Resonance | Powerful Platform Building Secrets for Writers

There’s a lot of talk about platform building in the writing world but not a lot of talk about resonance. Yeah, they’re kind of the same but also different.

Resonance | Powerful Platform Building Secrets for Writers

Platform can be interpreted as a numbers game, which it *is* but also isn’t. Resonance is the next level of platform and influence—it’s the ripple effect of your message making waves.

Going viral, if you will.

Resonance is your platform reverberating

I first heard the term resonance applied in a platform-building context from the Novel Marketing podcast. Fascinating stuff. Here’s a brief excerpt:

Author Media

“Platform can be a sign of resonance, but it is not how you make resonance happen. Resonance is the horse. Platform is the cart the horse drags. Don’t put the cart in front of the horse.”


Author Media

The big secret about resonance is it’s an upside down model.

You, the writer, serve others.

You write for them.

In fact, you write what they want to read.

It makes sense when you think about it, but so many people write for themselves, and then are confused or frustrated when others don’t resonate with it.

When something connects with readers, they respond with engagement. This is SO important in platform building.

Numbers are one thing, but they don’t mean much if your followers don’t respond to what you write. And it means so much more if they share it with their friends.

Here are some reasons people are most likely to share something

  • If they have a strong reaction to it
  • If they have a positive emotional response to it
  • They are more likely to share if they feel inspired by it
  • If they are surprised by it
  • If they find it practical and useful
  • People are more likely to share something if they think it will help someone

The degree of virality changes based on the level your audience amplifies your message. If you connect, they’ll engage. And that’s resonance.

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Influencer marketing and resonance

There’s a corner of the Internet that makes money directly from their platform, they’re called influencers.

But even they can’t get far without resonance.

An influencer is someone who has an engaged following of people who pay close attention to their thoughts and opinions.

A true influencer can post about a great new product they’ve discovered and they have built so much trust with their audience that they rush out to also purchase the same product. These people have achieved the “three Rs” of influence marketing.

  • Reach
  • Relevance
  • Resonance

They are given this amazing level of influence because their audience trusts them enough to act on their recommendations.

And for success here, resonance means more than platform numbers.

Elements in a well-rounded author platform

How this relates to freelance writing

Alright so maybe you’re not interested in building a traditional author platform because you’re a freelance writer.

And influencer marketing is also not your jam.

You might be thinking you don’t need to write for your audience or readers.

I get that, I see it all the time!

Resonance and relevance

But here’s what else I see, and please don’t take this personally.

When a copywriter writes for themselves rather than their clients, the client can feel it even if they can’t put their finger on why. But I’ll tell you why, it’s because they copywriter puts themselves into the work rather than writing in their client’s voice.

It fails to resonate.

When a journalist writes for themselves rather than their readers, it either falls flat or it comes off as a passion project. Because it’s self-serving rather than community service.

It fails to connect.

When a blogger writes for themselves rather than their readers, they will stop reading. Plain and simple. This is because it comes off as a journal or some other type of autobiography.

Personal stories need to point to a larger narrative, one people can relate to and see themselves in.

Quick tips for creating resonance with your audience

  • Demonstrate to your readers that you care about them. Talk to them, ask them questions, engage with them on their channels
  • Highlight the tangible benefits of paying attention to you. Showcase your knowledge or expertise, entertain, inspire, encourage or help them deal with a specific situation
  • Show up consistently and appropriately according to the channel’s conventions
  • Give as much as you ask. Be a good literary citizen, be generous and helpful
  • Share relevant information. Think about your audience before you post. What will they like? What will they respond to? So what do then need/want to hear?

In marketing, relationships are everything. In life, relationships are everything. If we want people to pay attention, we need to say things worth paying attention to.

And the best way to do this, whether it’s for platform building, business or getting clicks, is by creating resonance.

Other posts you may like

There's a lot of talk about platform building in the writing world but not a lot of talk about resonance. Yeah, they're kind of the same but also different. 

Platform can be interpreted as a numbers game, which it *is* but also isn't. Resonance is the next level of platform and influence—it's the ripple effect of your message making waves. 

Going viral, if you will.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required

5 Popular Digital Marketing Tactics You Should Retire Immediately

If you’re doing business online then you know you need an arsenal of digital marketing tactics in your marketing plan.

