Platform development shouldn’t break the bank. My advice is don’t shell out money at the get-go. Instead educate yourself and then take small steps. Try to avoid the impulse to slap together a platform quickly to impress others. I suggest a more long-term approach and working slowly and steadily in order to spend less and save more in the long run.
Most importantly: if you don't know the three keys I covered this week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then wait. Don't start building your platform until you have clarity and focus. Otherwise you will likely just waste your precious time spinning your wheels. Or worse, fritter away your time with online distractions (and trust me, there are plenty!).
But once you know what your expertise is and what you are doing with it and for whom, then consider these four steps:
Start an e-mail list: Who are the people who like to hear about your writing success? Why not start a list in your address book with them and keep adding to it as time goes by. You can start by sending out simple regular announcements of good things that happen—just be sure to get permission. One way to get permission is to send an announcement about your work out to everyone you know and tell them that they can unsubscribe if they don’t want to be receive future messages from you on the topic. I strongly recommend that all writers read Permission Marketing by Seth Godin.
Create a simple website: Although social networking is fun, a proper writer’s website is not a Facebook or a Myspace page; it’s not even a blog. So save the detailed descriptions of your quirks and faves for the social networking you will do after you’ve built yourself a solid website to publicize your genuine writing credentials (creds) across the ethers while you are sleeping. And if you don’t have any genuine writing creds yet, getting some is an important first step. The step-by-step instructions are in Get Known.
Blog when it makes sense: Blogging can be great for writers assuming three things: 1) You have ample material to draw on and time to blog regularly. 2) You take the time to determine your appropriate audience, topic and your specific slant (or take) on your topic for your specific audience. 3) You don’t plan on starting a blog, blogging like mad for six weeks, and then disappearing from the face of the blogosphere without a trace. Preparation can prevent this common pitfall from happening to you.
Volunteer some time: Staying home and curling up with your pen and journal is great, but isolation is not a long-term strategy for writing success. Private time for personal reflection is vital for any writer, but equally important is taking the risk of expanding your interests to include interaction with like-minded others. Why not expand your reference points by volunteering so you can become rich with inspiration, confidence and opportunities?