Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guest Post: Nick Thacker: Build A Platform the Right Way: How to Be A Blogging Writer

Build A Platform the Right Way: How to Be A Blogging Writer
Not all writers are created equal. Similarly, not all writing styles are created equal.
For that reason, many writers today are relying on more than just their own skill to get noticed and start selling books. For some, that “more” is something like a combination of Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads giveaways, and in-store appearances.
And while there’s nothing wrong with those mediums (hey – they’re essentially free, easy-to-implement marketing!), there’s a better way to handle the long-term plan of becoming a well-known, selling writer: becoming a blogging writer.
First: What exactly is a “blogging writer?”
It’s pretty obvious that a blogging writer is just a writer who blogs. But there’s more to it, like what to blog about, and why.
Most blogging writers like me are blogging for two big reasons:
1.      To help other people
2.      To help themselves
I blog at LiveHacked.com because I want to create a blossoming community of writers who love helping one another, teach each other to market their books, and of course learn — from the blog, books, and community.
That part of it is the “to help other people” part, but there’s an equally important reason I blog:
I want to teach other people, to help myself better understand this world of writing, marketing, and creating art. By blogging consistently, I’m held accountable by my community, and I’m constantly learning new things along the way.
Of course, some writers may not be interested in (or need) either of those things, so there’s a third reason to blog: to journal.
Arguably, this is still part of the “to help themselves” goal, but it’s usually strictly to keep track of what the writer has done, is interested in, to keep them motivated, or a myriad of other personal reasons. Essentially, it’s the “to help themselves” reason, without the accountability. There’s nothing at all wrong with this particular choice, either – it’s just not as common.
Second: Why writers should blog
“Don’t writers already write enough?”
“If we have time to blog, shouldn’t we be writing more books?”
These are both questions I’ve heard plenty of times before, and to both, I answer:
Writers certainly write enough, but here’s the deal: if you’re not already being published by a Big-6 publisher with massive marketing clout, what are you doing to differentiate yourself from every other author?
It’s not enough anymore to just write great books – that’s the price of entry. Now, we’re expected to be marketers as well. Blogging, as it turns out, is a fantastic way to market your work.
To the second question I answer: Yes. You should always be focusing on providing more to your readers and fans (even if you don’t know who they are just yet), but don’t forget about the non-book-related things they’re into as well.
For example, I find that I’m interested in my favorite authors’ blogs because they’re not just websites set up to sell more books. They’re actually little portals into the author’s world – facts, trivia, tidbits of writing advice, etc. For that reason alone, I’m glad they don’t focus only on writing books.
Finally, it seems that the quickest way to go from “unknown” to “renowned” as a writer is by being a contributing member of modern society. Since publishing companies are running out of marketing dollars, they’re looking for authors who are not only backed by a fan base, but that are adored by their readers as well. They want writers who “get” marketing, blogging, and social media, and aren’t afraid of a little self-promotion, for one simple reason:
They can’t afford to create your hype for you anymore.
Now, more than ever, publishers are looking to partner with authors and writers on getting a book to market, and the bigger your author platform is (Home Base), the more opportunity you’ll have to make a living doing what you love!
What do you think? What are some reasons authors should be blogging? Leave a comment below, and let us know!
If you want free book-writing tips, check out Nick Thacker's FREE 20-week novel-writing course. Also, check out the self-publishing blog and resource site www.LiveHacked.com.

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