Thursdays with Amanda: How to Use Tumblr to Grow an Author Platform
August 23, 2012 | Written by admin
Amanda Luedeke is a literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her wheelings and dealings as an agent.
Microblogging is exactly what it sounds like…it’s a smaller, more condensed form of blogging. Images are usually the focus of such microblogs, but they can also be text-based.
Here are some of my favorite microblogs:
- KateMiddletonForTheWin – I have a major girlcrush on Kate. But these make me laugh every time.
- SlushPile Hell – I wish I would have thought of this first.
- Clients From Hell – Maybe it’s my marketing background that makes this microblog so appealing? I don’t think any of the microposts surprised me. They just fueled my rage.
By now you should have a small understanding of microblogging…short posts, centered around a theme (whether visual or theoretical). And if you noticed, each of the examples I gave use Tumblr as their site’s service provider. It’s really the leading host for this approach to blogging.
Okay, so why should authors care about microblogging?
- It’s quick. Constructing a traditional blog post can take hours, depending on how finicky you are. Microblogging takes a fraction of that time, using a fraction of those words.
- It’s focused. I know I keep hounding you about having a goal…well, microblogging is a great example of a medium that simply won’t work without a goal. It practically forces you to choose a topic, preventing you from microblogging about flowers one day, Mozart the next, then your dog, then your deep thoughts on black holes followed by a reposted tribute to AC/DC.
- It’s clean. No fancy backgrounds. No design expertise needed. Just clean and simple…ideal for the digital n00b.
But how can Tumblr and microblogging grow your author platform?
Think about what you write. Think really deeply about it. Ask yourself…
- What’s my genre?
- Who reads what I write?
- What stage of life are they in?
- What hobbies do my characters have that could also appeal to the target reader?
- What unique elements/themes/storylines are in my book?
Answer these questions, and you’ll start to see the beginnings of a great microblog. For example, let’s answer them with Amish or small town fiction in mind:
- What’s my genre? Amish/Small Town Fiction
- Who reads what I write? Women, ages 35-60
- What stage of life are they in? Married, moms, approaching retirement. Some have lots of free time, others have limited free time, but each reader is looking to find/maintain/rediscover their personal interests
- What hobbies do my characters have that could also appeal to the target reader? Quilting, baking, horses
- What unique elements/themes/storylines are in my book? Cowboys/farm boys, small town girl/boy in big city and vice versa, etc.
Based on these answers alone, you could develop a number of microblogs. You’ll have to find one that fits your lifestyle, of course. If you don’t have access to horses or know a thing about quilting, then you’re limited. But the goal is to extract themes, hobbies and lifestyle ideals from your novel and develop microblogs that speak to them visually and/or textually.
What microblogs could YOU develop for your latest WIP?