Platform Building

file000341456511This week I’ve been reading Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt, along with several blogs, in an effort to better understand why I haven’t been able to grow my blog readership since I moved my website almost 2 years ago. I’ve even been running what I think is a fun spin on a blog hop for both published and unpublished writers to introduce their characters to the world. After six months, it really didn’t help.

It’s been quite frustrating–the lack of readers/followers. What does it take to get noticed? Although I know I shouldn’t, I’ve allowed this failure (as I see it) to reflect on other areas of my professional life. If I can’t even get readers to follow a blog, why would I think they’d buy my book? What makes me think my book would even make it into their hands? Oh my goodness, what makes me stand out from the other fantastic speculative fiction writers, who obviously know more about this genre than I do? (I can’t even name half the characters in LotR! *gasp*)

So commences the downward spiral, which involves chocolate, pizza, and headaches.

But there is a shiny light somewhere at the other end of the tunnel, I think. I’m slowly learning. I’ve got some ideas churning.

Here are 3 mistakes that I’ve been making:

1. Consistency: I keep changing different aspects of my blog. I’m going to blog 5 days a week, no, I think I can only hand 3. Oops, did I forget to post yesterday? This week my focus is going to be on writing. No, that’s not working, my focus should be on faith. Oh, I could do faith on Mondays and writing on Tuesdays. I’ll bet anybody who perused my blog for more than five seconds would be completely confused as to what I’m all about.

2. Focus: Everyone says a blog should have focus. It should not be a journal (at least not if you’re peddling to a crowd, hoping to draw people in). It should not be a hodge-podge of anything and everything that happens across your mind. Yes, it should be a reflection of you. It should be unique. How do you figure that out?

3. Passion: The most important ingredient. Since I don’t know what I am about, it is impossible for me to be passionate about it. What bigger draw for a person than something that just exudes passion? It’s hard to resist. When someone is excited about something, I mean, really on fire–why wouldn’t you want to know what they were all about? How could you not hang on to every last word? Where’s my passion?

So, how do I plan to fix these mistakes?

1. Consistency: For now, my schedule is pretty tight, so I don’t want to overwhelm myself more than I need to. So, I think I will blog M/W/F. Monday will refer people here for my NAF post, Wednesday will build on my focus, and Friday will be the Character Tour posts (at least for a few more months to see if the readership picks up on it).

2. Focus and Passion  blend together because they really fuel each other. My biggest passions are being a light for Christ and writing. However, those 2 topics are pretty well covered on the internet by greater people than I. What else am I passionate about? I love helping people. Growing up, any career I picked when asked what I wanted to do with my life (besides write) always involved helping people–counselor, social worker, teacher. Now, my approaches and such have changed over the years, but I still desire to help people to change their lives for the better. As a person who’s been all over the place in my short life, I can offer a wide perspective for the blog crowd. Encouraging, equipping, empowering…that’s a way for me to contribute. That’s a way for people to really see my passion.

And then they can read all about prophetesses and lupens, amnesiacs and demons, and the broader call of every human being . . . in my books.

How do you go about building your platform? How do you make yourself heard/stand out?

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

3 comments on “Platform Building

  1. Ralene, I still love you even if you can’t name all those LotR creatures. 😉

    As far as blogging goes, my writing partner showed me this post on the subject by Jody Hedlund. I think it’s pretty thought-provoking, not to mention controversial: http://jodyhedlund.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-changing-nature-of-blogging-for.html

    And it’s hopefully very freeing for you!

  2. You have a lot to add to someone’s life. Every time you move you need to reconnect both for you and for your family. That is part of the military life. Think how many people don’t know how to do this very act – reconnect!!! And reconnecting doesn’t require knowing any of the LotR characters – SMILE!!!

  3. […] Platform Building (newauthors.wordpress.com) […]

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