I can hear the questions now:
What is a writers’ platform?
Why do I need one as a freelance writer?
How do I create one?
They are the same questions I asked myself when I kept hearing about a writers’ platform. So I researched, I Googled and I asked around. And the following is what I discovered about the what, why and how of a writers platform.
What is a writer platform?
Essentially, a writers’ platform is about your visibility as a freelance writer, or entrepreneur if you will. It is a tool that helps you promote and market your business and services so that you are noticed by readers and clients.
Why do you need a writers’ platform?
Everybody needs to start from somewhere. For us as freelance writers, we need to establish our credibility, reputation and visibility. We need to create a brand that helps us to stand out from the competition and be noticed by our audience and attract clients.
A writers’ platform helps us to do this.
It forms part of a business marketing plan. Do you have a marketing plan? Click here to subscribe today to grab your FREE “The Simple Marketing Plan for Freelance Writers”.
How do you build a writers platform?
The most common building blocks of a writers’ platform are:
- A website and blog.
- A portfolio.
- A strong social media presence.
- Blogger outreach
1. A website and blog:
I have posted previously on the importance of having your own business website that you blog on regularly. It helps establish a portfolio, as well as online presence. Your clients will have a landing page to find you and read up all about you.
Your website and blog is where you are trying to direct the most traffic, as this is where you will list your services and how you can help potential clients. It is one of the most essential components of a solid writers’ platform so make sure you spend time building your website and blog.
2. A portfolio:
When you are shopping around to buy something expensive like a camera, you look at reviews, magazines, ask people their opinions and try one out before you buy. Your writers’ portfolio helps clients do the same.A portfolio is a way to market your writing style and niche. Click To Tweet
They can read your articles, blogs and other work to see if you will gel with what they want from a writer. You can put your portfolio on your website as well as places like LinkedIn.
Obviously if you are a newbie freelancer then having a portfolio will be difficult. You may not have any work published yet. That is where your regular blogging comes in handy! And as you build up your client base and published work, you can add it to your portfolio.
3. A strong social media presence:
Today most people are connected to one form of social media or another. Your readers and potential clients will all be hanging out on social media somewhere. By creating a strong presence on social media you are establishing your writers’ platform by marketing and exposing your business.
I have Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram! It is a lot to keep up with, so my main focus at the moment is Facebook and Pinterest. I have been reading a lot about how Pinterest can drive traffic to your website, so I have chosen to build up my Pinterest account at this point in time.
My advice is to stick to 2 -3 social media platforms until you have built them up to a point you are happy with, otherwise it can be extremely overwhelming.
I have also just jumped on the bandwagon of social media schedulers. They are amazing and I cannot believe I haven’t used them before. I will create a post on them later, but for now I am using Tailwind for Pinterest, and SocialPilot for everything else except Instagram.
Make sure that you use a consistent logo, style and headshot through all your “business” social media profiles so you, and your brand, are recognizable.
4. Blogger Outreach
Bloggers outreach is where you spend time fostering relationships with other bloggers and freelance writers, particularly in your niche areas.
Research similar websites/blogs to yours and start to leave comments on their posts. It is another way to market yourself, as well as build up connections within the freelance writing community.A writers' platform is an organic process, which changes and grows with your business.Click To Tweet
It can take time to build. I am still building.
Although I have dabbled in freelance writing for 12 months now, it is really only the last 3 months that I have been giving it my all to build it up as a full time business, instead of a side hustle. But now that I have 100% committed I am getting down to the nitty gritty and doing it properly! Hence, the focus on building a solid writers platform.
I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts on a writers’ platform.
Do you have one? Are you building one? What social media platform did you find worked the best?
Don’t forget to grab your free copy of “The Simple Marketing Plan for Freelance Writers” today.