Three Keys to a Successful Author Platform–All This & a Bag of Chips

Welcome to WANA Wednesday, the day I dedicate to helping you guys rock it hard when it comes to social media. The tips, tools and tactics are all based off my #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. We interrupt our normal programming to bring you a special announcement. I will be teaching an on-line workshop Blogging to Build Your Author Brand starting October 1st.

Why am I taking a blog day to talk about this?

Well, in fairness, my Spawn can now scale tall bookshelves in a single bound. I don’t know how many more times I will be able to teach this class. The workshop is only $40 and it’s on-line. It is two months long. One month for lessons and one month for launch. I help each participant harness his background, passions, interests to create an author brand that will grow with the writer’s career no matter what social platform is hot. If Facebook implodes, the brand I help you create will survive and even thrive. Yes, I work with each and every person.

One of the reasons I like to teach these classes is I know that I would have burned out and given up long ago if certain talented people (whose name rhymes with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer) hadn’t taken time to help me and educate me…and save me from myself, :D. These workshops are my way of paying it forward. I love doing them, but my workload is steadily increasing. I will teach them as long as I can, but I cannot promise how many more times this type of workshop will be offered.

So why might you need my workshop?

The key principle to all of my teachings rests on one fundamental maxim–WE ARE NOT ALONE. Building an author platform can be overwhelming, terrifying and enough to make even the best of us break out in stress hives. Much of this stress can be alleviated three ways:

Education

Just because we are capable of signing up for Twitter doesn’t mean we know jack about how to build an author platform. Just because we are literate and can string together nouns and verbs in a coherent fashion doesn’t mean we know anything about what makes a successful blog that connects to tens of thousands. Just because we recognize a box of Tide or a Xerox machine doesn’t mean we comprehend author branding.

Too many writers rush on to social media with no real understanding of the tools at their disposal and just start pushing buttons. Hey, I did.

But let me tell you this. There is the hard way and the smart way. The smart writer learns from her mistakes, but the wise writer learns from the mistakes of others…and the REALLY wise, talented and strangely good-looking writer learns from MY mistakes.

Yes, I made all the mistakes so you don’t have to. Better than that, I have a track record of proven success to back up what I teach. Not only have I put both my books at the top of the best-selling list, but WANA methods have helped other authors rise from total obscurity to become best-sellers as well (and land some pretty fat six-figure publishing deals).

It is one thing for me to tell you guys that you need to build a successful author platform. It is an entirely different thing to SHOW you how to build a successful author platform.

When it comes to social media, you might be thinking:

What do I say? How do I keep fresh and interesting content? How can I do more with my blog than just journal or talk about writing? How can my blog connect with readers? How much social media do I really need? How do I dominate a Google search for my name? How can I build a platfom and still have time to write books?

Knowledge is power. Now, let me ask you some questions:

Do you know how to create a brand? Do you know what SEO is? What is a trackback? What are tags? Do you blog? Do you even know how to? How do search engines work?

How educated are you about social media as it applies to authors? How much is this lack of knowledge hurting you and your platform? How much time is it wasting in being unproductive? What are going to be the long-term effects of building a platform on a faulty foundation?

This isn’t to scare you guys as much as it is to free you. We aren’t born knowing everything, and it is okay to admit we need help. You guys have best-selling books to write. Do you really want to figure all this social media stuff out alone, through trial and error? How much time will a little bit of good education save you? How much more time will you have to work on your next novel? How much more success will you have because you took time to learn from the successful?

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Preparation

Too many writers rush on to social media and just start tweeting and blogging with no prior preparation. Not only is it wise to prepare our brand ahead of time, but we need to know what content is useful for growing that brand (and not wrecking it). We also need to make sure that the brand we choose is clear, that it will resonate with others and be “sticky” (For more on being sticky, go here).

There is A LOT of misinformation about what constitutes an author brand. Many social media experts don’t understand that writers are different. Yes, we really are special unique snowflakes. Author brands are highly unique and complex. What works for Starbucks doesn’t work for writers and for selling books. Go here if you want to know why traditional marketing doesn’t sell books.

I am a writer first. The brand I will help you create will be with you for a lifetime, will grow as you and your career grows. Brands need to define us, not put us in a straightjacket. Not all content will work well for growing your brand. Good content and a solid brand are key to working smarter, not harder.

Community

WE ARE NOT ALONE!!!!

The self-made man is a myth. No one is successful alone. If we try to do social media all by ourselves by blitzing out spam and form-letters and collecting neat e-mail lists, we are more likely to wear out and give up than to succeed. Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes a team of vested people to open opportunities, offer feedback, spread word-of-mouth, inject our messages into new networks, and on and on.

The key to being successful on social media is to learn to work as a team and create community. I didn’t become successful alone. I had help. More help than I deserved. Now I am here to teach you guys how to create a community vested in your success. We need to learn how to connect to influential people. We need to connect to more than just other writers.

So what are your thoughts? What frightens you about social media? What confuses you? What are your concerns? If you have taken my workshop, take a moment and share what you learned and how the workshop helped you, transformed you, or revealed six-pack abs you didn’t even know you had. I dig hearing from you.

I hope you guys will invest $40 in your writing future. The new year is coming fast and it is a good plan to be ready to hit the ground running. Thanks for indulging me today, and next week we will resume our talk about Mavens (One of Three People You Must Know to Be Successful on Social Media).

I do want to hear from you guys!

And to prove it and show my love, for the month of September, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.

I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of September I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!

Note: GRAND PRIZE WILL BE PICKED THIS MONTH. I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced at the end of September) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.

