Platform in Perspective

Platform, platform, platform. The blogosphere is filled with that word. An unpublished writer must have a platform to get an agent or a publisher. Your blog doesn’t have ten thousand followers? Don’t even talk to an agent or a publisher. You can’t write.

In late December I received an Annual Report from WordPress (another reason why I love WordPress). Let me share my stats. I had 8,300 views in 2012. I posted 89 new essays (for a total of 140 in the 15 months since I started my blog). My busiest day was October 17, 2012, with 117 views. My most popular post was titled, “What Drives Your Main Character?” My most commented-upon post was, “Are You NaNoing This Year.”

My posts have been viewed by people in 102 countries, with the U.S., the United Kingdom and Canada showing the most views.

What do all these stats mean? Judging by the numbers, I am a rank amateur who has no right to call myself an author. That’s the trouble with numbers. I don’t spend my day promoting my blog posts on social media. I don’t have the time. There are only two numbers that mean anything to me: my word count on my Work in Progress and the number of blog posts (I try to blog every three days) I generate. My expectations are low, but realistic. I’d rather spend my energy writing the best book I can and sharing what I’ve learned with the good people who are kind enough to read my blog. The big platform benchmarks touted on blogs mean little to me. They’re not worth the price.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Platform in Perspective

  1. CG– I am posting a guest-article by Sunny Frazier tomorrow on my blog. She is an acquisitions editor for Oak Tree Press and has emphasized to me the importance of developing a platform. She’ll address this very subject tomorrow. And while I am just very small taters in the blog-world, it’s a start.

    • Julie,
      Thanks. I will loook for her post on your blog. My overall point is that a writer can spend a lot of time and energy developing a following, but at what expense? In my opinion, the writing must come first. Thanks again.

  2. CG – I think your expectations and efforts are well executed and appreciate all I’ve learned from your posts and the comments. I keep telling myself that the writing world is big (or little) enough for everyone to find their comfort zone and the place that’s best for them. Just keep up the quality you provide and this writer/follower (and I’m sure many others) will be quite happy.

    • Amy,
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I prefer to focus on quality online connections with writers, rather than building up big numbers. It can become a real time suck. Thanks again.

  3. I’m wondering if those types of numbers are based on what was achievable in the days before everyone and their dog had a blog. With the millions of blogs available today (Technorati lists 1,318,237, but I’ve seen much bigger numbers, more than 100 million), it seems far fetched that many authors are going to achieve that type of following. Everyone is feeling the pressure of too many blogs to follow and has to be very selective.

    • R.E.,
      I totally agree with you. You raise a great point. There are so many writing blogs out there. How do you differentiate yourself? My overall point is that a writer can spend all his time on blogging and have no time or energy for writing fiction, which must come first. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Diane W

    CG, I agree with Amy. There are SO MANY blogs out in cyberland that it makes my head spin. It’s very intimidating to see them all and try to determine who to follow (or who is worth following). Platform is the one aspect of writing I fear will be very daunting for me. For a blog, I find I have very little to say. How this will impact my novel when (not if) it is published will remain to be seen. Perhaps by then, there will be something in my life worth blogging about. And when I do, I will follow your lead.

    • Diane,
      Thanks for your comment. If I can make a suggestion, I find what has worked for me is to be selective about the blogs I read. I started with the Writer’s Digest list of 101 websites and found a number of excellent blogs that I follow regularly. Among these are Writer Unboxed, Jody Hedlund, Rachelle Gardner, Joanna Penn, and a few others listed on my blog. Not only do I learn a lot by reading other blogs, but they give me topic ideas for my own posts. It can become overwhelming, though, and I think writers need to carefully budget their time on social media vs. writing. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Diane

        Completely agree. I stayed with Writer Unboxed, Rachelle Gardner, The Bookshelf Muse and The Character Therapist. Also agree about budgeting time on reading blogs and writing. Appreciate your posts and I’m glad I found you on WU. 🙂

      • Diane,
        Thanks for your comments. I will check out The Bookshelf Muse and The Character Therapist.

  5. You know what, CG? the sad thing is — you craft excellent, intelligent, worth-a-read blog posts, your book is stellar, and that should count for something, but, there is so much Out There, it’s difficult to be heard. And maybe the squeaky wheel does get the grease, but it’s also annoying to hear that squeak, — lawdy.

    I enjoy your blog and your writing. Try to think of those of us who appreciate what you do and how you do it. It’s hard, but if you can, do what I do and just refuse to look at numbers (I replied to your comment on WU).

    Which, by the way, I looked at my wordpress stats because I didn’t know what that was, being fairly new to wordpress – mine weren’t all that impressive either!

    • Kat,
      Thanks for your kind words and I feel the same way about your writing. I am trying to stay focused on the writing itself and not get sucked into devoting too much time to social media. It’s fun, but writers have to keep it in perspective. Thanks again and happy New Year!

  6. Kat,
    That’s a good approach and a good catch-phrase for 2013.

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