MRM Blog: 3 Simple Steps for New Authors to Grown an Audience

One of the incredible gifts we experience is helping new authors share their stories for the first time. One of the more challenging steps wrapped up in that gift is also helping the new authors invite readers into their space, into their story, which is otherwise known as growing their audience.

While we firmly believe a book launch can be successful and fulfilling without a large number of followers, the truth is—if an author wants his or her book to sell, having followers or an audience is necessary. Your voice needs to have reach, and in order to do that, there are a few first steps that are essential in laying the foundation for your platform, your brand as an author, and your book.

Here are three simple steps any first-time author can take to get started.

1. START or grow your email list.

One of the most powerful tools in an author’s marketing arsenal is an email list. If you don’t yet have an official email list (Gmail contacts don’t count. Sorry!), here are a few services we recommend as you begin.

Start by inviting your personal contacts to subscribe to your list through your website. Encourage them to share your website with others who might be interested in your message or topic. Offering incentives, such as exclusive content or sneak peeks, can entice people to join your list. Remember, your email subscribers are your most engaged audience, so nurture these relationships by providing value and fostering meaningful interactions.

2. Leverage your social media platforms.

In today’s digital age, social media is nearly indispensable for authors looking to connect with readers and amplify their voice. Begin by inviting your personal connections to like and follow your social media accounts across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you have existing relationships with these contacts, inviting them over to your accounts to follow along is an easy step.

Having the social media accounts isn’t enough though; you also need to actively engage with your audience regularly. By sharing valuable content, participating in online conversations, showcasing your personality, and of course spotlighting updates about your upcoming release, you will continue to draw in and keep your audience’s attention. You want to build excitement and anticipation throughout the whole process, not just the release date.

Related to that, when branding your social media accounts, focus on presenting yourself as an author rather than promoting your book directly. Title your business accounts or pages with your name, not just your book title. Be sure to share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your writing process, other book recommendations, and insights into your author journey.

3. Create engaging blog posts.

Some might say that blogging is a lost art, but we definitely disagree. Blogging offers an excellent opportunity to have casual conversations with your readers, drip out content from your book, gain early feedback on the topic, and—bonus—establish strong SEO ratings for your website when you focus on relevant keywords in the posts.

We often encourage writers who are in the early stages of their manuscripts to “test out” chapter ideas or short stories as a blog post. Blog subscribers can make great beta readers, and community feedback can help you hone the content you create for the manuscript. It also gives you great insight if there’s a particular pain point you hope to speak into.

Content that is pulled from your book during the editing phase often times makes great blog posts as well. We believe that there is no wasted content, and this is an easy opportunity to use some of your existing work in a beneficial way.

Bonus tip: You can also repurpose your blog content for social media posts to reach a wider audience and drive traffic back to your website.

Establishing your platform and your brand as a new author requires dedication, consistency, and authenticity, and—let’s face it—launching a book is hard work! With a goal of genuinely connecting with those who are invested in your message, these three simple steps are a great jumping off point in that process and will help you build a solid foundation for your author journey.

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