I also hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are ON SALE for $4.99!!!! And both are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.

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  1. #1 by E.J. Wesley on September 21, 2011 - 10:14 am

    So very true (all of it)! Another great post, K.

  2. #2 by susielindau on September 21, 2011 - 10:35 am

    I will sign up as soon as I have a book to push and hopefully that will be before your spawn has spawn.
    I definitely am missing something since my wordpress blog still has very low views..

    • #3 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 10:53 am

      Susie, my advice is you start as early as possible. Platforms that have the power to drive book sales take months and years to build so the earlier you start the better. When you get finished with that book, you will have agent stuff, editor stuff, revisions, planning and writing the next book. You don’t want to be published with no platform or a weak platform. This workshop will help you build a solid platform early and then you can grow it in as little as 15 minutes a day.

    • #5 by Hartford on September 21, 2011 - 11:15 am

      Hey Sue,
      I don’t mean to blogjack here but I just wanted to let you know I took this class July/August and I don’t have a book or even a WIP but I knew that the workshop would help me grow my blog (and this will help my writing carerr period…and especially when it does comes time to publish). Not only that, I think building your blog before you have a product gives you a bit of a leg up. I.E. no one will veer off my blog thinking it’s just another writer’s blog pushing book sales…AHA…but I have fooled them…I will suck them in, get them addicted to my wit and charm and THEN I will sell sell SELL!
      Honestly, I recommend the class to even non-writers. As a class to increase blog interest/views, it stands on its own and rocks! I highly recommend taking it! :-)

    • #6 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on September 21, 2011 - 2:53 pm

      Susie, you are still just starting out. And you are a very good tweeter which will, in time, gain you big points. Keep writing on quality posts. You are doin’ in, girl. It just takes time. But, yes, read The Queen’s book. ;-)

      • #7 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on September 21, 2011 - 2:57 pm

        And there it is, Natalie – your BLOGJACK word. I love it! :-)

        For those who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, see Natalie’s Wednesday post (Sept 21). See, now I’m totally blogjacking Kristen’s post. But in all fairness, I’m going to comment at the end of the line – no cutting, hah!

  3. #8 by Tawna Fenske on September 21, 2011 - 10:44 am

    Ooooh, I’m going to tweet my little heart out about this. I’ll also post to the discussion loop for my RWA chapter, since a lot of my chaptermates would love this workshop. Thanks for the tip!

    Tawna

  4. #9 by Jennifer on September 21, 2011 - 10:45 am

    I’m with susielindau (above). I have a few short stories and plenty of articles published, but no book yet. And the one that’s almost ready to go and the one I’m working on are two entirely different markets. Can you brand yourself when you don’t focus in one area? And is “unpublished” too soon to benefit from the course? Thanks, Jen

    • #10 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 10:55 am

      Yes, the brand is YOU. I explain more in the workshop, but content is only part of your brand. Brand can also help you get more focus and have more time to write your larger bodies of work. The earlier you start building your platform the better. With the changes in the industry it will soon be career suicide to write books with no platform. This workshop makes it easy and fun.

  5. #11 by Olene Quinn on September 21, 2011 - 10:47 am

    This workshop sounds like exactly what I need, but can I do it at any time as long as it is within the dates running? I work 40 hours a week, am given a schedule two days in advance, and basically run around like a chicken without a head, never knowing where I am going.

    • #12 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 10:56 am

      The lessons come in your e-mail and I only post lessons roughly twice a week. I give you assignments that are simple and don’t take a lot of time. You will have a team of colleagues to help you so time is really not a major consideration. Remember, I am all about efficiency :D.

  6. #13 by K.B. Owen on September 21, 2011 - 10:48 am

    You’re amazing, Kristen. I don’t even know how you’ve been able to do it up to this point! I’ve been blogging for a year (and read both your books, as you know), but do you think I could benefit from your course?

    • #14 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 10:57 am

      I would say yes. I am always learning more and growing stronger in my teaching. Each class gets new methods that I don’t share on the blogs. Some of the tactics I’ll be teaching will be in my next book, so if you join the workshop you get a sneak-preview of privileged information :D.

    • #15 by kerrymeacham on September 21, 2011 - 12:12 pm

      DO IT KATHY!!! I took Kristen’s last class and it helped me tremendously. Not only am I blogging now, but one exercise showed me that my passion wasn’t in the genre I was writing. So this is not just a class about blogging, it more about branding and makes you look deep inside to find who you are and what you should be writing about. We’re buds, so I know your passionate about mysteries, but you’ll probably find out things about yourself outside the constructs of the class. I know I did. It’s a steal at $40.

      • #16 by K.B. Owen on September 21, 2011 - 2:47 pm

        Just signed up. I’m in! :)

        It’s so cool to see all this enthusiasm. Hope we don’t crash the servers or something, lol. How many registrants do you cap it at, Kristen?

  7. #17 by Julie on September 21, 2011 - 10:52 am

    Hi Kristen,

    I have a question about the course. I am a bit all over the place with my writing. I write children’s picture books, but I also want to break into freelance writing – particularly in the travel and personal essay markets. I might someday want to self-publish a travel memoir/how to travel abroad with young children. I’m also working on a business plan to run annual creativity retreats in Europe.

    Will your class help me cut through the essence of all of that in order to build a single brand that will help me build the business behind all of these endeavors? I loathe to think I might have to have multiple blogs, brands, websites…

    Thank you in advance for helping me figure out whether this course will help. Especially since I’m already feeling a bit overwhelmed.

