"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

12/7/10

Standing on My Platform

A friend of mine said something about me the other day that surprised me. On the FaithWriters' Message Boards, she said "when I think of a master platform builder, I think of Joanne."

I'm going to admit that I was absolutely astounded when she said this. In fact, until she asked folks what they did to build their platform, I had never really thought about what I was doing as creating an audience for myself--at least not much. But then I sat down and listed those things, and realized that it's certainly helping increase my "footprint." And maybe some day it will help me get a book sold.

I know that there can be controversy about tooting your own horn, especially in Christian publishing, but being friendly comes naturally to me, and encouraging others is a part of who I am. And both of these things are excellent ways to get your name out.

So, what do I do?
  • I scan over 100 blogs daily, reading ones that interest me and commenting on some (google reader is a great tool for this)
  • .I blog here regularly
  • I have my blog linked to networked blogs, and make a point of inviting folks to follow it as they become my Facebook friend.
  • I have a Facebook account - both a personal one and a writer one.
  • I highlight OTHER PEOPLE'S writing, both here on my blog and in the cheering section at the FaithWriters' Message boards
  • I have a twitter account and use it (not as much as some, but I DO use it ;))
  • I guest blog at other people's blogs when I can
  • I am a monthly or bimonthly contributor to two different group blogs (Internet Cafe Devotions and The Barn Door)
Do I spend too much time on on platform? Perhaps. But balance is not my specialty. But I'm guessing that at some point it will pay off. And I imagine it already has--though not financially. Through "building my audience," I have met some incredibly wonderful, Godly folks who have blessed me beyond belief. And I hope I have done the same for some of them.

And if this is gonna help me get God's message (through me) out to "the world," I certainly wouldn't complain.

So, how do you feel about building your platform? Is this something you're working on? What are you doing?


Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence

11 comments:

  1. hehe. You never even really thought about platform when you were doing much of what you did--you were just being who God made you to be. And you've been a huge blessing and encouragement to so many of us!! THANK YOU!! =]

    How do I feel about building platforms? LOL... it's necesary if we're going to do more than "talk to ourselves." I'm so relieved there are many ways to build a platform!

    What am I doing to build mine? oh my. I'm NOT tweeting (but I have an account), I rarely stop by FB (but I LOVE FB), I don't even comment on many blogs (pout). But I am blogging and contributing to FOUR group blogs and running/co-running three blogs that provide others an opportunity to build THEIR platforms--and that, I believe is a niche that I fill: helping others build their platforms. That's something I love doing. =] =]

    Now I'm off to check that thread that I keep forgetting about cuz I'm juggling. LoL

    Hugs!!

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  2. I sooo agree with Patty, you are being who God created you to be! You are a blessing and inspiration to everyone around you! Hugs!

    You've given me much to think about in the area of building a platform. While I do some of the things you mentioned, I don;t do nearly enough. I don't even have a tweet account. Much to work on!

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  3. Ditto, ditto on what Peej and Rita said. I think your genuine love of people comes through--and draws people to you.

    I don't tweet, but I've tried to be regular in writing, and whenever I see a friend's blog, I read it. Maybe I need to do that more systematically.

    To echo Rita: much to work on!

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  4. You are one who uses your spiritual gift of encouragement to the full! Thanks, Joanne!

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  5. I have my eye on you. I'm just starting out with the platform and need to know how to build it. Keep up the good work.

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  6. Actually, I probably have both eyes on you.

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  7. Isn't it nice when you receive an unexpected compliment? That always brightens my day.

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  8. I am affirmed that you used the word platform. I've prayed for years that God would build me a platform to minister His Gospel. At least I hope that's my motive -- for Him and not one for 'me'. Time will tell!

    I have two blogs, one for devotions and prayer and one for me to just post stuff that interest me and to be political from time to time.

    FaceBook, yes. Twitter no. And that's about it.

    And reading others' blogs -- that too. Glad I found yours!

    Holy hugs!

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  9. It's something I've been working on for nearly 3 years. But early on, it became something far greater than building a platform; it became an endeavor to build strong relationships! I love my blogging world and friends. You're part of that...

    Thanks for being my friend. Hope you're enjoying these days leading up to Christmas. We've been reading a wonderful Advent story called "Jotham's Journey." I think it's a worthy read and my kids are loving it!

    peace~elaine

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  10. You are an amazing platform builder and quite an encourager to other writers. You have encouraged me on several occasions!

    I am blessed because my twin helps me build my platform. I couldn't do it without her!

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  11. I think in this era of over-saturation in the publishing market, it's crucial to have some presence on the web. I also think that those of us who aren't as good at online multi-tasking pick carefully the things we know we can be consistent with. If someone is checking out "who you are"- they don't want to find a lot of loose ends on the web. It's okay if it's only a blog and facebook, but if you're a natural pro like Joanne- it'll work that much better. Me? I tend to overdo it and then burn out. I have to be careful. Like right now I'm contributing to a blog, but it's temporary. I've got my own blog, hopefully consistent and long-term. I've got a FB account- just personal for now, but trying not to burn any friend bridges. And now, I've got Twitter, which I think was a mistake for me- just too many places to check, and having to post creative 160 character tweets is hard for me. Anyhow- I think it's important stuff to think about. Another thing you do that you didn't mention is that you are forever linking and cross-linking to posts you liked or are relevant to to what you're talking about. I think that's key, too. Good post, Joanne.

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