How to use a website as an author platform

These may be some of my far ancestors, but since nobody labeled the photos, I will never know. To me, they represent my many inner selves. Especially the dude in the uniform and the chick in the corset. Those are definitely my inner voices.

I have been listening to expert advice regarding how-to-be-a-successful-author, and all of my sources say “create and maintain a platform online.” So I recently sat down with myself to try and figure out how to present myself online and everywhere else.

“How should I present myself?” I asked myself.

“Lie like a rug!” came one answer.

“With Dignity!” came another.

“Don’t do it,” came a third.

“You always say don’t,” retorted one.

“No I don’t,” replied a third.

“You just did,” one pointed out.

“Grow up, both of you,” said another.

“This,” I said to all of them, “is why I try not to talk to myself.”

So I set up a website and I began to blog about the subject matter showcased by my two books, Just A Couple Of Chickens, and the soon-to-be-released biography about my grandfather, Col. C. J. Tippett. And I discovered that I had a third subject to blog about… self publishing, and how to do it, and what I think about it, and how it’s going as I do it. And I began to recognize my voice through this work… my voice is my platform, and my platform is how I talk to my readers – established and new.

At first, I felt that all this blogging and social media-ing… all this platform developing… was taking time away from my ultimate purpose, which was to write and sell books and become mega-rich author. But then I realized that all this blogging and reaching out into the dark with my keyboard was developing a direction for my writing. It was giving me clarity and focus. It was giving me mental wealth… even when I though nobody was reading it. Which actually, they are… (arrgg! Writers Block!)

I realized that I have a definite niche focus for my self publishing… which is Do-It-Yourself, and Own Your ISBN.  I discovered that the direction for my chicken book sequel is not just poultry raising, but is also Urban Homesteading. And I was able to expand on the material that built my grandfather’s biography – going further with the subject than I was able to do in the book itself, because my publisher was anxious about the page count. (So far, it’s out for submission to a traditional agent, so that was another meeting of the selves that didn’t go well…)

So already my platform has brought me (mental) riches. It isn’t a timesuck, it’s a garden… a pathway… a meeting place.

What should I do with my author platform?

  • I think I should expand on my author themes,
  • be a resource by sharing my experiences,
  • connect with other people doing similar things,
  • pose questions to the industry,
  • and share my personality.

Plus it’s great fun to pursue additional subjects pertaining to my books, like Famous People Who Met My Grandfather, and Funky Chickens.




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