  8. #18 by Anne R. Allen on September 21, 2011 - 10:52 am

    I found this to be the #1 problem when I taught my social media classes this weekend. “Too many writers rush on to social media and just start tweeting and blogging with no prior preparation.”

    Even as I was giving them the list of things to do to prepare, they were raising hands asking to skip down my list to the sign-up part. “Prep first–signing up isn’t until step #6,” said I. “And it’s the easiest, so get this down first.” But some were still like hyperactive children–wanting to jump in with no idea what they were doing.

    So I told them to read your book. But they’re probably already twittering away as @shysusie, with an egg for a profile pic, saying “buy my book! buy my book!”

  9. #19 by Jessica O'Neal on September 21, 2011 - 10:53 am

    I’m so excited! I signed up for the workshop a few weeks ago and just joined the online group yesterday. Can’t wait until it starts. I need all the help I can get ;)

  10. #20 by Tameri Etherton on September 21, 2011 - 10:55 am

    Susielindau, don’t wait for your book, sign up now!

    I took Kristen’s class in July and it was the best thing ever. She gives you insight and perspective that might get lost in a weekly blog read-through. Her attention to everyone in the class was amazing and what I got out of that two months was worth WAY more than $40.

    I now have a community of friends that are my WANA711 siblings. We encourage each other, read each other’s blogs, retweet, and we’ve made a group on Yahoo just for us to communicate even though the class has formally ended.

    My book isn’t near publication and I’m not waiting until it is to get my readers excited. Like Kristen said in one of her many fabulous emails, a movie trailer comes out a year in advance, why? To get the audience excited for it. That’s what your blog is for and Kristen teaches you how to make it uniquely yours while being broad enough to entice varied readers.

    I simply cannot recommend this class enough. I’m going to a conference this weekend and I’ll have Kristen’s book with me so I can educate as many of my writer friends as possible on the genius of this woman.

    Okay, now I just sound like I’m kissing up, but I’m not. She really is that good. And yes, we WANA peeps really are strangely attractive. We can’t help it, it’s the glow of blog awesomeness Kristen bestows upon us.

    Since Kristen asked (via Twitter, a super fabulous social media place), here’s my blog if you’d like to visit:

    http://www.tamerietherton.com

    Stop by, check it out, comment if you’d like. I started my blog in February of this year because ‘they’ told me I had to for author branding. I posted exactly three times and they were so lame I took them down. I took Kristen’s blogging class and now I post regularly three times a week and I LOVE it.

    Thanks Kristen! Mwuah!!

    • #21 by kerrymeacham on September 21, 2011 - 12:15 pm

      You tell ‘em Tameri!!! Rather than adding to your comments, I’ll just say, “Yeah, what she said.”

  11. #23 by Emma Burcart on September 21, 2011 - 10:56 am

    I signed up for the workshop yesterday! I have read both We Are Not Alone and Are You There Blog, but I am still terrified of starting to blog. I worked with a friend and planned out a topic I think works with my target audience and I have so many ideas for blogs, but I just can’t make myself sit down and write them. I had wanted to try and launch my blog next week. Now I am wondering if I should wait to launch until I’ve taken the class? I feel a tiny bit of pressure because I’ve sent my first 50 pages off to a couple of agents I met at a conference and if they search me they won’t find a platform.

    • #24 by Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson on September 21, 2011 - 2:57 pm

      I haven’t taken the class, but I have talked to Kristen on the phone. She fixed me in one (epic) phonecall. I am currently an FOW (“fly-on-the-wall”) learning how things are done in a writing class facilitated by Terrell Mims. I still want to take Kristen’s… um… everything.

      That sounds wrong.

      But you know what I mean.

      Do it right and don’t make the mistakes we all have.

      Take Kristen’s class FIRST.

      I wish I had.

    • #25 by Diana Murdock on September 22, 2011 - 12:27 pm

      Emma, blogging was on my To Do list, like forever! Partially because I thought I had nothing to say and partially because I wasn’t sure of the impact or how to get it noticed. I took the workshop to kick myself into gear and, WOW. Amazing what happened. I found I really enjoy blogging and the group I learned with is amazing. We helped each during the class and we still help each other now. For now I would follow what Kristen’s books say and launch your blog, if you want, but you’ll be able to make whatever changes after you take the class.

      • #26 by Emma Burcart on September 22, 2011 - 1:44 pm

        Hmm. Now I’m even more confused. Launch and be prepared to change or wait a few more weeks to start? My childhood nickname, “Emma Dilemma”, rears it’s ugly head. Maybe I’ll just re-read the books before deciding:)

        • #27 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 3:36 pm

          It really doesn’t matter either way.

  12. #29 by Kecia Adams on September 21, 2011 - 11:34 am

    Kristen, I am new to your blog and your books, but I have really liked what you have to say about author platform and social networking. $40 is a bargain gven what I have seen other folks charge for social media/blogging courses. Here’s my concern: I can’t stand to be patronized or talked down to. Not that I think you would do this, but there are some that do. I know I am new to social media but I am not dumb and I am not a child. I am a writer looking for ways to be more efficient and effective so I can sell books and continue to do what I love: WRITE. People learn in different ways– some through careful study and planning and some by pushing buttons and jumping in. I have found that it is in taking risks that we often reap the big rewards. “Who Dares Wins” Right?

    • #30 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 11:45 am

      Talking down to people is not teaching. My classes are a lot like this blog. If you are having fun and not taking yourself too seriously then you are more likely to learn.

