Before publishing my website, I spent some time learning how to grow my author platform and why it was so important for an unpublished author like me. I shared this in my very first blog post, 5 Reasons Why Every Writer Needs A Website (Even If You're Not Yet Published). One of the reasons why I started this blog is to connect with readers and other writers out there, so when I'm ready to publish my book, there will be other people excited about it and supporting me, making promotions much easier and fun.
When my book is published, I don't want people to think "Who's this?"! I want them to be more like "OMG! Elira's book is out!"
So far, my plan of connecting with readers and writers, is working (yay!). There are a few things I implemented to get my site known out there and connect with other creatives, and I saw the results so unexpectedly fast.
Here's how I went from 100 to over 2000 followers in less than 2 weeks
as a newbie writer and blogger.
I know a lot of people wonder "who even uses Twitter anymore?" But you'll be surprised how many creative people are there connecting with each other and growing their platforms and their businesses.
I created my Twitter account just a day before my site went live. And I'm so glad I did.
The first thing I did was to create a banner for my profile page. It has my name, my website's name and tagline, so anyone stumbling on my page will know what I'm all about: Exploring Creative Writing.
Next, I shared my first blog post. Of course, not a lot of people saw it, as I only had about 15 followers. But what I did next changed everything!
I introduced myself to the #WritingCommunity on there, and the response I got was unbelievable! My phone kept buzzing every five to ten minutes for the next 4 days.
Authors reached out to welcome me to the writing business and Twitter. Many people retweeted my introduction tweet - according to Twitter's analytics, over 2600 people engaged with it, by liking, commenting, retweeting, and of course, following.
I also made it an effort to follow back everyone who took their time to welcome and follow me, and who of course spread the news that there's a new face in the writing community.
Next thing I knew, my first blog post (which was the only blog post at the time - big mistake!) had over 70 views. You have no idea how excited I was! 😄
By joining Twitter I've met amazing people who support each other with no ulterior motive, but just interest in seeing everyone grow, and that's what happens every time I engage with writers there.
If you're know to Twitter or you've been there for long but have a restricted following base, I would advice you to use relevant hashtags in your niche.
Created a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group
Just like Twitter, a lot of people don't see the point of using Facebook anymore, as everyone is on Instagram. But Facebook pages give you that professional touch, and it's also a great platform to promote yourself.
When I created my author page, I joined different Facebook groups for authors and also for bloggers, where everyone is free to promote their books, websites, and of course, give each other tips on different topics.
One of the groups I joined is called "Writers and Authors Promotions". A lot of "like for likes" happen over there - people asking group members to like their pages and in return they will also get a like.
But my favourite groups to promote my blog are "Bloggers Supporting Bloggers" and "Blogging For New Bloggers". In each one of these groups, every day of the week, members have the chance to promote or request shares, likes and comments on their blog posts, or follow each other on social media.
This always increases traffic to my site and my Facebook page.
Plus, I created a Facebook group, "The Write Community" for people to connect with and support each other directly.
Changed my Instagram handle
When I was using Instagram for just family and friends I was "babibarnes". But I knew I couldn't keep that name once I started attracting followers from my site. So I changed my handle to "authorelirabarnes". First of all, it sounds more official. Secondly, all the followers I've gained since then follow me because my handle expressly says what I do.
Just like on Twitter, I started using relevant hashtags on Instagram too. Whenever I post something writing-related, my favourite hashtags are #amwriting, #indieauthor, #igwritingcommunity, #writerslife and #authorsofinstagram.
The hashtag that helped me reach more writers on Instagram was #authorssupportingauthors, a loop that started for writers on IG to find each other as easily as they do on Twitter.
One thing I did for my Instagram that easily attracts visitors to my blog, was signing up for Linktree. This allows me to use one link in my bio, and once it's opened, it takes the user to a list of all my relevant links I find important and that will interest my visitors.
Joined Tailwind Tribes for Pinterest
Tailwind is a site that allows users to schedule pins on Pinterest. It has a feature called "Tribes"; these work like "groups", where members can add a pin they want others to re-share.
My Pinterest account has reached approximately 35k views per month, and thanks to Pinterest's analytics feature I can see my top performing pins, so I know which topics my visitors are most interested in.
Pinterest is a great platform to promote your business. If you're not using it yet, I highly recommend it. I have a specific board where all my blog posts can be found.
I also use it to find inspiration for story ideas and writing advice.
Became more social
It's social media. You have to be social. Talk to people, like their posts, leave a comment. All these things make you more "likeable" and people will want to get to know you and what you do. This will happen gradually.
For me, it's happening slowly, but steadily. Everyday, I get about 15 to 20 new followers altogether on my different social accounts, with Instagram and Twitter being my top performers.
There you have it. Everything I did (and still do) to grow my follower base.
Do you have any tips? What worked for you and what didn't?
Let me know in the comments below and share this post with friends.
Join The Write Space Forum to start your own conversation.
You can also join my Facebook group, The Write Community, and chat over there.