There's no denying that we now live firmly in a digital world. If stories are your thing, pen and paper just won't cut it anymore and that chances are, you'll need to throw yourself into social media at some point. I know that better than most.
Luckily, as a writer, you're probably pretty good at generating content. This is great because the more you can generate content for the online world, the more likely your ideal readers are to discover you. Content creation can be SO much fun, but sometimes it’s difficult to be an author as well as a social media whizz!
That’s why I've collected some little gems of wisdom to pop in this blog post, for authors who want to set up an online presence. Your online platform can help you grow an audience and sell more books, but only if you get that ever elusive balance between strategy and authenticity!
Pick a Style
Go back to basics and ask yourself the questions you probably haven't thought about in ages. What kind of author are you? What type of books do you write? What genres do you tap into? These questions will help you nail a profile style, as well as work out which social media platforms will help you to thrive.
If you’re someone who likes to make their opinion known, quote other authors, and post simple yet punchy statuses, X or Threads would be really good for you.
If you’re more of a visual person, and you like capturing the life of an author in the moment, Instagram is the place to be.
And I honestly think every single author should have a Facebook page or group that they’re active in as much as possible!
Google Your Name
It's worth knowing what the internet already says about you, so use the available search tools to find out what google knows about me before you set up an online platform. You might be pleasantly surprised to see what people are already saying about you and how professional your online profile already looks.
On the flip side, this is your chance to see if any of your personal profiles are impacting your professional image in a less desirable way. It’s good to separate your author life and your personal life, so double check and see if any of your social media accounts need renaming or locking down!
Create Various Kinds of Content
It's important to have a recognisable presence, but don’t stick to one type of content the whole time. You can create and share various things in order to keep your audience engaged. On one day you can post a writing update, and the next you can share a writing (or reading) prompt, and then you can share some behind the scenes pictures of your life at the end of the week. As cringey as it may feel, from time to time, it’s good to share video content, often of you at book events, reading aloud from your books or anything that shows the day in the life of an author!
Respond with Your Heart
If someone messages you, or leaves a comment on a post, always be sure to respond to them. And when you do, do so with real heart. The more you appeal to your audience, the easier it’s going to be to get them to understand your words and - ultimately - buy your books. Often, that requires building an authentic relationship, and letting keen readers of your genre see you for who you are, outside of the characters you create and the worlds you build.
These days, there really are so many opportunities for an author to build a meaningful readership. Building a dedicated online profile takes time and commitment but if you're willing to put the work in, you’re more likely to find the traction you were always hoping for!
P.S. See how I've built my online platform across all of my socials:
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