But which ones should you use? Which ones work? And what about the kind of smarmy ones…if they work, should you use those too?

5 Popular Digital Marketing Tactics You Should Retire Immediately

There have always been slimy marketing tricks, way before Internet times, and I think those of us with any scruples know enough to stay away from inauthentic tactics.

But in this crowded space—and so many different voices recommending this or that approach—sometimes it’s tough to tell what’s a good idea and what will get you shadowbanned.

While we’re all searching for that magic silver bullet that will solve all of our marketing and promotion problems, there are some things you don’t need to worry about doing any more. And a few you shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.

Freelancer Positioning Worksheet

Executing a solid marketing plan comes down to understanding who you serve, what makes you different in the eyes of your ideal client, why that difference matters and what you do.

If you can get solid here, your marketing will flow from there.

I’ve put together a worksheet to help you figure this out. You can grab the free download in my resource library. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll email you the password, then go to the freelancing section and look for “Freelancer Positioning Worksheet.”

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Digital marketing tactics that don’t work

Here are a few common digital marketing tactics that may do more damage than good to your brand.

Buying likes and followers

Online popularity feels like a numbers game. And in many ways, it is.

So it stands to reason you’ll be tempted at one point or another to purchase social media followers and/or engagement in order to give yourself a boost.

I think we can all agree this is scammy. Like, super inauthentic. As well, brands and organizations are becoming wise to this digital marketing tactic. It doesn’t take much digging to discover a bloated account these days.

Social media platforms are also cracking down on this behaviour, deleting inactive accounts that could be used for this purpose.

Even though it’s the long, slow, gruelling road, you’re much better off growing your followers organically through engaging content or by using paid advertising. Or both.

Bulk-mailing promotional emails

Now, I’m not talking about sending mass emails to a nurtured email list you’ve cultivated over time.

Those people have opted into your list and have decided they’d like to hear from you.

But some people think it’s OK to randomly add people to their email mailing list who haven’t given them their explicit consent.

Not cool. And, in fact, not legal.

But even if you have consent, while sending out promo email after promo email might seem like an effective strategy, you’ll find most of these end up in people’s junk folder.

Why? Because many spam filters are triggered when more than 200 recipients receive the same email. This is particularly likely to be the case when emailing strangers.

If you’re pitching or querying editors or sending letters of inquiry to businesses, you’re far better off sending personalised emails rather than mass mailing strangers.

Yes it takes more time, but it’s going to get you much farther in the long run.

digital marketing tactics

Keyword stuffing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy that can help you gain visibility on search engines and increase leads.

However, there’s a LOT of bad advice on SEO out there and one tactic called keyword stuffing is particularly icky.

This happens when you cram and jam a particular word or phrase you want to rank in search engines for into your web page without any regard for how the copy reads. It’s written for robots, not humans.

That’s backwards.

Repeat after me: We write for humans first, robots second.

Aside from making your pages basically illegible and unreadable, this honestly doesn’t help your ranking either. The robots have caught on to this tactic and when they spot it, your site ranking does in fact take a hit.

One way to avoid practicing smarmy SEO is by investing in an SEO company. A good SEO company knows the rules and works to incorporate keywords naturally.

Overusing of pop-ups

People use pop-ups because they work. Yes they’re annoying, but they work!

However. You can overdo it.

The big idea here is you want to engage your website readers but not annoy them. So yes, you do want to employ some “notice me” tactics but in a polite way.

Use a polite pop-up.

For the best outcome, I suggest triggering pop-ups after visitors have been on your site for a while or just before they leave your site.  

Publishing fake reviews

Reviews are SO important these days. Whether it’s books or drop-ship products, reviews can definitely make or break a sale.

So I understand why it may be temping to bolster your review ranks with a few planted captions.

But…don’t do this. If you get caught there are sometimes big consequences. Even when there are authentic reviews from your friends and family, those reviews can be taken down by sites as they can’t prove you didn’t pay or prompt them for a positive review (it’s rare, but it has happened).

It’s tough out there, but don’t take short cuts.

Having positive reviews will help you to build the trust, but you want to make sure that these reviews are from genuine past clients. Customers are way more savvy than many of us realise and will likely spot a fake review anyway.

