Archive for the ‘Platform building’ Category

Guest Blog by Karen Bouchard, Coach at Word Ninjas and Acquisitions Editor at Illumify Media

You love writing.

Marketing? Branding? Tribe-building? Not so much.

So how in the world do you get ahead in your writing career?

I’m going to give you three tips in just a moment. First, though, I want you to consider signing up for two resources that are going to help you tremendously. I promise to explain more about these resources at the end of this post, but here they are:

Register for a FREE webinar Wednesday, May 13, at 6:30pm MT

and then…

Sign-up for a FREE 2-week trial in a platform-building coaching group  

Now back to our dilemma.

Last week a writer approached me with this very problem. She wrote, “In order to move forward in my writing, it seems like I’m going to have leave my strengths (writing) and move into my weaknesses (marketing, branding). How should I handle this?”

Now, unless you consider yourself a “marketer” first and a “writer” second, you may be asking this question, too.


As we’ve all experienced, the changes in book publishing over the past decade have been significant. The responsibility for connecting with potential readers has fallen squarely on the shoulders of authors, and it doesn’t matter what publishing avenue—traditional, hybrid, or self-publishing—we pursue.

While the shift in book publishing has created a lot of amazing and unprecedented opportunities, we are also in danger of losing the voices of less marketing-minded writers with equally important messages.

So what’s a writer to do? Especially if you don’t consider “building a platform” or “growing a tribe” to be one of your key strengths?

I have three suggestions for you, and here they are:

1. Reframe how you think of marketing.

If we define “marketing” as trying to convince someone to help us (by subscribing to our email list, following us on Facebook, buying our books), it feels yucky. For them and for us, too.

And if we think of building a platform—or growing a following—in terms of amassing numbers, well, that doesn’t feel great either.

No wonder we want to run screaming from the room.

But when we reframe our motivation for building our platforms—and become driven by love—we may discover that the process is not distasteful at all. In fact, it can become life-giving, to us as well as to our readers.

When we stop asking “How do I get people to sign up?”—and start asking “How can I help, serve, and love people to whom my message will bring life and hope?”—everything changes.

Of course, you will still need to learn some time-proven platform-building strategies—and some of those strategies function similarly whether you’re looking for numbers to help yourself, or whether you’re looking to serve others.

But don’t let that fool you. When you stop being driven by dread—and start being led by love—your experience, the experience of your audience, and the connections you forge and nurture will be far more amazing and fulfilling than straight-up “marketing” will ever be.

2. Connect with your audience in ways that resonate with your personality.

When we think of “building a platform” or “growing a tribe” we tend to think in terms of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These are great tools, and I encourage you to explore all the possibilities these platforms present.

That said, don’t limit yourself. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there are myriad ways to connect with your audience both online and offline.

You don’t have to do everything I’ve listed below (in fact, please don’t even try!). But do identify two or three avenues you find enjoyable to serve your audience, and use those avenues regularly to engage with your peeps.

Here are a few Facebook-free ways to find and grow your audience:

  • Events: Book clubs. Book signings. Expos. Meet-up groups. School Visits. Workshops. Church and community events. (In fact, take a clipboard to collect email addresses and grow your email list while you are at it).
  • Media and PR: Become an expert in your field and seek opportunities as a guest blogger, or a guest on podcasts or local radio. Submit articles to newspapers and magazines.
  • Start a podcast or YouTube channel.
  • Offer great content to someone who uses social media to connect with folks in your target audience. People who use social media a lot are always on the lookout for helpful resources they can share with their audiences. Create that kind of content and allow other people to bless their audiences with it. You’ll be blessed in return.

3. Hire help.

You can’t do and learn everything. Besides, time is money, right? So focus on what you love, and hire out what you don’t:

  • Hire a virtual (or non-virtual) assistant for a few hours each week.
  • Hire help creating and managing your social media presence.
  • Trade services, such as offering editing or writing services to someone who can help you with your website.
  • Hire someone to produce and publish your book while you invest your time and energy into connecting with future readers.  

The point is, don’t learn “all the things” yourself. I love learning, so I struggle with this. But if you and I want to have time to function in our strengths and passions, we have to learn how to free ourselves (at least a little) from the tyranny of tasks we don’t know how to do, and/or don’t particularly like.

I’m not saying never learn anything new. We are writers, after all. We are curious by nature, and learning keeps the brain young, right?