    • #31 by kerrymeacham on September 21, 2011 - 12:19 pm

      Don’t worry about being talked down to Kecia. Kristen had to have the patience of Job working with me. Stop laughing Kristen…I mean it…seriously stop it. You’ll love the class, and you’ll make some great friends too. I know I did.

      • #32 by Kecia Adams Dilday on September 21, 2011 - 1:53 pm

        Thanks, Kristen & Kerry. :) All signed up and looking forward to it.

  13. #33 by Gene Lempp on September 21, 2011 - 11:41 am

    I am signing up today. Your class is one of my birthday presents and I’m sure it will be with me longer then the tie they had planned to get me (or some cologne that makes the flies pass out when they get to close). Looking forward to it. See ya in class, teacha!

    • #34 by kerrymeacham on September 21, 2011 - 12:19 pm

      You’ll love it ROWbro.

    • #35 by Jess Witkins on September 21, 2011 - 10:28 pm

      Uh oh fly dropping cologne! Is your family thinking the WWBC fly squad is taking up too much time? Alright already, I’ll tone down the emails to you. LOL.

  14. #36 by MGalloway on September 21, 2011 - 11:41 am

    Wait…”Limon” flavored chips? Wow…that must be a regional thing. Reminds me of seeing ketchup-flavored chips in Canada.

    Sorry…back to the topic at hand… :-D

  15. #37 by Emily on September 21, 2011 - 11:50 am

    Kristen,

    I have learned so much from reading your entries. I’d like to take your course, but I would be interested in tailoring it for a blog to launch a book that I’ve co-written with another person. It is my first novel, but her second. Would your lessons apply to our unusual situation?

    • #38 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 11:59 am

      Basically I look at each author, your goals, constraints, etc and help you from there. No situation is too unusual :D.

  16. #39 by Hartford on September 21, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    Here here Tameri – well said!
    I took this class with the Tameri in July/Aug 2011.
    As I was saying to Sue above, from my perspective, this class is for anyone who wants to improve their blog. Yes, it is specifically for authors, published and unpublished – WIP or not (I am unpublished with no WIP). But I truly believe that the lessons learned and the INVALUABLE one-on-one critique work that you get from Kristen would benefit anyone in the blogosphere.
    Why…because this class rocks! You learn so much in the two months; it’ll knock your socks off!
    I learned who I wanted to be as a blogger, what my blog voice was, what kind of topics I enjoy writing about (so they are easy to write), how to tap into and build on my natural writing strengths, how to build a cohesive blog structure, how to plan my blogging days so I can stay consistent in writing themes/posting days (which will make my readers love me), how to deliver a variety of great blog posts 3 to 5 times a week (with ease), how to stay checked-in to my blog, how to write high concept pieces that resonate with the masses instead of a few, how to connect with readers, how to think big, how to write authentically and stay positive, and MOST importantly…how to have fun and enjoy blogging. This course will give you the blog knowledge and foundation to help you tap into the JOY of blogging.
    Although I can vouch for this course verbally, let’s let my stats do the talking:
    •January: 486
    •February: 597
    •March: 638
    •April (away for 2 weeks): 290
    •May: 492
    •June: 464
    •July: 636
    Started implementing Kristen’s lessons:
    •August: 1291
    •September: 1193 (and the month isn’t over)
    Since taking Kristen’s course and implementing her teachings, my blog visits have doubled, easily, and they are STILL climbing.
    I now have comments from my wana711 community AND beyond. From people around the world. People I hadn’t heard of until now. My community is growing every single day; one reader at a time!
    And the people you met at the course will be a HUGE support community of cheerleaders. My wana711 team is quite frankly a gift straight from the heavens. They. Are. The. Best! I can’t imagine my blog world before them. They are always there for support, ideas, encouragement, brainstorming, and love! These people tweet me, brag about me, push me out to their followers, and comment galore – and I do the same for them – with pleasure!
    Trust me, you will get far more out of this course than can be put into words or captured here!
    Just. Go. Sign. Up. Now.
    It’s worth far more than $40!
    Thank you…to Kristen (always and forever)…and my wana711 team!

    • #40 by kerrymeacham on September 21, 2011 - 12:29 pm

      On the stats side, my stats were <200/month prior to Kristen's class, and August was 1183. I completely agree about the wana711 community, Natalie. Awesome group of people.

  17. #41 by kerrymeacham on September 21, 2011 - 12:31 pm

    I’ve made enough comments on other people’s comments, so I’ll end with a simple, “TAKE THE CLASS!!!” ‘Nuff said.

  18. #42 by Maria Toth on September 21, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    This sounds like an awesome workshop! I’m forwarding your blog post to the rest of my writer’s critique group. And I’ll be buying your book. Thanks so much!

    • #43 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on September 21, 2011 - 3:02 pm

      DITTO!

    • #44 by Diana Murdock on September 22, 2011 - 12:30 pm

      I read Kristen’s books before the class. It was helpful to reinforce what she taught in class. Books and class – perfect combo!

  19. #45 by Rachel Funk Heller on September 21, 2011 - 1:30 pm

    Kristen, thanks for posting this notice, I am signed up and raring to go. I will pass this along to all my fellow writer peeps. Yipee!

  20. #46 by Lena Corazon on September 21, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    Kristen, I am so excited that you’re offering the workshop again! I’ve just signed up, and I can’t wait to get started. :D

  21. #47 by Sue Alexander on September 21, 2011 - 2:14 pm

    I would like to take the course but I am swamped with deadlines, daily work and four dogs to care for! As soon as I can, I will but for the time being, I just read your blog-every post! Thanks for doing it.

    Sue

  22. #48 by Marcia on September 21, 2011 - 2:34 pm

    I’d been blogging for a few years, but had recently begun writing a novel. I seriously needed to kick start my blog, and I was able to do that with what I learned in Kristen’s class! I also started my Life List Club at the same time, helping to brand me in a couple of different, but related areas…so, between that and using the tools I learned from Kristen, my blog has soared! Taking her class is a must! Especially if you’re new to blogging, writing and/or your blog is floundering…this will bring it all to life! Thanks, Kristen!

  23. #49 by Tamara LeBlanc on September 21, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    Not only am I thoroughly educated by your words of wisdom, but reading the many comments people leave for you adds sooo much to each post.
    It’s comforting to know that I AM NOT ALONE, there are others out there with the same writing hopes, dreams, and issues I have. There are others out there who want to be “sticky”.
    And luckily for all of us, we have you to teach us how.
    Thank you for all you do, say and offer!
    Have a fabulous Wednesday!!
    Tamara

  24. #50 by Angela Orlowski-Peart on September 21, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    I can attest to the amazing value of Kristen’s workshop because I just “graduated” from her July/August WANA class. In those two months I’ve learned so much from Kristen and my classmates! Thank you for everything, Kristen – your knowledge is simply invaluable.

    • #51 by Fabio Bueno on September 21, 2011 - 3:39 pm

      Angela, thank you so much for introducing me to “Kristen Lamb’s World”!
      I signed up for the workshop. Looking forward to it!

  25. #52 by Elle B | Later Bloomer on September 21, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    I’ve signed up! Been blogging for almost a year, but sometimes I feel like I’m spinning my wheels. My book is a year or so in the offing, but I really think it’s important to get your author platform together long before. Very excited about this class!

  26. #53 by Kristy K. James on September 21, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    I need the workshop! :)

  27. #54 by Elena Aitken on September 21, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    Okay, I have to jump in here too. I signed up for Kristen’s July class too (shout out to my wana711 peeps)
    I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured it would be something, anything that could help with my super sad and pathetic blog.
    Kristen walked us through EVERYTHING we needed to know to set things up, to get it done without spending days on each post, and some very cool tricks to make the whole blogging thing super easy and, wait for it…fun!
    Not only that, the class is interactive which means Kristen actually looks at your blog, comments on it and offers suggestions.
    This is what Kristen and the group helped me with…www.elenaaitken.com
    I’ve only been blogging since June. Quick look at my stats:
    June – 314 views (dismal, sad and kinda depressing)
    July-986 (better, I’m obviously learning something)
    August-1149 (ooh, things are looking up)
    September -1448 (and we’re not done yet)

    Those numbers are stratospheric, but to me, they’re amazing.
    I can’t say enough about the whole experience and the spectacular group of wana711. They all rock.
    For those who mentioned that they’re waiting till their books are out. DO NOT WAIT! That was my mistake. I started my blog in June and launched my book in July. I wish wish wish I had started blogging earlier. Woulda coulda shoulda and all that….but seriously, do it now.

    Kristen, with the wana711 group pushing your class, you’re going to be so full this fall. A true testament to your awesomesauce-ness. (It’s a word) :)
    Thanks bunches.

  28. #55 by Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos on September 21, 2011 - 5:12 pm

    I’m a little late to the party today, but I can’t say enough about Kristen’s platform building. I took the class in July, did my first post in August. I started a blog in June, figured if I wanted to sell my book to people other than my family, that I needed an online presence. The problem was, I had NO IDEA what to blog about. I didn’t know how often to blog. Through Kristen’s class, I was able to figure out my blog. I write romance. I wanted my blog to fit both me and my target audience. With the help of my WANA711 class, I am blogging four days a week! What seemed like an insurmountable challenge, now is easy. On Monday I feature hot shirtless men (MANday) . On Wednesdays you see a bit more about me, my take on romance, relationships, etc. I do a Philanthropy Thursday, where I feature something about a charity or people making a difference in other people’s lives. On Friday’s I have always gone to see a movie, now I write movie reviews. I never ever would have come up with of had the courage to do it on my own.
    I also learned how to deal with Twitter effectively. I started out with zero followers, I’m now well over a thousand, and I really have not actively pursued followers, they are finding me now. I use facebook, but not much. Twitter seems to be much more effective for me.
    When you google the name Jillian Dodd, there never used to be anything. Now it is all me, for like pages!
    I released my self published ebook, That Boy at the end of May this year. As of the end of August I had sold a grand total of 63 books. I was ranked about 720,000th in sales on kindle. I used to pimp my book on my facebook and my twitter before taking Kristen’s class. I tried to be sneaky about it, but I’m sure my friends were sick of hearing about it. Since taking Kristen’s class and starting my blog, I have tweeted about my book specifically about a dozen times.
    And now here’s the exciting part!
    I went from zero people reading my blog in July, to about 1700 for August, for Sept I should double that. I’m already at 2800 views.
    Keep in mind, I have not be pimping my book. I’ve sold a grand total of 63 May-August. This month, so far, I have sold 118 books, and have been ranked as high as 5,200 on kindle.
    Granted these are not the numbers I eventually hope to achieve, but I am SOOOO excited! All I can say is Kristen’s platform building class was the best $40 I’ve ever spent!!
    Anyone that is an author, or wants to be an author, should take this class. My 15 yr old son is a semi professional go kart driver and we are starting to put some of the things I learned to create him a platform as well to attract sponsors!!
    It works!!!