If you're doing business online then you know you need an arsenal of digital marketing tactics in your marketing plan. 

But which ones should you use? Which ones work? And what about the kind of smarmy ones...if they work, should you use those too?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Evergreen Content Ideas for Writers

One of the hardest thing about being a working freelance writer is coming up with content. Which is why you need an evergreen content strategy.

Trust me on this, it will change your life.

Evergreen Content Ideas for Bloggers

Writers who want to build an online platform know they should be producing content. Maybe a blog or something similar.

And in theory it makes sense.

A blog is an excellent way to showcase your skills as a writer and advertise your services. In reality things are a bit trickier.

  • What do you write about?
  • How do you balance writing for yourself/your site with writing for clients?

This is where an evergreen content strategy comes in

Evergreen content can be described as the foundation of your blog—and this surprises many people for a couple reasons.

First, because it’s hard to comprehend how timeless articles can stay relevant over time.

Second because hardly anyone has heard of it.

How can evergreen content be a foundation when I’ve never heard of it before!?

I know! But I’ll explain everything and you’ll never wonder what to write about on your website again.

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet

Do you find brainstorming ideas a total nightmare? I have a process for that! Check out the worksheet and free training in my my resource library.

This is a free training but you’ll need the password—just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you it to you. Once you’re there, navigate to the writing section and download the “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”

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*Back to the training*

First I’ll talk about what evergreen content is, then I’ll explain how to come up with ideas in a way you can balance with your freelance writing workload.

What is evergreen content?

“Evergreen” is jargon but the word makes sense—think of evergreen trees, they keep their needles year-round and the needles maintain their green colouring thus, ever-green.

Evergreen content works the same way, it stays relevant year-round and answers questions people are asking years after it was written.

Why you should employ an evergreen content marketing strategy is because this timeless, relevant information will deliver a consistent stream of leads to your website month over month.

It takes a bit of time and effort to set up but once you have the wheels in motion this approach will allow you to spend your mental energy on your freelance clients while your website works in the background.

evergreen content ideas

How to come up with ideas

The best way to come up with ideas is to know your audience. In a freelance writer’s case, your audience is your ideal client.

Think about who you serve and what problems they’re trying to solve. Your website or blog content should solve those problems and answer common questions. The more questions you answer the stronger your foundation.

Here’s what you need to do when coming up with evergreen content ideas:

  • Get clear on who you’re talking to (your ideal reader) and what you offer (what’s your goal? What are you trying to achieve?)
  • Decide what your topics are
  • Put everything into a calendar template.

To systemize these ideas (and actually get them written) you’ll need to take your ideas and build a content calendar with them.

Of course we could go a lot deeper when talking about creating evergreen content—there’s SEO, keyword research and virality to consider.

But for today we’ll stick with the concept of evergreen content and building a strong online foundation as the base of your freelance writing business. When done well it’s a beautiful thing.

Bonus: here’s a helpful post on what type of posts work best for evergreen content from Thirteen Thoughts.

One of the hardest thing about being a freelance writer is coming up with content for your website, which is why you need an evergreen content strategy.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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One of the hardest thing about being a working freelance writer is coming up with content for your personal website and digital platforms, which is why you need an evergreen content strategy. Trust me on this, it will change your life.

SEO Tips and Tricks for Freelance Writers

While we may understand the importance of search engine optimization on an intellectual level, these SEO tips and tricks will (hopefully) help freelance writers understand how to vet a keyword to give their articles the best chance of being discovered.

SEO Tips and Tricks for Freelance Writers

SEO tips and tricks for freelance writers

Finding keywords is just the first step. Next is to figure out if it’s a good keyword or a bad keyword.

But what does that mean?

Here’s how I like to think about good versus bad keywords.

  • A good keyword means if I use it my article will have a chance of being discovered on the Internet
  • A bad keyword means it’s too competitive so don’t use it.

Keyword vetting to me means this. If I write an article about the keyword I’ve selected, will it have a chance to hit the first page of Google?

How to vet a keyword

Once I’ve brainstormed my keyword ideas I take my top ones to KWFinder and do a quick check for difficulty.

Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet

By the way, I’ve created a worksheet to help you with brainstorming. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password for my resource library. When you’re there, navigate to the writing category and download the “How to Brainstorm Ideas for Writing Worksheet.”

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Anyway, back to the training.

KWFinder is a simple keyword research tool to use—you pop in your word or phrase into the search bar and then click “Find Keywords.” A few seconds later your results populate and you can consider your options.

I thought I’d include a couple screenshots from my research for this post. After doing my initial research I was down to two key phrases for this post: SEO tips and tricks or keyword research tools.

My results?

The keyword “SEO tips and tricks” is possible to rank for with a difficulty score of 39 out of 100. The keyword “keyword research tools” is hard to rank for with a difficulty score of 61 out of 100. You can see these results on the right-hand side of the screenshot.

KW Finder keyword research example

On the left-hand side of the screenshot you can see variations on the keyword and the difficulty associated with it.

It helps you see what people are already ranking for and helps you come up with a strong direction to go with your article.

Final thoughts about seo tips and tricks

If you want to try KWFinder out there is a free account, which gives you five keyword searches every 24 hours. It’s a commitment-free way to try out the tool and decide if it’s a good fit for your writing flow.

You can make search engine optimization as complicated as you want. And you can make keyword research as expensive as you want. There are a lot of shiny objects in this world. But until you’re ready for that level of SEO, I suggest taking a simplified approach to vetting keywords.

Do you have a process for vetting keywords? I’d love to hear about it!

These SEO tips and tricks will help freelance writers understand how to vet a keyword to give their articles the best chance of being discovered.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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SEO Tips and Tricks: At some point in your writing career you'll be asked about finding keywords or SEO (search engine optimization). To be clear, SEO is a marketing skill, which writers may or may not have. So you're off the hook there. That said, it's a good idea to become acquainted with the concept as it will make you more valuable to your clients.

Self-Published? 4 Book Promotion Tips for Authors

You’ve worked hard for a while writing your book and then you worked hard and self-published your book. Wow! Well done! That’s a lot of work. So…now what do you do?

Self-published now what

In an ideal world you, the author, would have worked out your marketing plan before you wrote and self-published your book.

But from what I see and hear from the authors I know and work with…it doesn’t happen that way.

The drive to write and publish becomes a hyper-focal point and no “you should plan your marketing!” bird chirping in the background will make any difference.

And if the entire goal is to get the book done and self-published then this is an awesome accomplishment.

However, if selling the book is the goal then there are a few more steps to take. Well, maybe a lot more.

…Or maybe you’re thinking about writing a book, but you haven’t yet

If you want to write a book but don’t know what to do next then this is the right workshop for you.

First, I’ll guide you through the four steps you need to take BEFORE you start writing. Then I’ll help you determine why you’re writing a book, decide on your theme and genre and schedule writing time.

I have a free mini-worksheet available in my resource library. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll email you the password. Once you’re in the library, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”

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Once you’ve self-published your book the next step is to market it to your ideal readers

In essence this is simple—put your book in front of the people who will love it.

Except finding those people is not always easy.

You have to dissect your book and figure out what type of reader would be interested in your writing style and subject matter.

And then you need to find them…

  • What stores do they shop in?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • What is their favourite social media platform?
  • What are their biggest fears?
  • Another thing, what do they care most about?
  • And what type of marketing will they best respond to?

There are a lot of ways you can find your ideal reader (or book buyer, however you want to see it) so it’s important not just to parrot what you see others doing online but to find something that works for you and feels natural.

Self-Published? 4 Book Promotion Tips for Authors

If you are stuck for ideas here are a few you can consider to help market your self-published book.

  • If you’re looking to find new readers make the e-version of your book free and find a way to add them to your email list. This way you can nurture them and (hopefully) sell them your next book
  • Need sales fast? Run ads on platforms where your ideal readers are—consider Facebook, Amazon, BookBub, KDP Countdown, etc.
    If you want to dive deeper into ads here’s a helpful post from David Gaughran
  • Set up local readings or offer to speak free at local events in order to promote your book
  • Go on an online book tour (wondering how to set it up? Here’s a guide from Book Marketing Tools)

Other posts authors will like

You've worked hard for a while writing your book and then you worked hard and self-published your book. Wow! Well done! But now what do you do?

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required
You've worked hard for a while writing your book and then you worked hard and self-published your book. Wow! Well done! That's a lot of work. So...now what do you do? #writing #selfpublish