“Your platform is something you can figuratively stand on to be ‘visible.’ It has to be big enough so you stand out, strong enough to hold you up, and functional enough to be there, but not in the way.”
A writer and gifted teacher who brings joyful passion to her work, Ethel always has something valuable to share. Hearing her speak is inspiring, because she’s constantly growing and learning. Her writer’s journey began with her first book, Thinking of Miller Place: A Memoir of Summer Comfort, which was followed by Seedlings: Stories of Relationships (see Soaring Seedlings).
With her books in hand, Ethel is increasingly focusing some of her time and energy on expanding her reach as an author. Recently, she shared some front-line advice on building a writer platform in a Write Group session:
Your platform is an extension of who you are and your personal style; it should reflect your beliefs, your values, and your passions.
Building a platform is really about building relationships — with readers, other authors, bloggers, reviewers, and the media.
Building blocks of a writer platform include:
A website and/or blog where you share your passions and projects (see Ethel’s website: http://www.etheleemiller.com)
Active, well-organized contact and resource lists;
Membership in online and offline clubs, associations, and groups;
Article/column writing for the media/newsletters/organizations;
Guest contributions to popular websites, blogs, and other outlets;
An impressive social media presence: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (focus on two outlets; learn social media basics; take a course and/or hire a professional to help you).
All this takes time and can seem overwhelming, but why not pick one or two of the platform builders above and begin to work on them? Connecting with readers, growing your audience, and engaging in conversations with people who share your enthusiasms can be fun and rewarding. Bravo, Ethel — write on!