There are four decisions every writer needs to make before they get started marketing themselves online. They’re foundational to your writing life and should be part of every writer’s resource list.
Every writer’s resource: want the worksheet for this training?
Download the Four Decisions Every Writer Needs to Make worksheets from my resource library.
Pop your email address in the form below, confirm your subscription to my email list and I’ll send you the password to my free writer’s resource library. Once you’re in, navigate to the writing section and look for the worksheet titled “Four Decisions Every Writer Needs to Make.”
Four decisions every writer needs to make
In the writing life, it’s easy to get swept up in tactics and strategies other people recommend. When you’re just getting started it makes sense! You don’t know what to do so why not try something that seems like it’s working?
Making decisions about who you are as a writer may seem overwhelming and restrictive, I get it. But in thinking this through, it will provide you with an important foundation. These decisions will help keep you focused when the writing gets hard and the rejections pile up.
The four questions
Consider these four questions and try and come up with answers that reflect your personal writing goals. What you come up with will help you stay focused in the wild west of online marketing. And yes, you can change your answers over time.
Who is your target reader?
- Try and form a mental picture of your ideal reader, your biggest fan
- Where does this person spend time online?
- What does this person care about?
- Why does this person love reading your work?
For more on discovering your ideal reader, here’s a longer walkthrough.
Why do you want an online following?
- This may feel like a selfish/self-serving question but it’s important to know what your goal is and why you want followers
- There are no wrong answers so be honest with yourself!
- It’s important to know your end goal so you don’t get swept up in every trend and fad
- Understanding why you want an online following will help you hang in there when you don’t feel like being online or you encounter bad Internet people
Writers who want to be traditionally published should be working towards growing a platform. For more on author platforms, here’s a definition and an explanation.
What is your focus/niche?
- What do you write about?
- In a perfect world, what would you be known for?
- What type of writing do you do?
- While you may have diverse interests and write in several genres, decide on a primary topic or focus
Often, writers are resistant to choosing a narrow focus or niche. I’ve written about my journey and expand on why branding yourself is so important in the online world.
What problem do you solve for your readers?
- What is something you offer your ideal readers that they both need and want?
- Be as specific as possible
- Think about what your reader is hoping you’ll help them with
- The problems and solutions you offer can be big or small
Understanding why what you write is important to your readers is a fabulous opportunity to help people take the next step on their journey. It also helps you build your brand, which I expand on in this article.
Bonus question: Why do you write?
No matter the reason, you should know why you write. If you can get clear about your why it will act as a beacon when your path isn’t clear. You know, when things like self-doubt and insecurity knock at your door. Or when success doesn’t come in the timeline you daydreamed about.
Your why will help you see past the discouragement of the day and keep moving ahead. Because you have a larger purpose! Your why is bigger than a momentary setback.
Ready to create your writer’s statement? Download the worksheet from my free resource library.
Enter your email address in the form below, confirm your subscription to my email list and then I’ll send you the password to my free resource library. Once you’re in, navigate to the writing section and look for the worksheet titled “Writer’s Statement Worksheet.”
And for the sake of an example and accountability, here is my recently-updated writer’s statement.
I write stories and articles to help others create vulnerable connections—with others, with themselves, with the world—so they can move towards the person they’re meant to be.
My goal in sharing is to help someone else discover they’re not alone and give them hope for the future.Writer’s Statement, Robyn Roste (February 2020)
By the way, I worked through this at Laura Munson’s Haven 1 Writing Retreat earlier this year. Ask me about that incredible experience!
This is an excerpt from my workshop Blogging and Social Media for Writers.
You’ve heard that, as a writer, you need to build an online platform, but what does that mean? While building a presence through blogging and social media is both a science and an art, there are consistent elements writers need to think about and commit to. This workshop reviews the top elements to consider and the four decisions every writer needs to know before they get started.
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.