Today I was talking with a New York Times bestselling author. He was explaining to me how he had used video to drive his most recent book onto the best sellers list. “Nothing sells like video,” he explained.
Whenever I speak on the topic of platform-building, someone always asks, “How can I generate more traffic for my blog?” Most are hoping I have a silver bullet, something that will instantly get them the recognition they deserve.
The bad news is that it’s not quite that simple. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a platform. It takes doing several things right—and doing them over a long period of time.
I rarely meet a Twitter user who doesn’t want more followers. A few argue that the numbers aren’t important. They are only concerned with “quality followers.” I’m not sure it is either/or, but I notice that most of the people making this argument have very few followers.
Why would you want more followers? Three reasons:
- More followers provide social authority. Like any other ranking system, the higher your follower count, the more people assume you are an expert—or at least someone interesting. It may not be valid, but it’s the way it works in a world where there is a ranked list for everything.
In case you missed them, here are my top ten posts for December 2011, along with my top ten commenters. I am sending each of the top commenters a free copy of Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham. It is currently on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Here are my top ten posts:
The volume of my blog comments has increased dramatically in the past year. I am so grateful for the robust community that has developed here. People often tell me that they find the comments as helpful as the posts. I agree.
As a result, I read every comment and respond to as many as I can. However, this is currently taking me about ten hours a week.
If you are serious about building a platform, you must be actively engaged in social media. Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+—or all four—you need to develop a tribe of loyal followers and super fans who want to hear what you have to say.
But who has the time? Social media can become a full-time job if you are not careful! And this leaves little time for doing your real job, whether it is writing, composing, programming, or doing something else.
The goal of marketing is to attract more customers. Businesses make an enormous investment to get people in the doors the first time. But what happens after that?
If the customer walks out the door, never to return, the investment is wasted. “Blood on the ground,” as they say. Instead, marketers want the customer to come back—and, hopefully, bring a few friends.
This post is a 20-minute guide to Twitter for non-techies. If you don’t know what Twitter is, start with my first post on the topic, Twitter-dee, Twitter-dum. If you still aren’t convinced it’s worth your time, then read my 12 Reasons to Start Twittering.
Over the last few years, I have helped several friends and a few family members get setup on Twitter. I found myself explaining the basics over and over again, so I decided to write a simple, step-by-step guide.
In case you are new here, I am a big advocate of blogging. I don’t know of a better way to build a platform than starting with a blog as your “homebase” and building from there. This is especially true for authors.
Occasionally, when I speak on the topic of social media, I get push-back from novelists. “Yes, a blog maybe great for non-fiction authors, but what about novelists? What can we write about?”
I didn’t start blogging to make money from it. The thought never occurred to me. When someone suggested I start accepting advertising, I resisted. I thought some how it would compromise my integrity.
Then I realized that all professional creatives charge for their work. In fact, this is what separates the professionals from the amateurs. For example: