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How to Grow the Audience of Your Dreams as a Writer

by Maegan Schwindling
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What do you feel when you hear the word “marketing”?

Many writers tend to get fidgety or want to hide in the corner in the fetal position. I’ve seen it time and again.

When it comes to marketing, and especially digital or online marketing, many people I know would love to pay someone to make it go away. Yet when it comes to building an audience and impacting people with the message you’ve been entrusted with…

You probably don’t have the five-to-six-to-seven figures to make it all go away. And even if you did, no one can be you online or with your audience. Your people want you. Your insights. Your wisdom. Your funnies. Your photos.

I started to explore why this this whole idea of online marketing scares writers and discovered there’s a huge gap in understanding of how digital marketing fits into building a personal platform for writing and publishing.

Online marketing for writers is simply engaging with your audience. Starting conversations. Sharing ideas. Letting people in on your life and discoveries.

Wow. It suddenly became less scary didn’t it?

Don’t overthink it. Online marketing is a powerful tool that allows you to learn from your audience as they learn from you. In return, it builds your platform, naturally.

Here are 3 principles to grow the audience of your dreams as a writer:

1. Your primary focus is serving your audience. At the Write Brilliant Academy, we take an audience-centric approach to writing. We want our writers to love their audiences through their words. This principle carries over to engaging your audience online.

What if email engagement actually became a tool to further serve your audience?

Here’s a secret on how our Write Brilliant writing coaches do this: Margaret serves her audience each week through her blog and many hours spent creating content for downloads and reading guides for her subscribers. Jonathan serves his audience each week by time spent curating the top 5 religion stories each week.

2. Your access to your social media followers is more finicky than you think. Maybe you look at your followers–on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook–and think they’re YOUR followers. Even the language suggests that you own them in some way. Don’t be tricked. Algorithms change. What you post and what’s seen by your audience has already shifted in Facebook and will likely move to a pay-to-play model across all social media platforms.

What if it all changed tomorrow? Would you still have those followers? Scary to think about, right? You would have no way to access them. Unless (wait for it), you have their email. This is something you own (unless of course the person finally gets off AOL. Yes, that’s still a thing). But the good news is that no change in ownership or algorithms of a social media outlet can take that from you.

3. You are more equipped than you realize to create super fans. When it comes to writing and sharing your message online, it’s more than collecting a larger number of people. The real question comes down to engagement. Will they share your message? Will they buy your book? Will they read your download?

Through email engagement with your audience, you move people along in this process. They begin to hear from you, be served by you, and won’t think twice to pre-order your newest book when it announced.  

Jonathan Merritt confesses that one of his biggest regrets of his writing career is not collecting email address earlier. Now, he’s able to engage with his audience each week, and he’s seen significant impact on his pre-orders of his upcoming book, Learning To Speak God From Scratch, from this one action.

Growing your online audience through email might sound scary, but that’s where the Write Brilliant Academy comes in. We want to help you take an audience-centric approach where what you send feels natural and true to you and connects with the people you’re meant to reach.

If you’d like to see your words change the world, then know that open enrollment for the Write Brilliant Academy starts soon.

To be the first to know, click here and you’ll be invited to Margaret’s first public writing workshop next week.

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