October 20, 2019

Author Platform Basic Set-up (Part 2)

Platform Structure

My previous blog on platforms pointed to the increasing need for authors to develop a following: “persons you can bring into the promotion and sales of your book” (Kate Epstein).

Here I’d like to dig a little deeper to say more about how to do this. I’m writing for persons who really haven’t entered into social media.

First, think about your brand. Most authors use their names consistently across all media (and on their books). Make sure you have a recent internet browser and open up at least five tabs.

In the first tab, go to Google.com or another good search engine and search for your name as you usually type it. Then take out all the spaces and run-in. For example, I searched for My Literary Coach and myliterarycoach. Do any hits pop up that aren’t you? If so, then try another search with your middle initial or some other change. Keep going until you are the only person presented in the search results.

Second, use the next browser window for Facebook.com. Do a search for your name both with spaces and without on one, then the other. If you are fortunately, then no other person will be returned as a hit in the search. Hold for a minute.

Third, use the third browser window and do a similar search on Twitter.com.

Fourth, go to a site that leases URLs (for example, 1and1.com, which offers excellent telephone support). Enter in your name without any spaces and search for dot-com, dot-net, and dot-org. Hopefully no hits. Right?

Fifth, when the same user name will work across all social media outlets, then complete the registration process for each site and lease the URLs. Yes, get dot-com, dot-net, and dot-org versions.

Sixth, some authors do not want to do more than free blogging. For this, you can use Blogger.com (owned by Google), which does not use a URL, but creates one, for example, myliterarycoach.blogger.com. Even if you decide to go this route, you should lease the URLs now for later possible usage.

So now what will you share with others through social media? Go to Google.com > More > Still More and register for Google Alerts. What key words–including your name with and without spaces–could signal kindred spirits? What key words could snatch news or articles worthwhile?

With these six steps, you are ready to operate the levers and buttons of social media.

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