But pick and choose. Spend time learning how to do things that interest you, not things you hate (but will tolerate to save a buck).

By picking and choosing what you invest time learning, you might spend dollars but save sanity.

To keep yourself from getting lost in the weeds, stop asking “How” questions and start asking “Who” questions. In other words, instead of asking “How can I learn how to edit videos / use Photoshop / compose the opening music for my podcast / typeset my own book,” start asking, “Who can I hire who knows how to edit videos / use Photoshop / compose the opening music for my podcast / typeset my book.”

Where can you find modestly-priced help? Learn how to evaluate and hire freelancers on sites like www.fiverr.com. You might be surprised how reasonable some services can be.


Illumify Media and Word Ninjas are hosting a six-week FREE webinar series for writers. The webinar taking place on Wednesday, May 13th is on “Navigating Today’s 3 Best Publishing Options.”

Here are the other webinars in the series:

1. How to Create Your e-Newsletter in MailChimp
2. How to Create Lead Magnets to Grow Your Email List
3. How to Get Your Book into Bookstores
4. The Internet Has Changed How People Read–Here’s What You Need to Know (and Do)
5. How to Navigate Today’s Three Best Publishing Options
6. Bonus: “Ask Me Anything” Session (with Writing/Publishing/Marketing Pros)

When you register for even one of the webinars, after the series is over you’ll receive an email with links to all six recorded webinars. It’s a power-packed series of FREE trainings for writers that will help you no matter where you are in your publishing/writing/platform-building journey.

To register for the May 13th webinar, click on the link below:

Register for a FREE webinar Wednesday, May 13, at 6:30pm MT

And if you’re reading this after the series is over—and would like to receive links to all six trainings absolutely free—click here.


There’s one last platform-building resource I want to make available to you.

Word Ninjas is an online coaching community where I help writers improve their writing and learn tools and strategies to build their platforms. To learn more about how Word Ninjas can help you—and try it out for two weeks completely free—click on the link:

Sign-up for a FREE 2-week trial in a platform-building coaching group  

The bad news is successful writers need to nurture relationships with current and future readers. The good news is that successful writers get to nurture relationships with current and future readers—and it can be a lot more enjoyable than you might think.

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Dick Bruso from Eric.jpg

Guest Blogger – Dick Bruso
International Professional Speaker and Author

Wow! Another exceptional Colorado Christian Writers Conference at the YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park Center, May 15-18, will be here before you know it. I’ve had the distinct privilege of attending and speaking at CCWC for a number of years and have been blessed beyond measure.

My life verse is Psalm 37:4 (NIV), “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” The Colorado Christian Writers Conference allows all who attend to truly delight themselves in the Lord throughout the entire conference while at the same time fulfilling the desires of their hearts as Christian writers.

Here are just a few ways you will be significantly impacted at CCWC 2019:

* Becoming much better equipped to write what God had laid upon your heart

* Forming new and life-long friendships with your brothers and sisters in Christ

* Learning from and connecting with a vast variety of remarkable professionals all dedicated to helping you move your writing career forward

* Enjoying the beauty and majesty of God’s creation in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains

* Building your faith through dedicated and powerful times of prayer and worship

If you haven’t already signed up for CCWC, now is the time to do so before the price increases March 21! It will prove to be one of the most valuable investments you will ever make as you seek to influence others for the cause of Christ!

Special Note: On Friday, May 17th, I will be giving two back-to-back workshops (featuring an exclusive bonus*) as described below:

“Create a Best-Seller Brand” (2:15 to 3:15 p.m.)
Come learn how to develop a unique and enduring brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career. You will discover how you can bring absolute focus, clarity, and life to both your work and your brand.

 “Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach” (3:30 to 4:30 p.m.)
Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources, and tools. Learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking and building a solid and professional platform.

*Exclusive Bonus! Everyone attending either of these sessions will be given a complimentary 30-minute, post-conference, one-on-one phone consultation with me to help further their writing and speaking careers.

Testimonial from CCWC 2018

I attended Dick Bruso’s Create a Best-Seller Brand and Fast Track Your Speaking Outreach. Dick’s superb presentations were the answer to my prayers.

I can’t recommend his workshops enough. They were the high point of the CCWC for me, and I attended many other excellent sessions.

