Building Yourself Up (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! Before we begin, I want to say,

Winter is here

Just kidding! But I am excited about Game of Thrones tomorrow, but no, I really wanted to say thank you to everyone who commented on my last blog post. The amount of support and advice I got was overwhelming. I feel much better about my decision to try and get traditional published or even self-publish, so instead of anxiety now, I can focus on finalizing Clash of Tides for querying.

So, today I wanted to discuss building yourself up. As writers, we are always trying to improve our skills, grow our readership, and just maintain a presence online.

We already know how the greats did it: Stephen King, J K Rowling, and many other authors. However, in today’s world, lots of people are building up their brand.

Of course, as writers, it makes us feel better when we read about other writers getting rejected and still succeeding. But what about business owners, musicians, and other artists that start from nothing? Well, there are plenty of stories about them. During the last few days, I’ve researched people that are inspiring, who help me to keep moving and not give up.

So today, I want to talk about a company that changed how we read, buy books, and even look at publishing: Amazon.

I’m not sure if any of you know this, but Jeffrey P. Bezos started Amazon out of his garage at 30 years old. Yes, out of his garage at only 30 years old.

This information is taken from http://www.fundable.com:

 1994: Jeff Bezos quits his job and launches Amazon out of his garage.
Within 30 Days, it is doing $20,000 per week in sales.

1995: Bezos raises an $8 Million round of funding from Kleiner Perkins.

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 per share.

1999: Bezos is named Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” for popularizing online shopping.

2009: Bezos acquires Tony Tsieh’s Zappos through a stock swap.

2013: Bezos acquires the Washington Post.

If we look at these dates, it took Jeffery 4 years before he really got noticed for Amazon. Along the way, it wasn’t always an easy journey. Think about it, if he gave up on starting Amazon, where would we be today? Of course, I’m sure someone else may have made self-publishing a thing, but Amazon is now a legend in the online world. Honestly, I feel that’s how it is with writing. It’s a long, never ending road of working hard and waiting for our stuff to get noticed.

Growing your readership and improving your craft takes time. So please, to new and old writers (and this may sound strange coming from me), please don’t get discouraged. For new writers, at a minimum give yourself 1-2 years to build up your craft and presence online. Seriously, don’t rush the process like I did. If you ever need someone to beta read for you or help you with your stories, I’m just an email away. I started this blog to help other writers, that’s what I want to do. If another writer offers to help you, take them up on that offer. Really, you have nothing to lose.

The most that will happen is they won’t get back to you, but if they do, that could be some valuable feedback. I started this blog to help other writers, so I’m here if you need me.

Lastly, I’ve almost reached 1500 followers! Once I do, I plan to hold a writing contest! The prize will probably be a $25 Amazon gift card, but hey, that is some free books. More details to come.

Question: How long did it take you to build up your craft and presence online? From what I’ve noticed, it takes about 1-2 years to build up a readership.

(I haven’t forgotten about the comments. I will respond to you.)

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Building Yourself Up (For Writers)

  1. I’ve just 600 followers this week. A small portion of those people will read my blog and / or fiction I write for lit mag’s that allow free access. I’ve been working on my platform for about a year and a half now, though a good portion of that first year was spent figuring out it all really worked. However, I’ve been neglecting my short fiction in favor of writing and trying to publish novels. Now that the novel publishing industry is a painful one. I thought I had a big enough following to try a crowdfunding platform for publishing, but that isn’t really working out to well yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing. This is good advice I think. You’re quite generous and insightful. I’m a newbie with about 10 followers but I’m okay with that. I’m finding that blogging helps… like journaling. I’m not to concerned right now, but I agree about the perseverance it takes in this business. Really love your train of thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, and thank you for very much!

      I feel most of these thoughts come from my own experiences online. I have been on like every writing website in creation. Right now, I’m very picky on which websites I post my work on, but WordPress is one of the best sites I’ve found.

      Your following count will grow in time. =) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1 to 2 years sounds about right for someone to build an online presence. I remember checking my blog daily to see if I got any new notifications and researching to see what I was doing wrong. Eventually, after I joined a few flash fiction challenges, I started to get readership. That was about a year after I started the blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Good advice. It seems like having a large following is crucial for writers these days, especially for self-publishing. Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to dedicate to building a following at the moment, but I should really make more of an effort when I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! I haven’t heard from you in a while. I hope you’re doing well =)

      Having a following online is a requirement for publishers these days, or at least that’s what I heard from other writers. It does take time, and I feel writers should work on their following when they are ready.

