Welcome to another Empowering Post, where I share powerful tips that will help you build a thriving writing ministry.
For today's article, let's spend some time discussing what I believe is a fundamental topic within Christian writing: the Author Platform.
Over the last couple of weeks, I've been teaching on this subject matter with my audience on EWP-TV, and I felt it was important to construct an Empowering Post on it as well. If you have not developed your own platform yet, or maybe you're struggling to get people to visit your site, then I believe today's article will help you tremendously.
And with today's teaching, I want to address three main parts of understanding and building your Author Platform. Here they are:
So, grab your notepad and pen, and get ready to engage in today's teaching on "What it means to have a Christian Author Platform."
Let's Address the Basics: What is an Author Platform?
When you think of an Author Platform, what comes to mind? I want you to take some time to write down your own thoughts about this, because this will help you determine what you do know and what you still need to learn.
If you do a quick search of the phrase, you will find that "author platform" has a number of definitions associated with it. And it all depends on who's addressing the topic.
I like one particular article by Forbes magazine, "The 'New Author Platform' What Writers Need to Know."
It does a wonderful job of briefly explaining the difference between the old way of building a platform versus the more modern version, the one that you and I must pay attention to.
At one time, if you wanted to succeed as an author, you needed the help and assistance of major media channels. You needed to appear on television shows; and you were required to have a national presence that could easily generate massive book sales.
This was especially important for traditional publishers, who counted on an author to have an established platform in order to secure major book deals.
But times have changed, and you should be grateful for that, too, because very few people are able to garner that type of notoriety. And for many aspiring authors--especially Christian Authors--it's hard to claim that type of spotlight when you don't have the backing of a great publisher.
So, what then is the new type of platform that helps to level the playing field for everyone?
The answer: having an author platform online that allows for the writer to connect directly with his or her readers.
The newer model requires that you and I cease from relying on a publisher to do the work for us. Instead, it requires the author to make the greatest connection with the consumer, i.e. reader.
Now that you have this bit of understanding, here's my simple definition of a Christian Author Platform: This is your online space where you can engage with your readers on an intimate level so that they come to appreciate you, your brand, and your books. It's your online home space where your people come to congregate to receive your entertainment, your education, and your inspiration.
Whether it be through a blog, a vlog, or a podcast, your online space, aka your Author Platform, is where you become the vehicle by which your readers purchase your books.
Why would readers prefer this method over the old one?
As a new Christian Author, you may be wondering why this new model is important. For you, your focus might be on simply writing and publishing your book. The last thing you want to do is market it so that it sells.
But unfortunately, that's not how the business runs anymore. Yes, you can find a publisher who can help you do a lot of the work. But the success of your writing ministry depends squarely on you...no one else. The sooner you accept that, the quicker you will be in building your profitable writing ministry.
What you need to consider instead is why readers actually prefer this method, because this is the only reason why the model has changed.
Anything that happens in business is a direct result of consumer behavior. If readers routinely purchase books from authors who are building their platforms based on the newer model, guess what? Those authors will continue to thrive, because they are giving the readers what they want.
If Author A decides to launch a blog, a podcast, and a video series in addition to writing and publishing books, then Author A will never run out of business. Why? Because Author A is giving more than the average writer.
In contrast, if Author B decides to only focus on writing a book and publishing it without giving more to readers, then Author B will always be limited.
And here's my point: You can't expect "Author A" results with "Author B" efforts. Not in today's time, and probably never again!
What Makes the New Model So Great?
Let's take some time to answer this question in detail: What is it about the new model that has readers wanting more?
You can understand this best by examining the personal qualities of a great Author Platform. You have:
In other words, authors who spend incredible time working on their Author Platform will see the most results because they personally relate to their readers. They provide multiple ways to connect with their audience (something I will teach upon a little later.) They provide entertainment and engagement. And most of all, their platform is credible and authentic.
Readers love knowing that they are working with a real person rather than some unconcerned business entity.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Author Platform
Now, if you're wondering if there's such a thing as a good versus bad author platform, I want you to know that yes, there is a HUGE difference.
Let's examine this, and based on the characteristics of both categories, you can determine how best to construct your platform.
Characteristics of a Good Author Platform
It was in 2015 when I really began to take my writing ministry seriously. And in order to get my own work off the ground again, I turned to a handful of online influencers who could help me with my work.
After connecting with these folks, I quickly learned that they were also Christian Authors, who used their platforms to teach about business and other online practices.
Because their author platform was SO good, it wasn't difficult for me to purchase their book or other products. And it certainly wasn't difficult for me to refer their brand to other people like you. These influencers include:
I won't go into too much details about what their brands accomplish, but I want to highlight how their platforms have paved the way for them to earn substantial income through book sales.
Their author platforms are what I consider to be top-notch. If you visit their websites, you will notice that they have beautiful designs, a clear and concise message, and a small selection of marketing media that they use to educate their audience.
Each influencer has a blog and podcast--two types of highly effective content marketing tools--and their brands are focused on helping a certain type of person achieve a particular goal.
Everything that they do and teach all relates back to their brand and business theme, and they do well to ensure that the message remains clear for their audience.
Their author platforms don't need to spend much time talking about themselves and all their accolades. Instead, their platforms focus on you and me, the audience and readers. As a result of this, their influence among readers continues to grow, because they have mastered the art of providing immeasurable value to their ideal market.
This is the making of a good--in fact, a GREAT!--Author Platform. And you and I would do well to emulate their practice.