Jeff Walton, speaker and author of
the award-winning Christian novel,
Final Departure: Death Is Never On Time

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So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here. These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.
1 Peter 1:6-7 TLB

Thanks so much for your prayers and sharing with me the obstacles you’re facing. Father, we look to You for Your answers and thank You that You are able to work all things together for good.

The Geek Squad tech was amazing. The files had not been deleted. They had been moved to a different account. (I didn’t know I had more than one account.) He also did a temporary fix for Quicken, and my MS Office programs appear to be running MUCH better. He removed a program that he said was notorious for introducing Malware. I’m am so relieved and thankful.

Sheri Schofield, a friend who comes to the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, faced a HUGE obstacle this year. She indie published her children’s picture book, The Prince and the Plan, but by mistake 2,000 copies were printed in black and white. She was given the option to purchase them for $4,180 (that she didn’t have) or they would be destroyed. Praise God He has provided and is using them in Ephesians 3:20 ways. With her permission, here is the email she recently sent me – proof that God is not limited by the size of our author platform and that He does answer prayer!

PrinceandPlan_coverThe Lord has given me a team of people here in Montana to reach the Native Americans and the poor with my book The Prince And The Plan! When I was first debating what to do with the black & white misprints, the Lord gave me this verse: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release from darkness to the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1). Then He told me to give them to the Native Americans in Montana, where unemployment is 80%.

I’d been able to reach the Salish & Kootenai, the Crow, the Blackfeet, and the Assiniboine & Gros Ventra tribes, but hadn’t been able to reach the Chippewa Cree at Rocky Boy reservation nor the Sioux in the northern part of the state. I asked the Lord to provide a way to reach them. Rocky Boy is VERY closed. At a book signing at the local Christian bookstore, a pastor’s wife from Set Free Ministries came and bought 10 full-color copies for the families at their church. She asked if I had a way to give discounts for books in bulk for use among the Native Americans. I asked her which ones, she said “Rocky Boy and Havre”, which are the very ones I’d been praying about! Today she and her husband picked up 300 books for them. AND her husband committed to helping me reach more poor and Native children around the state! I’ve got a team now to help me! Praise God!

Twenty-one years ago, the Lord gave me a vision of a work He would do here in Helena that would flow to the rest of the state, then to the nation. I had no idea it had anything to do with me, but I now understand that it very well may! He said a river of life would spring up here.

Marlene, I’m NOT following the usual way of marketing this book. I’m doing only what the Lord tells me to do, for this is a ministry, not a career. I’m going through the doors the Lord opens, and trusting Him to provide the financing to get the gospel into the hands of children. I know — it is really different! But once before, the Lord told me to fight a battle for Him, and I did it HIS way — and I beat the U. S. military. So, having that example of how God leads behind me, I’m comfortable with doing this book His way, too. So far, God provided all the money needed to independently publish the book, to give away 2000 black & white copies, and has provided a team to help me get it into the hands of the poor, of which there are many here in Montana. I’m rejoicing!

[Click here for Sheri’s latest newsletter and contact info.]


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You know you need to grow your platform but . . .

pexels-photo-2 women 2 men1162964

you’re not smiling as you hold up that BLANK page of your book proposal. Yes, you could add your willingness to go on a nationwide book signing tour, but who would pay for it? The publisher? Not likely. And if you’re going indie, well unless you have a rich uncle, you’ve probably used all your available funds for an editor and cover designer.

pexels-photo-online marketing 266176Then you remember the promises from the marketing experts that frequently turn up in your inbox. Success is within your reach! Online marketing is the key.

You need a website with keywords that will draw readers.

You need to be active on social media, not just posting but responding to comments.

Of course, you need to blog and not just on your own site.

And then there’s the need for everything to be search engine optimized (S.E.O.) plus the need to outsmart the constantly changing algorithms.

All this and you still need to find time to write!

Sarah Bolme, director of CSPA, the Christian Small Publishers Association, and the author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, is teaching a 3-1/2 Learning Lab from 1:00 – 4:30 on Thursday, July 26, at the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. She will teach you six manageable steps to building and growing your online author platform through CONTENT MARKETING. To find out more, click here for Sarah’s blog, and click here for info on all three of our learning labs. Best-selling author Dan Walsh will teach the ”Focus on Fiction” Learning Lab, and literary agent, Diana Flegal, will teach “The Making of a Nonfiction Book.”