      Honestly, it takes so much time and patience. I really hate doing it, but at least WordPress is done. I’ve reached my followers goal for this website, and I only have one other to work on.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m still here…I’m just on sabbatical for a while until I get the rest of my life sorted out…but I still lurk in the background and read other people’s stuff 🙂

        It’s great that you’ve reached your goal for this website – I’m sure all your hard work will pay off in the long run!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely approve of a message about building yourself up as a writer and not letting things get you down. Easier said than done, I’ve found, but I keep reminding myself. I also keep trying to remind myself to keep my eye on getting the work done. How much I’ve done, when it’s done, how successful it is, these are all trivial things that distract me from my goal and can crush my creativity.
    And since you started the post with A Game of Thrones, it brought to mind that George R.R. Martin published the first book in that series in 1996, and about 15 years later it became a TV series, bringing about a whole new fan base and creating new interest. As a writer you never know how long it will take to get that first book published or how it will be received, or even how long it might take for a book to gain the attention of the masses. But I think if you stop to worry about it, you’re wasting time you could be creating your next story.
    You were just sucked into my musings following reading your post. That’s what I always enjoy, is that they get me to thinking about different aspects of writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Mandie!

      Building oneself up as a writer takes a lot of time and work. And thanks to our rushed society, everyone wants everything now. Sadly, things don’t work like that.

      Ah! I totally agree with you about not wasting our time thinking about it anymore. Over the weekend, I actually decided to stop looking at stats and just focus more on the writing. Looking at stats and waiting to get more attention for my stories has never worked out for me, so it’s best to focus on other things, like my new projects.

      I’m so glad you like my posts. That’s what they are here for. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on being so close to 1.5k followers. I bet it feels amazing.

    For me though… I haven’t been so successful. I’ve been on Wattpad for four years now and I have barely surpassed 100 followers, people who don’t even take an interest in my stuff anymore. I’ve been at WordPress for over two years now and there isn’t much more to say for it. Maybe around 150 followers, and almost none that regularly read or comment or interact with me. And I’ve tried a lot to build that following, with very little to say for it in the end. Eventually you just start giving up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It feels ok. I actually never planned to reach 1.5K followers on my blog. My blog was mostly just my outlet to release my feelings on being a new writer.

      Well, I already give you my tips for building up your platforms, and it takes a lot of work. There are many nights where I’m just online reading other people’s stories, blogs, and tweets now. Yeah, I know that feeling of wanting to give up. I may be successful on WordPress, but I’m not on other websites. There are many days where I want to give up and just be done with writing. So far, it hasn’t gotten me anywhere or anything.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. 1 to 2 years sounds about right! I have a setback from moving from blogger to WordPress and it seems to tougher this round lol

    Fantastic post, by the way! We have a podcast on Amazon that won’t be out for couple months, but we agree with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! Thanks so much for commenting on my post!

      I’m surprised you don’t have more followers. Your posts are always so good, and I love your podcast; I try to listen to every episode.

      Thanks! I felt new writers and bloggers needed to know that 1-2 year build-up time. =)

      Thanks again for stopping by!

      Like

  8. Same, I started this blog over a year ago, and in a couple of months it will be two years old. When I started out, I was barely active since I never got used to the posting schedule. And I never got much recognition from Wattpad, even till now(my biggest accomplishment was 9k reads for it.) But I’m fine, since when I began, I was terrible as a writer. I didn’t have good grammar(a lot of run-on sentences from those days) and my book ideas frankly, I wouldn’t be able to even develop a single one of them fruition. So, I really needed to slowly learn my craft and build my readership, which I was thankful since I am mostly undiscovered and still relatively unknown. I’m fine with it, since I know I have a long way to go and I’m still young(I’m only sixteen this year).

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I started my blog a couple of months ago, late May. Until now, I have 10 followers. Not bad at all at that stage. From what I’ve gathered, it takes time. People won’t rush to us for no good reason. We have to attract them. We have to post systematically quality writing, comment on other blogs that interest us, search for other blogs similar to our own and build solid relationships with their authors. In other words, interaction is the key. If we do all these things, we will steadily gain a dedicated audience.

    http://lilaiamoreliwordsaresacred.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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