Is A Large Platform Critical For An Author’s Success?

Synopsis
Creating a huge platform with many thousands of followers might seem like the most obvious way to achieve success. But, there’s more to it than that. A huge email list, and huge Twitter and Facebook following, are all great, and are always an accomplishment to strive for. But, the quality of those followers is what’s really important.

The Professor 1

What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn why a large author platform isn’t always the best or most practical for most self-published authors.
2. You will learn why high-quality email addresses are more important than a high-quantity of email addresses.
3. You will learn what you need to do to start building your author platform.

All Blog Traffic Is Not Created Equal Infographic

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Introduction
Is a large platform critical for an author’s success? The quick answer is “no.” But, it’s imperative that the platform be well-established. In today’s “new-media” world, it’s not necessarily about the numbers anymore. It’s now about “engagement” with the readers. Whether it’s for a large-niche audience, or a micro-niche audience, it doesn’t matter anymore. Is the author seen as the “go-to person” to that audience? Is the author making an emotional connection with them?

Is the author getting his audience rallied around a particular niche? Is the author selling books and ebooks to that audience? Is that audience commenting on the author’s blog posts? Are they re-posting those blog posts? All of these questions will help you start to understand what it means to have a strong and well-established platform.

More Is Not Always Better Because Not All Traffic Is Created Equal
Creating a huge platform with many thousands of followers might seem like the most obvious way to achieve success. But, there’s more to it than that. A huge email list, and huge Twitter and Facebook following, are all great, and are always an accomplishment to strive for. But, the quality of those followers is what’s really important. Especially for those of us (99% of all authors) who don’t have the market power and name recognition of really big money authors like Steven King.

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #90

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to this article from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #90

The Active Niche Vs. The Passive Mass
For example, if your email list is mostly composed of those who simply downloaded your ebook because it was free if they gave you their email address, and then they never open your emails again, the quality of your email list will be very low. You need to know how to engage with those downloading your free ebook, and try to convert them into true followers who are willing to visit your blog again and again.

Give Them A Reason Not To Cut And Run
The high-quality followers are the ones that won’t “unsubscribe” after your first email to them. Those who remain on your list, and continue to open your emails, will stay with you for the long-term, and be much more willing to share your blog posts and buy books from you. Your blog posts, and your emails, must give them a reason to keep reading and coming back for more.

It’s Not About The Numbers Anymore
You must never forget that in today’s social-media-savvy world, it is more about how the author is interacting with the audience, AND how the audience is interacting with the author. It is not so much about the numbers anymore, but about the quality of the engagement between the author and his audience.

Reach Out And Touch Someone
Even if an author has a huge following, but doesn’t know how to sell, or how to talk to his audience, or doesn’t know how to really get that audience rallied around something, the author will not be able to hold onto that audience for the long-haul. And book sales will suffer.

Conclusion
What Do I Do Now To Improve My Author Platform?

You don’t need to be all over social media. Just start somewhere. Start by focusing on one social-media outlet. This should typically be your blog. Your blog will enable you to focus in on your particular target audience. And to fine-tune your personal brand and message. Your blog is where you start to build a following of readers that look to you for insight and guidance into your subject matter.

“The Proof Of The Pudding Is In The Eating”
Your blog posts will also prove to your readers that you know and understand your subject matter, and that your knowledge will help them solve their problems. By providing quality information, guidance, and answers, your writing will attract more readers to you and your blog – especially over the long-term. Your writing tone, voice, and style will also help you make an emotional connection with the readers. All of this is how you build a strong and well-established platform. It takes time, and a lot of work.

“I Pity The Fool” Out To Make A Quick Buck
So, don’t be fooled into thinking that writing a large quantity of low-quality blogs posts is a short-cut to gaining more followers for your blog. Most readers won’t tolerate dishonesty and lack of substance from you – especially the ones that are looking for someone to help them find real answers for their own problems. You can’t build a “tribe” by being dishonest and tricking people. Readers will appreciate your sincere efforts to share your information and experiences that will help them find answers to their problems.

This article also appears in Joel Friedlander’s online publication Carnival of the Indies – Issue #90

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it helpful. Please share it.

Hashtags: #selfpublishing #bookmarketing

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About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

Author, educator, business owner, husband, and father of twins. Kunz’s mission is to help others profit from their skills, knowledge, and experience - achieve success with writing and publishing non-fiction, and grow an audience of people who know, like, and trust them. Kunz is the founder of Dickson Keanaghan, LLC, a medical training and publishing company near New York City.
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