Networking

More forthcoming on using social media, conferences, and other platforms to market your work, develop your “brand,” and build connections with readers, publishers, and other writers.

For now, let’s take a look at one important step in getting you and your work out there:

wordpressWordPress | wordpress.com

Once you’ve got a few first publications under your belt, it’s time to hang your shingle out on the web by creating an author page. (You can, of course, create a website much sooner, but you might want to wait if you’re a “productive procrastinator” like me, who would be tempted to write for the website at the expense of writing for outside publication.)

If you’ve got the skills to develop your own site, then by all means, do, but there are dozens of great platforms you can use to create a site without needing any experience in web design. An added benefit of going the Facebook Page, Tumblr, or WordPress route is that you have a built-in marketing network.

I’ve chosen WordPress because I like having the power to customize the appearance and layout of my page in a way that’s going to work best for my purposes. If all you want is a place to post updates about publications, events, and other writing news (and if you don’t want to worry about customizing menu bars and formatting text), then a Facebook Page or Tumblr might suit your purposes, but I always knew I wanted to develop content to share with my followers, so that wasn’t going to be enough for me.

Regardless of the platform you choose, you’ll want to share more than just the news strictly related to how wonderful and admired you are. Networking is about a lot more than selling yourself. Follow writers, publishers, and other organizations you admire, and share their posts. Focus on sharing posts specific to the type of writing you do. As cheesy as it may feel to actively work on developing your “brand” identity, it’s as simple as highlighting your obsessions, which you probably tend to do anyway.

Once you’ve created your author page, you’ll use many other social media platforms to build your network and drive traffic to your site, but I’ll cover those in a later features.

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