Establishing your Brand; tips for new authors

It shouldn’t come as any shock to you that self-published or traditionally published authors have to be plugged into social media and develop their brand. We have to market ourselves and can’t expect anyone to do it for us. Over the past two years I’ve learned a lot about marketing and my “brand” and discovered some things I wish I’d known sooner. I’ve been asked over the past few months for tips and advice, so here you go!

General Tips from Eloise
Get all accounts in your author name right away. WordPress, blogger, twitter, youtube, facebook, tumblr, etc. Get all of them in your author name even if you don’t plan on using them. It’s better that you have them now than someone snagging them later. This also provides consistency for fans; they will easily be able to find you anywhere instantly just by searching your name.

Also get a variety of domain names. I have theundeadsituation.com, eloisejknapp.com, and recently ejkauthor.com. Same as above; get them while you can. Even if you can’t build yourself a website right now, you can direct your blog to those URLs. If your name has complicated spelling (I realized mine does) initials + author.com can be great.

Content
Only post high quality content, limit your fluff posts. Look at it this way; not everyone likes to see a hundred posts from someone a day, but it is unlikely someone will be angry that you only post once or twice a day. When you post, ask yourself this; will this content make someone laugh? Will it educate them? Inspire them? Is it relevant? Is it relatable?

Scheduling & Consistency
Consistency is important. If you go dark, people forget about you and you don’t want that. The best thing to do is commit to a reasonable number of posts a day. Start out small, like a blog every other week and a video once a month. Post updates once or twice weekly. Try not to sacrifice the quality of your posts.

Most websites offer a way to schedule your posts, whether they are blogs, facebook updates, or videos. I always schedule! This gives me the opportunity to mass generate content (for example, film four videos in one day) and schedule it for upcoming weeks. I do this with WordPress and Facebook, too. Now I don’t have to exert any mental energy worrying about updating socials and am free to do other things.

What To Post
The big question, what the heck should you even be posting? The answer is, quite simply, what you want. If you absolutely hate blogging, don’t do it. Readers will see that your posts are uninteresting and uninspired. If you love photography or short quips, maybe Tumblr is a better route. If you can’t stand the idea of taking video of yourself, don’t do it. Maybe somewhere down the road you might give it a shot, but in the beginning commit to what you know you can do and like. Build up from there! Here are some quick ideas to get you started.

  • Blog/vlog/photo gallery about anything to do with your latest work. Things that inspired you, research you’re doing, etc.
  • A short review on a book or movie
  • Interview with another author
  • Top ten lists of movies, books, or websites you enjoy
  • Anything humorous

And above all else, remember…
Building your brand takes time. It will not happen over night. You will make mistakes and sometimes your efforts won’t pay off. One author might have huge success with an outlet but it makes no sense for you. You can’t beat yourself up over this stuff.

Now, go forth and brand! Good luck in all your ventures.

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About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp is an author and designer living in the Pacific Northwest.
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