It’s essential in today’s digital world to have an online presence, in at least one form or another. Having an online presence will help you, as an author, to establish a connection with your audience and to create a community for your writing.
As a writer, it’s helpful to know and use the tools readily available to you. The internet is a vast and malleable tool you can use to effectively sell yourself to the public, and gain a following.
Why have an online presence?
Whether you consider yourself to be a new, emerging or established writer, creating various accounts through social media can help you form a network. A network can consist of members of the literary sector, various writing organisations and publications, or contacts who could potentially help you launch your career as a writer. But let’s not forget that one of the biggest things an online presence can do for a writer is help them find and connect with their audience.
How much or how little do I put online?
The information you decide to provide to the public depends entirely on you. You might choose to write a fifty-word biography and synopsis of your work and paste that to your chosen social media platforms. Or you might provide regular updates on your work, posting a brief excerpt or two on your website.
For more information, check out our page about self-promotion.
Platforms to Investigate
Social media can be a great and fast way to find and connect with a network and potential audience. It can be a convenient way to share your news, upcoming events and anything else of interest and relevance to your work as a writer.
Facebook gives you the option of creating a personal account for friends and other contacts to interact with you, a public page for any other user to subscribe to, or a private group page where you control the members and content. It is the ultimate social media and content sharing platform across the web, with over a million links shared every twenty minutes, and a helpful tool for any writer looking to distribute their work.
Twitter allows users to post a short, 140-character message to their followers. This word limit allows for succinct and effective communication. Users can also post external links from other websites, allowing their followers access to this information.
Another social media outlet, Instagram promotes the use of visuals and videos. You can give your followers a glimpse into your life as a writer and use Instagram as a device to drip-feed information about upcoming projects.
Tiktok videos can take off and generate a lot of attention, if you work on your platform and posting consistent, themed content. It can also lead people to the rest of your author platforms like your other social media accounts, your website, and more. There are also a lot of book bloggers on TikTok to engage with and/or follow.
Having a website or a blog is a must for most writers these days. Whether it’s simply a platform to collate and display your work for potential publishers or editors or a way to connect further with your current audience.
WordPress is a publishing platform that allows users to create and update websites and blogs. It is free, easy to use and permits user customisation. You don’t have to be a blogger to use WordPress, it can be a great tool to build a simple and free website to promote yourself.
WordPress is made easy by its simple interface, so you don’t have to be an expert in coding for it to work. Content sharing is available as well, with simple one-click linking to social media encouraged once a post is submitted. This will allow you the chance to share your posts with your Facebook or Twitter contacts and gain a following.
Tumblr is the virtual version of scrapbooking. You can use it to post stories or articles as well as still or moving images to their account with minimal text. You might be thinking this is detrimental to your career as a writer, but Internet users tend to respond more strongly to visual aids than paragraphs of text. Your Tumblr account might consist of a series of clever pictures made to promote your writing.
Wattpad is an online forum where you can share your writing for free. If you’re starting out as a writer and want to ‘test the waters’, you could visit these websites and post a couple of stories. Be mindful that anybody can view your work and post feedback and no author will be paid for their contributions.