Thursday’s Learning Labs, catered dinner, first-timer’s orientation, and opening keynote, “Declaring God’s Truth in a Digital Age of Half Truths” is just the beginning of this year’s 2-1/2 day conference – our 35th! But keep in mind:

The cost of lodging at the Holiday Inn (5 minutes from the conference at Dock Mennonite Academy in Lansdale) increases July 7.

— The conference registration fee increases July 8.

Meals – Thursday’s chicken dinner, Friday’s Italian Buffet, and Friday and Saturday’s box lunches – must be ordered by July 15.

If you need some scholarship help or time payments, click here. If you’d like our 16-page brochure, please email me at mbagnull@aol.com. It’s also available online at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

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Two Power-Packed Programs
in One Incredible Early Bird Workshop
at the May 16-19, 2018
Colorado Christian Writers Conference

presented by international speaker
and branding expert,
Dick Bruso



As the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” Arrive early at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and attend a very special two-part, 90-minute, early bird session starting at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16th. This is a workshop you can’t afford to miss!

Part One: Create a Best-Seller Brand 

Come learn how to develop a unique and enduring brand that will powerfully capture the marketplace by applying the “umbrella branding” approach to every aspect of your writing career. You will discover how you can bring absolute focus, clarity, and life to both your work and your brand.

Part Two: Fast-Track Your Speaking Outreach

Accelerate your writing career by tapping into the ideal professional speaking organizations, resources, and tools. Learn the inside secrets every Christian writer needs to know about the world of public speaking and building a solid and professional platform.

Last year these two programs (now combined for one jam-packed two-part workshop) were standing room only and the CDs of these sessions sold like hotcakes on a wintry day.

But, wait! There’s more!” 🙂 And, there really is more: Everyone attending this session will be given a complimentary 30-minute one-on-one phone consultation with Dick Bruso to help further their careers.

So register now for this special early bird workshop to begin your exciting adventure with CCWC on Wednesday, May 16th!

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reading newspaper pexels-photo-404976

Yes, I believe our writing is a ministry! But if we want to reach the most people possible with the message Father has entrusted to us, we can’t ignore the business aspect of our ministry. Especially when it comes to social media, we need to learn the most effective ways of connecting with our audience and with influencers.

So . . . below is some “news you can use” that will hopefully help you to expand your ministry. But one word of caution. Be careful to guard against getting so caught up with numbers and the world’s way of doing things that you leave the Lord out of the equation. He is able to make things happen that you could never do on your own.

God can pour on the blessings
in astonishing ways
so that you’re ready for anything and everything,
more than just ready to do what needs to be done.
2 Corinthians 9:8 MSG

The Ultimate Book Marketing Plan

Rob Eagar, www.startawildfire.com, announced: “I’m giving away an incredible new 10-part email course called the Ultimate Book Marketing Plan for FREE at Reedsy.com. Reedsy is a new global online marketplace for authors that I encourage you to visit. It’s like AirBnB or Angie’s List for the needs that authors face, such as finding a book cover designer, editor, or a marketer like me.

“This new email course officially launched January 26. You get to be one of the first authors to access it for free. It’s a perfect complement to the Ultimate Book Marketing Template that many of you have downloaded. Click here to take the free email course at Reedsy.”

A Writer’s Best Friend 

A helpful and humorous blog by author and literary agent Bob Hostetler about a tool every writer needs to use. I won’t tell you what it is. 🙂 You need to read Bob’s blog. Click the link above.

Connect with Influencers in Three Sentences

If you need to secure endorsements for your book, you need to read this helpful blog post from Mike Loomis who has served on the faculty of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

What Facebook’s 2018 Change Means for Authors  

This blog post from Thomas Umstattd Jr. (another former CCWC faculty member) explains Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. One important change: “Reactions (like laugh, heart, and crying face) are now weighted more than likes. So if somebody gives you a heart emoji, that’s more than if they just give you a regular thumbs up.” Let’s remember to do this when responding to posts of those who need our support.

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Come to what? When? Where? The NEW

Write to Impact Lives Conference
February 9-10 in Lansdale, PA

And why?

Question & Exclam pt

8. To give your writing the jumpstart it needs in the midst of the winter doldrums and prepare to meet with editors and agents at the July 26-28 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Attendees will receive 10% off GPCWC’s registration fee .