  29. #56 by katewoodauthor on September 21, 2011 - 5:37 pm

    I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without you, Kristen! Thank you so much for YOUR time and effort. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for both of us. Oh, and you may want to think about nailing all of your shelving, bookcases, dressers, entertainment center(s), end tables, (you get the idea lol) to the walls ;p

  30. #57 by susielindau on September 21, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    Thank you Kristen, Hartford, Renee, Jennifer, and Tameri! I am glad that I checked back in to see the other responses. I am all signed up and look forward to being in the front row!

  31. #58 by Jennette Marie Powell on September 21, 2011 - 7:02 pm

    Kristen, I have both of your books and took your 1-week class offered through LIRW. I think I have the blog down pretty well, but my traffic could be better. And I will admit, I’m pretty much floundering when it comes to Facebook! Will this class help me, since I already have the basics? Can you help with Facebook??

    • #59 by Jennette Marie Powell on September 21, 2011 - 7:10 pm

      I forgot to mention, what I’m really still trying to figure out is the “and still have time to write” part – so obviously there’s something in the class/books I need a refresher on! :)

    • #60 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 21, 2011 - 8:21 pm

      I have added a lot to my teaching since you took the LIRW class. There are some really awesome techniques I discovered that I am only sharing in the workshop and in the next book. I definitely think you would benefit, but I am a tad partial LOL :D.

  32. #61 by rjlacko on September 21, 2011 - 7:45 pm

    While this does “scare” me, it’s only because I have an inkling of what I need to do–and even how to do it–but it’s all so overwhelming. And isn’t a little bit better than nothing?:) Certainly $40 seems entirely reasonable and a great value.

  33. #62 by Jeremy Duley (@JeremyDuley) on September 21, 2011 - 7:59 pm

    I took one of Bob’s classes a while back and it kicked ____!!!!!! Do I have a finished book yet, no. Am I fumbling my way through building a platform thanks to your WANA book, YES. Thanks Kristen, you freaking rock!

  34. #63 by deborahjhughes on September 21, 2011 - 8:10 pm

    Great informational post and marketing campaign. Totally worked. Bought both your books, can’t wait to read them. I have no problem learning from others’ mistakes so thanks for making so many yourself! Guess I have a lot to learn…better get crackin.

    • #64 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 7:24 am

      THANK YOU. The books are great (granted, I am a bit partial) but the workshop will take you to an entirely new level. I hope you can attend! :D.

  35. #65 by Cheryel Hutton on September 21, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    I’m a Kristen workshop graduate (one of the infamous #wana711 group). When I started the class back in July, my blog was on life support. Now I’m consistently posting three days a week (and posting twice a month on group blogs.) And I’m writing. No, haven’t gotten it all down pat yet, but it’s getting easier all the time. The number of hits on my blog have skyrocketed, and I get new Twitter followers everyday. I’m getting ready to shift over to WordPress, and working with a webdesigner to spiffy up my website. I’m amazed. I used to HATE promotion. Now, it’s fun. Wow!

    I do have one regret, I wish I’d known all this BEFORE my first book came out. But I’m ready for the next one.

    Take the class, folks. It’s fun, it’s great, and it’s an opportunity you don’t want to pass up.

    Thank you, Kristen! You have changed my life. Hopefully we’ll run into each other somewhere and I can tell you in person how grateful I am.

    • #66 by Diana Murdock on September 22, 2011 - 12:33 pm

      I’m with you, Cheryel. I put out a book last year and had moderate (very moderate) success, but I know it would have done a whole lot better had I known all of this before. But, I have another book almost done and I look forward to HUGE success with that one, thanks to Kristen’s class!

  36. #67 by tomwisk on September 21, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    I try to set up a platform that draws in readers. I’ve got one follower and she Tweets a lot. Hope blog will be recomended to others. I started wrong but corrected. Now I wait. Your blogs are a must read.

  37. #68 by Lesann on September 21, 2011 - 8:52 pm

    Here’s my second try at leaving a comment….oops. Ignore the first partial statement. I participated in Kristen’s July/August Blogging class (#wana711) and it made the mystery of what to blog about and who was possibly going to be interested in reading anything – make sense. You already have all the information and skills – Kristen is savvy enough to show you how to access all that goodness and what to do with it all.

    I’ve read in your comments that many of you are busy – do it anyways. We generated over 1700 e-mails that I still haven’t read…but I interact with members of the group on a daily basis. We visit each others blogs, share on twitter, and even e-mail occasionally. The workshop not only gives you the knowledge to succeed, but a core support group to assist along the way…and that doesn’t end when the class is finished.

    Don’t wait – do it now.

    You’ll be glad to avoid the regrets when you discover how easy it can be. You always hear those stories about being in the right place at the right time – this is it.

    @lesannberry (www.lesannberry.blogspot.com)

  38. #69 by Jennifer L. Oliver on September 21, 2011 - 9:15 pm

    Even though I’ve been writing all my life, I’m a total newbie to all this. I was working with a writing partner and we self-published a book together earlier this year. Unfortunately, the partnership did not survive. I let her run with the book and forth-coming series as it was originally her idea. We split the other WIPs and went our separate ways. I learned so much through that experience, but it has also made me a bit cautious. Flying solo, I want to be sure I am working towards my goal and not taking the long hard path that I am accustomed to doing. I’m finding it a bit hard to work full time, write a novel, and still make time for family. My blog is suffering due to poor juggling and basically because I don’t have a clue as to what to write about.
    When my book is ready, I think I want to go the traditional ways of publishing, but I’ve made a ton of Indie Author friends on Twitter and that route is tempting as well. Either way, I know I need a platform and to build an audience.

