If I were a stranger to you–an interesting stranger, but a stranger nonetheless–and I tried to sell you a ghostwritten book about me for twenty dollars, I might meet with limited enthusiasm. Now, imagine I could also offer you a subscription to a magazine about me for free. You’d sign up for the magazine, no problem.
People usually like to ramp up to new experiences, so even if the book had a nice cover and I looked terrifically handsome in my author pic, the magazine idea would win out … at first. Then, once folks subscribed to the magazine and loved it, they’d be clamoring to buy the book.
Today’s blogging is yesterday’s article-writing
That magazine subscription analogy is the idea behind blogging and guest blogging to build your online platform. In the olden days, we writers used to query magazines, hoping they’d buy our articles. Getting articles or short stories published in print magazines then became a stepping stone to publishing a book. Now, it’s the same except that blogs have replaced magazines.
The up-side of this change is that you don’t have to buy the Writer’s Market or hit your local library to find blogs to post to as a guest, the way we did with magazines. The down side is that you have to put the time (hours! days!) in to scour the internet to find blogs that will accept you as a guest and be appropriate for your area of expertise.
You also have to understand technology enough to be able to apply to be a guest blogger. Some sites take your query through plain old email, but others require you to apply through Google Plus. Yet others ask you to apply through Skype. No longer can you just put a stamp on a letter and hope for the best.
Why blog, anyway?
As a memoir ghostwriter, it has come to my attention that most of my clients are writing books to make a career transition. That transition is usually horizontal–not necessarily for financial gain, but to go from a career they like less to one they like more.
Helping people get more satisfying careers just plain brings happiness to the world. It’s a worthwhile endeavor if there ever was one and makes me feel great about ghostwriting, whether I’m penning a memoir or a how-to book. I’m finding more and more, however, that my clients have trouble building the online platforms necessary to make the book successful.
Some clients don’t bother building a platform at all. Whoops. Others get hoodwinked by various companies and freelancers (and even psychics!) that promise to promote them in all kinds of exotic ways. The truth is, there is no substitute for good writing and hard work and time spent.
To build an author platform, all you have to do is blog, blog, and blog some more. Also, subscribe to other blogs in your field. Also guest blog on relevant websites that will have you. Think of your writing world as a spiderweb with you in the middle of it. The more dots (blogs) you put on different places on the web, the more trails there will be, if you connect those dots, all leading back to you.
How much online stuff does an author really need?
It’s fun (and expensive) to spend a lot of time developing the world’s most beautiful website, but you really don’t need it. You can blog on your social media pages.
If you want to be known as a writer, you have to write and get people to read your work. It’s that simple.
Fancy website? You don’t need it. Colorful theme? You don’t need it. Secret codes and metadata and tags and electronic mystery stuff? You really don’t need it. You just need to connect to people who are also connected to people, so that people with brains in their heads, who like to read good writing, will start appreciating your unique gifts.
How a memoir ghostwriter can help
Typically my clients are not writers but rather people with great ideas who, unlike me, haven’t spent years learning to be a great writer. They need my help to be understood, to communicate their philosophies, and to show their expertise.
To better serve these clients, I’ve decided to offer a blog-writing package along with my book ghostwriting service. It’ll include guest blogs and on-site blogs with backlinks and internal links that will help build your readership.
The blogging package will serve as a comprehensive, organic way to build an online platform aimed at getting you the attention of a literary agent, a reputable PR firm, or a publisher. (Here’s more about Deep Blogging.)
As usual, as a ghostwriter, I will blog as you. Because I’m your memoir ghostwriter and I’ve interviewed you extensively, I know you inside and out, so this will come naturally. The blogs will sound like you and talk about issues relevant to you and your book. The blogs will serve as the magazine subscription that will lead readers to eventually clamor for the book.
I’m still working out the kinks on exactly how I’ll offer this package, but I think it’s going to be a real game-changer for clients that truly want to adopt niche careers that make them happier. Let’s do it!