Shelley Widhalm

Platforms (and Blogging)

In Blogging, Platforms, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on April 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

The only reason I started my blog nearly three years ago was because I read in one of my writer’s magazines that writers need platforms, whether or not they’re published.

Within a few blogging sessions (I blog weekly), I realized I blog because I love it. I learn as I write about different topics that have to do with the writing process, elements of writing and the life of a writer.

Blogging serves as a discipline for regular writing; it’s a different format of writing than anything else I’ve done: news and feature articles, short stories, novels and poems.

And it’s a way to meet other writers.

To draw traffic to my two blogs, I created a website with links to this one and the one that my dog, Zoey the Cute Dachshund, writes called Zoey’s Paw, zoeyspaw.wordpress.com. I don’t know if this works, but it is something to put on my business cards.

From my research on platforms, I’ve found some conflicting information.

Writers, whether published or not in fiction or nonfiction, need to create a platform, preferably one that includes blogging.

Or, according to a recent article in one of my writer’s magazines, blogs help writers connect with readers but don’t necessarily sell books. They are not useful for romance and young adult writers, because readers of these books don’t connect with the authors in this way.

What does that mean for writers who have yet to be published? Should they blog or not? Should they build a platform with a multimedia presence that includes blogs, photos, videos and snippets of their work?

I wish I knew.

In the meantime, I’ll keep blogging.

Platforms and blogs, in particular, are intended to communicate your expertise on a subject. They should focus on a specific topic and provide information, thought and ideas in a distinct niche.

I’ve also read that blogs:

• Need to have passion, voice and be creative and distinct from other blogs. Blogs by writers blogging about writing seem to be overdone. (I’m included in this category, apparently.)
• Should be about the subject of your book to build an audience of readers. They can be about the time period of your story, themes in your writing, character traits you’ve developed or anything else you’re writing about.
• Need to be updated often, such as once a week or three times a week.

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