Remember Scrat-the squirrel from Ice Age? He was my favorite character… Always trying to secure that nut. With all of his efforts, he didn’t seem to accomplish much. He had the momentary satisfaction of thinking he’d succeeded only to realize his acquisition had slipped from his paws…
I was thinking about my author platform and the decisions I’ve made and realized I’m a bit like Scrat. I’ve put forth a lot of effort but I’m not exactly where I want to be. In other words, I haven’t secured my nut.
To be honest, I didn’t realize how much effort went into building an online presence. If I had, I probably would have closed my laptop and called it a day. Novel Notions was my first effort at blogging and to be honest, I liked it. I’m not very tech savvy, but I figured out Blogger and was satisfied. Then came a 2013 writers conference … My blog wasn’t enough, I needed a website. I needed a Facebook Author page, a Pinterest page and a Twitter account. Good grief! Because working a full-time job, taking care of my family, and trying to squeeze in a little writing time wasn’t enough! I needed to do MORE!
I went to work. I got a website using GoDaddy. I set up a Facebook author page (which I rarely update) and I kept blogging. Slowly, I built a small following. After all that work, I thought I had my nut. Only, I didn’t.
At a 2014 writers conference, it was suggested that WordPress was the way to go. Using WordPress would allow me streamline and hopefully save a little time. I thought long and hard about this because in essence, I would be starting over. In April, I made the switch. Only, I didn’t put much effort into posting. (I continued posting to Novel Notions even though I knew that blog would be ending.) Crazy right? Because I knew from experience, consistency mattered when it comes to building and maintaining a following. It’s taken me a while but I getting back into the swing of things.
Only, I’m not sure that I’m chasing after the right nut. There are so many expert voices out there offering advice on building an author platform.
There is the thought: Content is King. Typically, I blog about things I’ve learned from my journey as a self published writer. I might offer writing tips or an experience I had in marketing. Only, this kind of content is more for fellow writers. The readers of my books on the other hand, probably aren’t checking out my blog for writing advice.
This leads me to: Know Your Readers. Are we referring to the readers of our blog? OR the readers of our books? I’ve always assumed this pertained to my book readers and yet, my blog content is aimed at other writers. And that’s the quandary in which I find myself. A blog is supposed to be a plank in an author platform. It is supposed to help build a following, which in turn, hopefully leads to more sales. Yet, I only seem to be targeting other writers… (I realize other writers do buy our novels and that is wonderful but I don’t think they should be our target buying audience.)
I visited several blogs – and found that the majority was a lot like mine (though bigger and better established) – offering content regarding writing/marketing. There were a few who focused on their books and their books only but I found those kinda boring. If I had written a book on gardening, I could blog about bees and the latest cultivating techniques thus offering quality content and identifying my audience. But I didn’t… I write fiction and my readers are females ranging from teens to older adults. (Yes, there are grandmothers who read YA fiction) I don’t necessarily want to post pics of the latest “hottie” nor do I plan on offering fashion advice or dating tips…
On second thought: My blog is just a part of my website. Maybe my website that should be focused at my “book readers” and my blog should be focused on my “blog readers?” Maybe I just freaking over think things…
So I’m left wondering, what is the magic formula? And where do I go to find it? Because, I’m really wanting that nut!