You may or may not consider yourself an expert. If you do and you are, that is good. If you don’t and you want to be, that’s good. If you don’t and you are not sure you need to be, you could encounter writing difficulties.
Whether you write articles or books, people reading them will want to read material provided by experts—writers, researchers, storytellers.
Whereas this column is aimed towards writing successfully, having an expert platform is necessary for writers, authors, editors, consultants and everyone who has a product to sell.
The Internet is a useful product that is pushing those who do not like to use it into learning the benefits it can provide. It is a cost-effective way to build your expert platform.
Most traditional publishers as well as small publishing houses will look at your platform before they accept a book. If you are not aiming for a book yet, but want to place articles, you platform will help.
When you are viewed as an expert, it is easier to be accepted.
This list is not designed to overwhelm you, but to give you a path to work towards. A few years ago, my own Internet presence was low—now it is extremely high. In order to have a platform that works, you need to realize the more visibility you have the better.
Let’s look at how we can approach this.
- Speaking engagements:
- When I was a business consultant, I was frequently paid for speaking engagements.
- As an author, I consider them a marketing investment and generally sell quite a few books or gain editing clients.
- Magazine and newspaper columns or publishing articles online:
- Since newspapers and magazines are closing their doors, online publishing is more and more valuable.
- You are reading this online now and enjoying the Big Blend, a testimony for online publications.
- Be sure to edit your work. This is an opportunity to make an impression and you want it to be a good one.
- Internet presence with a website which includes a blog:
- Even if you don’t want to blog, you can write something at least twice a week—you can write several at once and have them post when you want. You can have a page where you post clips from articles you’ve written for magazines or press releases about your activities.
- Blog entries keep your website and name popping up on search engines.
- An Internet site without a blog frequently gets stagnant and does not pull traffic.
- Have your website professionally designed unless that is your field of expertise.
- Social media—Linkedin, Facebook, Twittter, Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon, and the list continues to keep growing to more than I know or use:
- Linkedin is great for business connections. When you join different groups of interest, questions are being asked all the time that allow you to express your opinion and establish your expertise.
- Facebook is effective if you keep your personal account separate from your business account.
- Digg and Stumbleupon are amazing. I’m shocked at how many people follow me on those sites.
- You don’t need to visit each site to update information. You can click a “share” link that will let you put all your information in the data base and upload to several different sites at one.
- Your blog can be uploaded to some of these sites automatically in the set-up menu of each site where you establish an account.
- Writing a guest post for another blog; I’ve been amazed at how much that sends back to my site.
- A mailing list is helpful for announcements and updates.
- Media exposure through you own show or as a guest.
- Being involved through organizations.
Whether a writer or a business person, a good platform will help in establishing yourself as an expert. Experts get more assignments and earn more money.
I’m always happy to answer any questions you might have. My suggestion is to do one part of the above guidelines a week or month if you are on a limited time budget. But the faster you complete more of these suggestions, the sooner your expert platform will be recognizable.
Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President
Member: Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)
Member: Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
Executive Editor, LuxeBeatMag
Freelance Lifestyle Journalist
Follow me: @maralynhill
If you would like to submit a guest post on any aspect of writing on Success with Writing, we would be happy to feature it. If you go to submission tab, you will see how to submit, as well as have the opportunity of telling me if you would like to would like to be a regular contributor. When uploading a file for submission, you are also able to upload three jpgs. Please feel free to put a last paragraph about you and a link to your profile. No html please. You can also include a head shot. Inappropriate articles will not be published. Please do not include more than three links within the article. It confuses search engines. Thank you.