    After reading through all the comments, now I really want to sign up for this class! But those doubts keep whispering through my mind. I don’t have a book to promote, though I do have several WIPs that are in the beginning stages. I have no idea what to blog about and my site is a true testament to that as my blogs are all over the place. I have no idea of how I got over 1,000 followers on twitter because I’m really not doing anything special, but I have been lucky enough to meet a few great people there.
    All of these reasons are apparently why I need to take this class. But am I in the right stage in my writing for this? I mean, is it ever too early to start?

    • #70 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 7:22 am

      The earlier you start building a platform the better. I will guide you through defining a brand and harvesting your passions for content. When you start early you have the luxury of building a little at a time so it isn’t as overwhelming. The worst thing to do is have a finished book and then be in a mad dash to pull a platform out of thin air. Once you have your book finished and land an agent, they are going to expect you to do revisions and edits and be working on the next book. If your platform is solid, then that is one less worry. Also, the way I am going to teach you to blog is going to make you a faster, better, cleaner writer. I always recommend starting early. You get time to try different things, see what works. Sometimes you might try a direction and after a week or three realize it isn’t a good fit. Wait too late and you just won’t have the same creative freedom.

  39. #71 by Serena Dracis on September 21, 2011 - 9:19 pm

    First time I’ve read you’re blog and can’t wait to take your workshop! Please sign me up for your September give-away too! I just finished my first novel, am working on my second and have been floundering with trying to break into social media and networking. Was looking for help and boom! Your blog. :-)

  40. #72 by Kristy K. James on September 21, 2011 - 9:46 pm

    I’m sorry, but I have a question. This is an online course, which I would really love to sign up for, but since it is online, why do we have to provide our addresses? It just makes me nervous to give out that sort of information when it doesn’t seem relevant to what I’m wanting to do. Is there a way to register and just use PayPal? Thanks!

    • #73 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 7:18 am

      Um….I don’t take care of that end of things. I just teach so I can’t answer your question. E-mail WDW and ask or e-mail me and I will forward on (kristen at kristen lamb dot org).

      • #74 by K.B. Owen on September 22, 2011 - 7:26 am

        Kristy –

        Yes, you can pay with PayPal. If you have other questions, Jen Holbrook-Talty is the admin for WDW. Here’s what I copied from the site:

        Any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jen Talty at admin@WhoDaresWinsPublishing.

        Hope that helps,
        Kathy

        • #75 by Kristy K. James on September 22, 2011 - 1:09 pm

          Thanks, Kristen and Kathy! I did contact Jen and have already signed up. I can hardly wait to get started! I’ve already finished We Are Not Alone, and just started Are You There Blog… yesterday. I’ve already learned a great deal, but realized that this course would help even more. I’m so social media-challenged it’s not even funny! :)

          • #76 by Kristy K. James on September 22, 2011 - 1:11 pm

            I wonder if I could have used ‘already’ a few more times in that paragraph…. Teach me to proof whatever I write. :/

  41. #77 by Jess Witkins on September 21, 2011 - 10:36 pm

    I’m so happy that you did this post. I was hemming and hawing over whether I should take this course now and try to do NaNoWriMo with WWBC and Life List Club. LOL. ok, That’s a lot. But seriously, your post and the comments of everyone here was a no brainer. I still want and need help to maintain a steady blog viewing and readership. I look forward to class and hope I can help in any way for my fellow teammates! Thank you Kristen for sharing so much time and knowledge with us!

  42. #78 by coleen patrick on September 22, 2011 - 8:03 am

    Ok i’m in now too! Just signed up…looking forward to it.

  43. #79 by CC MacKenzie on September 22, 2011 - 11:22 am

    I’ve signed up too.

    You might need a valium, Kristen, by the time you’ve sorted me, but onwards and upwards!

    • #80 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 11:26 am

      Nah, I’ve been a writer herder for almost a decade. You get used to the drama. Kinda like a producer of reality television, LOL. Happy you will be there! Yay! *happy dance*

      • #81 by CC MacKenzie on September 22, 2011 - 1:14 pm

        I can’t wait!

        And to work with all you guys and girls!

  44. #82 by Donald Bueltmann on September 22, 2011 - 12:53 pm

    Kristen, I am almost through reading AYTB and read about 1/2 of WANA and I have signed up for your October workshop.
    From what I have read so far it is best to establish your blog before publishing. I have 2 books available on Amazon and an ebook on Amazon, B&N, and Smashword.
    None of these books are selling, which is why I want to learn blogging.
    I’m working on a scifi trilogy that will be coming out only God knows when. Am I too late to start my blog to help sell my present books?

    Thanks
    Don

    • #83 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 1:01 pm

      No. The sales should pick up once you get blogging. I feel your pain. When I released WANA I hadn’t built a platform for myself as a social media expert and beginning sales were enough to make me want to OD on chocolate and cheap whiskey. The best way is to build the platform ahead of time, but that isn’t the only way. There have been many awesome parents of unplanned babies, LOL.

  45. #84 by janellemadigan on September 22, 2011 - 1:07 pm

    Wow, Kristen. I went to sign up and it looks like the workshop is already full. :( Too bad–sounds like exactly what I’m looking for right now.

    • #85 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 22, 2011 - 1:09 pm

      Try again. I had them remove the cap since the workshop is two months.

      • #86 by janellemadigan on September 22, 2011 - 3:44 pm

        Yay! I’m in. *happy dance* Going to tell my critique partners about it tonight, too.

