8 Ways to Create Your Online Platform
1. Create an author website. Your site should be a marketing tool that serves as the hub of all your online activity, from blogging to selling books to emailing a newsletter to participating in social media. Use a platform like WordPress, Squarespace, or Wix to easily build a site.
2. Set up a blog on your site. Provide a “behind the scenes look” for readers by blogging once or twice a month. Fans will love the insight into your personality and writing process, and anything you post is fodder for your next email to subscribers.
3. Link to your published books. Create a site page linking to your books to make it easy for readers to discover all the titles you’ve written. Include cover images, brief elevator pitches, and links to multiple retailers so readers can purchase your books wherever they shop.
4. Brand your homepage with your newest release. Publicize your latest work on your website by updating the header or banners of your homepage so readers who visit will become aware of your new release.
Consider including blurbs instead of a synopsis to intrigue visitors.
5. Build a mailing list on your site. Include a simple form on your homepage, your website pages, and/or your blog’s sidebar asking for visitors’ email addresses. Collecting email addresses lets you build relationships with people who want to hear from you.
6. Welcome new subscribers with an email autoresponse. When people subscribe to updates from you via your website, send them a welcome email including either a link to a permafree ebook, sample chapters, or some sort of freebie as a “thank you” for signing up.
7. Claim your social media profiles. Grab your username on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn, and About.me. Even if you don’t have active profiles on each site, at least claim your name and direct people who visit to your most active social media profile instead.
8. Create a video blog. Upload videos to YouTube and embed each video in a blog post. In these videos, you can answer fan questions, partner with another author to interview each other, list book recommendations, or do a short reading from an upcoming new release. Experiment with a few simple videos to see if you’re comfortable vlogging before focusing on production quality.
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