Become a Bestselling Author with a Healthy Online Following
Do you compare yourself with the success of other authors and feel as if you are not as successful as them? Are you not sure as to what goes into building a healthy following? Do you want followers that engage, buy, and share your books and blogs?
As a writer, you might look at bestselling authors with huge online followings and feel like you have gotten the short end of the stick. The truth is, I did not get here by luck alone. Any author can become a bestselling author with a healthy online following. I am going to share with you ways I got started with developing my tribe.
5- Tips to Become a Bestselling Author with a Healthy Online Following
Tip #1: Passion and Drive
When you write, you are creating something from your heart and soul. For you readers your written work could be flat, monotonous, and boring. By actually putting passion into your work, you will create something dynamic and unique that people will actually relate to.
Furthermore, passion makes you love your work. Building a social media brand, writing, and getting your book published can become a grind if you let them. Then you begin to lose motivation and interest. That intriguing writing career you see in movies and TV shows turns out to just be another office job.
But if you are passionate about your writing and want to become a bestselling author with a healthy online following, you will have the drive to put your words down to share with your readers. So draw on that passion and let it inspire you and push you forward.
Crush that fear
Once you create something you are proud of, it is natural to be fearful of sharing it with the world. I have had my fair share of critics. It can hurt personally when people don’t like the art you have created from your heart. However, it is imperative that you focus on the people who may love or grow from your story. Don’t let fear hold you back. Let love drive you to share your work with the world and hit mainstream success.
I like to view critics and bad reviews as learning experiences. From them, I can grow as a writer. They hurt, but I don’t let them cut into my deep passion for writing. Instead, I find a way to neutralize them into positive things so that I can move on.
Social Media doesn’t have to hurt
Not everyone loves social media. If social media feels like a chore to you, I understand one hundred percent. Nevertheless, in today’s day and age, you are not going to reach people unless you have a following and a brand. Focus on the aspects you love about writing and leave the social media for just a few hours a day. That way, it does not make you hate being a writer, as it only factors into a small part of your workday.
Those pesky off days
We all have those lagging days, where inspiration is dead and writing feels like the last thing we want to do. You are not a failure if you have those days. I like to use those days to recharge and work on other things, such as short stories or articles, in order to stay current with writing. When I come back to my book project, I feel refreshed and inspired and the words melt off of my fingers as I type up a storm.
Tip #2: Set a Schedule
Have you said any of the following?
- “I don’t have time to write.”
- “I want to write, but I put it off.”
- “I can’t focus!”
I’m not saying these are invalid excuses. They are perfectly valid. But you cannot let these excuses prevent you from writing.
Part of what makes some authors so successful is their prolific turnout. Authors like Stephen King write all of the time and publish new books often. This keeps them relevant.
If you write a great book and then wait ten years to publish another, you do not remain relevant. Your name can be forgotten in time. The same happens if you don’t keep up a social media brand, posting often and keeping your readers engaged.
Therefore, procrastination is not an option. You must overcome it and write every day to become successful. You must keep on top of your social media accounts and post often. Every day, you must put work into your writing career to make sure people keep seeing and hearing your name.
Procrastination is a huge block if you want to become a bestselling author with a healthy online following.
Throw yourself into writing
One tip I recommend is to set aside a specific time each day when I must write. This time will vary from person to person; find the time when you tend to write the best and have the fewest things to do. Do not ever cancel this time to do something else, unless there is an emergency. Turn off your TV and your phone, leave emails for later, and open your word processor. Then, throw yourself into writing.
Some people procrastinate because the very act of sitting down to write can be hard. I often have trouble getting started. By using this routine, I minimize distractions and make it possible to sit down and get started. Then I get everything done and feel better about myself as I go about the rest of my day.
However, some people procrastinate because they lack inspiration. I find that doing daily writing prompts help me develop my style and get into “writing mode.” The inspiration flows more freely then. On days when I feel particularly stuck, I will go to the movies, talk to a friend, read a book, or do something fun. Often, these activities will give me inspiration.
Tip #3: Have a Fantastic Website
Part of building a following entails having a great website. Think about it. When you go to someone’s website and it is cluttered and confusing, you probably give up and go somewhere else. When you access someone’s website and see little content, you feel frustrated and also give up. So, obviously, you don’t want people to feel the same about your website.
I love Avada
I built my site from WordPress using Avada theme. Avada is fantastic because it basically does everything for me. It is a boon for those of us who don’t know how to design websites from code.
I recommend that you download Avada and upload it to your site. Then you can build a beautiful custom website with contact forms, buttons, and beautiful images. You can post to your blog with minimal hassle and maintain a store. You can even create a lovely portfolio of your work, which is a must for writers for hire.