  46. #87 by Laura on September 22, 2011 - 4:13 pm

    Kristen, I would LOVE to take your class but I work full-time. Could I log on at any time I can or is it offered only at specific times.

    Thanks!

    • #88 by Laura on September 22, 2011 - 4:26 pm

      I read the other comments and it looks like you can take the course on your own time basically? Even if you work full time and can’t get to it during the traditional part of the day? Thanks!

      • #89 by Lynne on September 22, 2011 - 7:38 pm

        Hi Laura:

        I work full-time too, and I’m still taking the class. My understanding is that you can get your lessons at any time, plus Kristen is going to show us how we can get up and running with our blog within our limited time schedule. I hope you take the class! :)

    • #90 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 23, 2011 - 7:58 am

      You take the class on your own time at your own pace. I only post a couple of lessons a week. This is one of the reasons I allot 2 months to the class. We can go at a comfortable pace instead of trying to learn everything at once and throw up a quick, shoddy blog.

  47. #91 by Eskimo Kisses and Air Hugs on September 22, 2011 - 4:47 pm

    I’m signing up! I’ve been reading your book and trying to figure out how ot build my platform. I havent’ written a blog post in weeks as I contemplate what I need to do and I’m pretty sure just dropping off the planet like I’ve done isn’t the best way to get started:) So excited you’re doing this!

  48. #92 by Barry on September 22, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    Would love to sign up for the class. Read the books and really enjoyed them plus when I put the plan into action it really worked, my blog is looking pretty classy and I get quite a bit of traffic. Wanted to sign up but I couldn’t see any obvious link to sign up?? Maybe it’s me getting over excited, I’m in Starbucks and over did it!! Could I have the link, credit cards waving around over here ;)

    Thanks
    Barry

  49. #94 by ramblingsfromtheleft on September 22, 2011 - 6:51 pm

    At the end of a long, long line, I stand here with a silly smile on my face. Send you the link to my own lame attempt to unravel the mysteries of social networking. Read you and read Bob Mayer and a few good others. Thanks for holding up the light at the end of the tunnel ’cause I one of those who can easily get side tracked :) I gave you a grand salute and I hope you get to read it one of these l o n g b u s y days of yours.

    http://ramblingsfromtheleft.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/hello-%e2%80%a6-im-back/

  50. #95 by Julie on September 22, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    Okay, I’m in! Can’t wait to meet and work with you all.

    • #96 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 23, 2011 - 8:04 am

      Awesome! :D

  51. #97 by Bridgette Booth on September 23, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    Superfabulous class and worth SOOOOOO much more than $40.00. (But I’m ever so glad it’s affordable!)

    Highly recommended!!!

  52. #98 by Jessica O'Neal on September 23, 2011 - 11:43 pm

    Wow. I was already excited when I signed up a while back, but after reading all of these comments and success stories I am positively giddy!

  53. #99 by alicamckennajohnson on September 25, 2011 - 11:45 am

    I want to take your blogging class- but I can’t find the link- is it still open??

  54. #101 by lanceschaubert on September 26, 2011 - 11:48 am

    Concerning branding: How much is too much?

  55. #102 by Barbara McDowell on September 26, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    I’m late to the party, but brought brownies! *puts out tray* Tossing one more thought from a WANA711graduate. For anyone enrolled or fence-sitting, get Kristen’s books to work through during class. Part of my background is in adult learning so I can vouch for the hands-on work/discussion working to reinforce what is read…blended learning if you will. I read WANA again in August and it clicked much more.

    Like my class peeps said, the increased stats are no lie, but for me it has been more about the community, learning and writing growth. I’m on Twitter now (hello huge change for me), setting new goals and running fast out of my blog cocoon. Do.The.Class. That is all. :-)

  56. #103 by Sandy on September 26, 2011 - 6:46 pm

    I signed up! I’ve been blogging off and on for years and hating every minute of it. I’m hoping this class will help me find the love! My books deserve better than my feeble and inconsistent attempts. Ready to learn.

  57. #104 by stacy on September 27, 2011 - 12:32 am

    A very good friend of mine sent this post to me and I’m so glad she did! Now that I’ve found your blog, I doubt you’ll be rid of me! New novel (first in series) launching in Oct. While I currently run a very successful website, I’m hard pressed to create an author platform. Would love to learn more about your programs!

    • #105 by Author Kristen Lamb on September 27, 2011 - 7:31 am

      Sign up for the workshop. There is still time! D

  58. #106 by Suma Subramaniam on September 28, 2011 - 2:05 pm

    Hello Kristen

    I got your reference from my friend Angela Peart who took your workshop in July. I would like to sign up for this workshop. What are the steps? Please keep me posted.

  59. #107 by sonjaandbuck on October 8, 2011 - 3:14 pm

    Hi Kristen, Very nice meeting you. I am a writer and I just finished reading your great book. “are you there? It’s me writer”, where you say absolutely do not post anything from your book on your blog. Now I read here that we have to post about 15 pages. This has me confused!
    Looking forward to your response
    buck De Boey (author extra oridinaire). lol.

  60. #108 by Cheryel Hutton on October 8, 2011 - 8:00 pm

    To Buck De Boey, I don’t know if Kristen will see this, or has contacted to privately, but there isn’t anything about posting pages on your blog. The only place I saw 15 pages is the possibility of winning an edit from Kristen on 15 pages of your manuscript. This has nothing to do with posting on your blog. She was an editor before she became the writer’s social network goddess!

    Good luck with your blog and your writing!

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