people in your direction!

    Here's to tooting your own horn!

  3. This is an excellent summary of the April Platform Challenge. I see that you also hopped on board with the call to action at the end of your posts!

  4. Brilliant advice! Thanks Laura!!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.