Your website must reflect who you are. Create a logo, post a picture, and offer a bio about yourself. Make yourself seem like a real person. Readers can then see if they identify with your personality enough to find your books worth reading.
Consistency is key
You don’t want a jillion different unrelated photos and articles on your site, clashing with each other. You want to create a single theme for the website–your work. Focus on that with your posts, your pictures, and your blog.
Your website must help you generate leads. Every person who visits your site is a potential reader. Therefore, you want to keep in touch and let them know when you have posted new content or published something new. Collecting emails and then engaging with your followers through email lists is a great way to stay relevant and convert visitors into actual readers.
Tip #4: Have a Great Team to Become a Bestselling Author with a Healthy Online Following
Where would I be without my editor, proofreaders, designers, publicist, virtual assistant, and launch team? I know exactly where I would not be on the bestseller list!
While writing is a bit of a lone wolf process, this does not mean that you can produce a bestselling book alone. You might write the best novel every written, but no one will ever read it if they are not aware of it. Your team is what makes your good book great and puts it in front of readers.
Your team to become a bestselling author with a healthy online following
You require proofreaders to check for errors. Even if you proofread yourself, you will overlook certain errors because you know what you meant to say. A fresh pair of eyes with professional training can comb over your work and perfect it. You might have a compelling plot, but your book will still fall flat if it is rife with errors.
Get a great editor who can constructively criticize your book. Maybe something makes perfect sense to you because you are the author, but it would not make sense to a reader. An editor can find areas that need improvement in any book. Editors are not cheap for a reason; they are life savers for writers and their work is essential!
I cannot survive without my virtual assistant (VA). My VA helps me stay organized and remember when I have signings and readings, when manuscripts are due, and who I need to talk to. While not everyone needs an assistant, I highly recommend it. It is easy to forget important things as an author and a well-organized assistant can be your second memory.
You can find all of these people online. It may take some trial and error to find a reliable group of people you love working with, but you will in time. With their help and support, you attain a unique skill set that makes your book thrive.
Tip #5: Give People What They Want
It is possible to defy the trends and write an amazing book that has never been written before. But when you do that, you take on an inherent risk. To truly become successful and have a large online following, you must give people what they want.
I think it is great to have several projects at once. You work on one that you want, that speaks to your heart. Then you work on one that ensures your success. You cannot go wrong, as you produce content people actually enjoy reading.
People want different things
You want to find a demographic and a genre that is popular. Currently, non-fiction self-development, psychology, spirituality, and informational books are big. If you can help people somehow, then your writing will become more popular.
Romance, fantasy, and horror are also big fiction genres at the moment. Read some popular books in the genre you write in and learn what people love. Romance readers often crave steamy scenes and romantic twists; horror readers love gruesome gore or psychological thrillers that leave them on the edges of their seats.
Your writing is not the only thing that will attract readers, however. Many readers will not even pick up your book unless they know who you are. Creating a brand online enables you to show people who you are. Give them what they want, and they will want to read your work! To become a bestselling author with a healthy online following branding is necessary.
Most people look for positivity in their online influencers. Positive thinking and encouragement are good things to post often. People also enjoy seeing elements of your personal life, so that you seem more real to them. Post pictures of your pets or your hobbies and let people get a sense of who you are.
Avoid disappointing your readers
Finally, give people what they expect to avoid disappointing or alienating your readers. If you are a romance writer, it would be odd if your next book is a technical guide to computer repair! You can write in other genres, but it is best to use pseudonyms. Once you have built a loyal following, you don’t want to let these people down by writing things that are wildly different.
Similarly, if you run a blog, you do not want to post random things. Stick with your blog’s overarching theme. A blog about feminism should contain only content about feminism, for instance. Your readers come to love you for what you write and they come back to see more of the same things. When you post something totally random and different from your usual content, readers can be thrown off.
Become a Bestselling Author with a Healthy Online Following
There is no blind luck or magic that makes a writer build a huge following and become a bestseller. Such success comes from pure hard work. These five tips are how I’ve grown a following online and became a bestselling author with a healthy online following. With these five tips, you, too, can become a successful bestseller with a huge following.
Wendy Van de Poll is a twelve-time best-selling author on Amazon. She also helps authors get clear with their writing schedule where procrastination becomes part of the creative process. The genre’s she writes in are cozy mysteries (Melanie Snow), pet loss, children’s picture books, and the human-animal bond. You can reach her to talk about your new project. You can also visit her at Center for Pet Loss Grief.