If you’re new to the world of paid writing, you may be wondering about buzz phrases like “writer’s platform.”
Simply put, your platform is your visibility as a writer. It’s your online reputation. It’s what you do to build your brand. And it’s how you get noticed, and eventually hired by clients.
Your platform is also a credibility booster. It’s one thing to approach a potential client and say you’re an expert in writing for a specific industry, like farming. It’s another thing if that client can go online and view multiple blogs and articles you’ve written, published in a variety of trustworthy sources, all of which relate to farming.
Spend a day on each of the steps below and you’ll start building your online reputation as a writer in no time:
Day 1: Define your writing goals — both short-term and long-term
For example, a good short-term goal could be, “Establish my reputation as a professional writer.” Then your long-term goal would be, “Present myself to industry leaders as an expert writer in my chosen niche.”
Day 2: Set up your social media profiles
If you’re not already on them, join LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If you are on them, optimize each profile to include information about your writing services. Make sure each profile includes an up-to-date email address that is publicly searchable. And use a profile picture of yourself (not your dog or your favorite celebrity).
Day 3: Join relevant social media groups
All four social media platforms offer access to professional organizations, so look for groups related to writing and groups that link to your chosen writing niche. This is a great way to get to know other writers and industry players.
Day 4: Start a blog
If you don’t already have a professional writing website, you can launch a freestanding blog for no charge at WordPress.com and Blogger.com. Then, plan out a monthly editorial calendar that has you writing at least one post per week, and preferably three. Make sure your topics connect back to your writing goals.
Day 5: Find content to link to
Search for other blogs and articles related to your professional writing goals. Make a list of specific websites you’d like to link to in your own blogs. As you search for linkable content, comment on articles and posts you like. This helps build relationships and links your name to writer-relevant and industry-relevant content.
Once you take these initial steps, make it your weekly habit to connect with other professionals, write and post content relevant to your goals, and link to other players in your preferred industry. Your reach and notoriety will steadily grow, giving you a solid platform to stand on as you build your online reputation as a professional writer.