Campaign Kickoff – Building Platforms

For the first year, I have decided to join the blogger writers, or writer bloggers, in Rachel Harrie’s Writers’ Platform Building Campaign.

From Rachel’s site:

The Campaign is a way to link those of us in the writing community together with the aim of helping to build our online platforms. The Campaigners are all bloggers in a similar position, who genuinely want to pay it forward, make connections and friends within the writing community, and help build each others’ online platforms while at the same time building theirs.

The campaign lists are conveniently divided into genres and age demographic. This way we can zero in on like-minded people and see what they’re up to.

I’m sure there are many writers out there whose eyes glaze over when they hear the words “you’ve got to build your platform” or “you need to build your brand.” I’m sure most of us would rather spend our time writing. But we must face the truth: that we are being asked, as writers, to do more and more in terms of self-promotion, and it’s pretty noise out there and tough to be heard.

After listening in on a panel of established fantasy writers at FaerieCon this past weekend, I feel a little more motivated and inspired to do so. Instead of thinking of it as (whine) something I HAVE to do, I’m doing what Steampunker Deborah Schneider calls “Taking Responsibility” for my writing career.

What I like about this campaign is that it’s a community and it’s collaborative. Something that novice bloggers need to consider when they start blogging and don’t understand why people aren’t coming to visit their blog.

In Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent book BOOKLIFE: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer he talks about the need to participate. Being a blogger is having an extended conversation OUT THERE. Because, really, who wants to hang out at a party with a person who simply talks just to hear herself talk?

If you write post after post about your struggling writerly life, but don’t reach out to connect with others, you’ll most likely be ignored. (Unless you’re already a famous writer. I doubt Neil Gaiman has to worry about people reading his posts and tweets.) And I’ll probably be one of the ones ignoring you. I’m not saying that to be mean, I’m saying that it’s tough to have a relationship someone who has no interest in participating in that relationship.


Filed under 2012 Platform Building Campaign, writing life

16 responses to “Campaign Kickoff – Building Platforms

  1. This is so true! I started my blog/website last summer, without knowing a lick about how I was going to increase my “popularity” but very aware that this was something I needed to do if I wanted to reach people, and expose my writing.

    I feel like I have a solid brand/platform. I’m doing what I (realistically) can to build relationships with other writers by posting regularly on my site as well as commenting on as many blogs that I can daily.

    There is a woman in my writing group who turns up her nose at social media in general. Now granted, she is in her late fifties and I do think it is harder the older you are to get into blogging, tweeting, FB pages, etc. Social media seems like a trendy, self-indulgent thing to do when in fact it is really about investing in your career.

    I don’t have anything published except a short story through an online journal (which made me so happy that I cried!). So, for me, spending the time blogging on my site and visiting other sites, is about laying the groundwork for when I am ready to market my published book! 🙂

    What I find the hardest is how much time it really takes to build–and maintain–these relationships. I try to visit blogs every day and make meaningful comments. I love the people I’m “meeting” and am amazed at the stuff I’m learning just from “listening in” on other people’s conversations! As enjoyable and productive as it is to build my platform, sometimes I do get irritated because I want to be writing instead. But I have committed myself to this part of the process.

    So, I love the sound of this particular campaign. I am going to check out the link you provided and see what I can do to join.

    Thanks for sharing some great info!

    • I was tardy in getting this up, so it may be too late to join. But actually you can still go to the list of participants and their genres and cruise their sites to make connections.

      Social media isn’t for everyone and it is time consuming, but I honestly don’t see how one can be a writer in this day and age and not use it in some form. You don’t have to do it all (I don’t tweet, for example), just what makes sense to you.

      I find that in order to keep it from sucking up all my time, I dedicate certain parts of my day to it. Writing comes first! Then I’ll say – okay, I have an hour to read/comment/cruise blogs. I can’t get to everyone I want to, but I try to drop by as often as I can. And I only comment if I really have something to say (more than just a generic “great post!”)

      • Yes, durn it! Too late to join. Ah well, no problem. I actually am having trouble keeping up with the blogging as it is. Maybe better this way until I can get things under control!

        Have fun with the campaign! 🙂

  2. Cat

    Fellow campaigner here. Sounds like a great book. I’ll check it out asap.

    • Hi Cat! You know, the book came out several years ago and I know how social media changes, but i still think you’ll find great tips for organizing your writing career. He may have a new edition out by now, too. And he has a website around the book. It made me more inspired to use social media, and I learned to pick and choose what I use.

  3. Popping in from the campaign trail. I decided to like your FB while I was here 🙂 I love your blog title!

  4. Hi Shelly and Traci ~ thanks for popping in.

    Shelly – I don’t know how many times I can “accidentally” write a novel. lol. But, truthfully, I hadn’t intended to be a novelist until it happened.

  5. I am in the campaign with you. I did the last campaign and now have way too many blogs to read in my reader. There are a lot of great writers out there!

  6. Sorry it took me a while to show up and this: WELCOME TO THE CAMPAIGN.
    I hope you have fun and meet bountiful of great writers 🙂

  7. Danika, I’m a fellow fantasy campaigner–stopping by to tag you with “11 questions” on my blog, if you choose to answer! 🙂

  8. Hi Danika, I’m stopping in from the campaign to say “hey” and return the follow – can’t wait to get started:)

  9. I loved this. I’m stopping by from the Platform Campaign. Cheers.

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