Their business practices work so well and achieve great results because they took the time to create a platform that goes above and beyond what the average person is willing to do. And because they continually sow into other people by bringing high quality content, they ALWAYS receive a harvest of abundance in the form of monetary rewards.
This is something that I've come to learn and adopt for LiyahAmore Publishing. In fact, when I shifted my approach to incorporate this type of author platform, my writing ministry increased...and continues to do so today!
When I presented my online space that was clear, focused, and solely about you, Christian Writerpreneur, then everything about my writing ministry just seemed to make sense. For the first time, I didn't struggle with making sales or with generating new clients for the company.
It happened organically and naturally because I took the time to create my platform in a way that brought value and insight to my ideal audience.
And that, again, is the mark of a great author platform. To simplify this even more, here's my assessment of what makes a phenomenal platform:
If you're able to make these characteristics a part of your writing ministry, then you are well-positioned to have a great platform. But if not, then you want to start working on these elements immediately. (This is what I do with my students and network members.)
Characteristics of a Bad Author Platform
For the most part, you have an idea of what a poor platform looks like. It's basically anything that is opposite of what I have already shared. But for the sake of discussing it, let's briefly address why certain author platforms fail.
For one, some author platforms fail to keep the reader in mind. They are more focused on discussing everything about the author. You see long-winded biographies, unnecessary images of themselves, and a list of all their accomplishments.
You will find a bunch of "Buy Here" buttons, because the author assumes that the only way to make sales is by using the age-old, hard-selling techniques.
In other words, the author's platform is literally just about the author and nothing else. And that can come across as narcissistic to the reader. It gives off this vibe that the only person the author is concerned with is him or herself.
And if your current platform reflects this, then you need to change it and quickly. Instead of focusing on you, focus on your audience. What do the people need? What are they looking for? How can you be a help and support to them? Your author platform needs to provide that.
This is not to say that you can't incorporate your own story into your platform, but only as it comes secondary to your readers' needs and desires. You must remember that your writing ministry is not about you but about the people that you will serve or entertain. (To help you better understand this, spend some time evaluate the LiyahAmore Publishing platform.)
So, take a look at your current author platform if you have one. Do you notice that it's all about you? If so, get to work on making it more about your readers.
Here's another element of a poor author platform: It's boring.
Plain and simple.
There's nothing for the reader to do on this type of platform.
There's no blog, no podcast, or no video presentations that would keep the reader engaged. And this is a MAJOR problem that I see among new Christian Authors.
As a business person, your goal is to keep your visitors engaged and coming back for more. If you only acquire a handful of visitors each day, you want those visitors to look through multiple pages so that they get to know you and your brand more.
This was something that I discovered for my writing ministry. Once I began implementing my effective blogging plan (something I teach heavily in my school), then I noticed that I had increased activity on my website. It's nothing for one visitor to maneuver through 10-15 pages on my website because I have a blog of engaging content that anyone can digest.
And because my writing ministry is focused on a specific person, my visitors feel like LiyahAmore Publishing is their home to find everything they need about Christian Writerpreneurship.
And this wasn't easy for me to create in the beginning. It was a struggle because I had to test what would work. But once I discovered the "It factor," it became easier for me to consistently build my author platform, and to expand its reach by building other sites that work cohesively with it.
The same will happen for you if you are willing to invest the time, resources, and energy into making it a reality.
Where to Go from Here
So, now that you have a clearer idea of what is expected of a good author platform, I want you to take the time to think about how you can develop yours or perform a brand audit on your current one.
If you find yourself struggling with this area, then I want to encourage you to do what very few Christian Authors are willing to do: invest in your training so that you do things the right way.
And I want to take some time to help you better understand just how my online school can truly make the difference for you, especially as you look to build your author platform.
Receive the Training You Need to Build Your Writing Ministry and Author Platform the RIGHT Way
The majority of new and aspiring Christian Authors assume that because God gave them the vision to write a book, then it's up to God to put everything together. They fail to realize that the success of their ministry is based on their training.
There are five pillars that Christian Authors generally lack:
And without them, these writers will surely fail.
While you can work towards finding the answers and solutions yourself, it will take you years to cultivate your business and brand, just as it did with me and with other experts who paved the way for Christian Authors like you. But you can avoid this stress when you enroll in the only online school for Christian Authors like you: the Empowered Writerpreneurs Program.
With just 90 days of pure dedication (or you can work at your own pace), you can experience the benefits that my school has to offer you. You will
Best of all, you will be among a small percentage of independent Christian Authors whose writing ministry will not fail.
My school also offers life-time guarantees, one of which ensures that all my digital resources (current and future e-courses and e-books) are yours at no additional cost. But you want to enroll now, because the tuition will continue to increase as more empowering content is added.
So, join the other EWP students today, gain immediate access to the program, and get ready to be empowered!
Writerpreneur, in case you wanted more teaching on this topic, you can watch Episode 11 of EWP-TV, "What does it mean to have a Christian Author Platform."
Be sure to share this article on your Piterest boards and with your Facebook page so that you can reference it later.
And as always, let's grow together!
build the writing ministry of your dreams
Having the ability to effectively market your books and other products requires that you first have a writing ministry that is built on a solid foundation.
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If you want to effectively promote all your books, products, and other resources, then it's time to build a writing ministry that will astound your audience.
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Far too many Christian Authors struggle to reach their financial goals within their writing ministries because they lack the skills to effectively publishing and market their works to the RIGHT audience.
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At LiyahAmore Publishing & Marketing, we provide a comprehensive solution that helps each client manifest their vision for their writing ministry.
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