7. To participate in our Friday evening author interviews and book signing. If you’re not yet published, you’ll be encouraged by their testimony and by fellowship with other conferees and our faculty. We need to

Encourage each other and build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT

6. To be challenged, encouraged, and inspired through three powerful keynote addresses.

  • “Christians Are Hateful” – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians – Bill Watkins
  • Write from the Deep – Karen Ball
  • Keeping Your Dreams Alive – Jim Watkins

5. To discover the advantages of “Going Indie” with Sarah Bolme, Director, Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA). Self-publishing is no longer viewed as the last resort for writers unable to land a contract with a traditional publisher. Even best-selling authors often choose to go indie. This 4-hour learning lab will give you the knowledge and tools you need to publish and market your book.

4. To keep growing your writing skills in a 3-hour continuing session.

  • Taming Fiction Dragons with Karen Ball who has built fiction lines for Tyndale, Multnomah, Zondervan, and B&H Publishing Group. As an editor, author, and former literary agent with The Steve Laube Agency, Karen has over 30 years publishing experience.
  • The Five Rs of Nonfiction with Jim Watkins, an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. Jim will give you practical, step-by-step methods to get into print and pixels.
  • Writing that Changes Lives with Bill Watkins – Writing that connects, challenges, provokes, inspires, casts vision, provides hope, and refuses to back away from telling the truth can change lives and eventually cultures. During his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with hundreds of authors including Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Leslie Vernick, and Mike Huckabee. He is also an award-winning author with 7 published books, the president of Literary Solutions, and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.
  • Develop a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book with Karen Whiting, an award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books. Whether it’s still an idea or an already published book, learn how to use your strengths to develop a marketing strategy that fits you and reaches your potential readers.

3. To learn ways to build your “platform.”  Whether you land a contract with a traditional publisher or go indie, you need to learn how to effectively reach your audience. Our faculty panel will share what works (and doesn’t) and answer your questions.

2. To take advantage of the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a faculty member for a paid critique or marketing consultation for just $25. Barb Haley, our registrar, says: “Learning in a classroom is awesome, but to have someone give specific feedback about your  writing is so valuable. There have been conferences where I’ve scheduled 3-4 of these!” Space is limited and available on a first-come basis. Your manuscript (first 7 pages and a one-sheet) or marketing questions (and more click here) must be submitted by February 1.

1. Last but first, to hear from the Lord and recommit yourself to write to impact lives!

God can do anything, you know—far more
than you could ever imagine or guess or request
in your wildest dreams!
Ephesians 3:20 MSG

For more information and to register, click here.

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Looking to overcome winter doldrums and jumpstart this year’s writing?

A brand-new conference is coming up quickly this February 9-10 (Friday/Saturday) in Lansdale, PA (just off the north/south PA Turnpike) at Towamencin Mennonite Church (Friday afternoon) and Dock Mennonite Academy (Friday evening and all day Saturday). Friday night lodging at the Holiday Inn is $89 plus tax with roommate matching available to split the cost with one, two, or three other writers.

A small but highly qualified faculty will provide three inspiring keynotes, valuable 20-minute paid critiques and marketing consultations, a “Build Your Platform Panel,” and in-depth teaching.

Sarah Bolme, teaching a 4-hour learning lab Friday afternoon on Going Indie. Sarah is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace and the director of the Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA).

Karen Ball, teaching a 3-hour session on Taming Fiction Dragons. In her more than 30 years in publishing, Karen has built fiction lines for major publishers and worked with some of the best authors, including Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury.

Bill Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on Writing that Changes Lives. In his 35-plus years in publishing, Bill has worked with authors such as Mike Huckabee, Charles Swindoll, and Josh McDowell. He is an award-winning author of 7 books and senior editor at BroadStreet Publishing Group.

Jim Watkins, teaching a 3-hour session on The Five Rs of Nonfiction. Jim is an award-winning author of over 20 books and 2,000 articles. He has spoken across the United States and overseas.

Karen Whiting, teaching a 3-hour session on Developing a Personalized Marketing Strategy for Your Book. Karen is a freelance writer and award-winning author of 25 nonfiction books.

Feb flyer for webFriday evening,  in addition to Bill Watkins’ keynote, Christians Are Hateful – The Cultural Challenge for Today’s Christians, includes author interviews and a book signing. Bring your book(s) to sell and sign.

Click here for the conference flyer.

And for more info and to register click here.

Conference Bonus:

An extra bonus for conferees is to attend and participate in the Munce Christian Product Exposition (CPE) February 11-13 at Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA.

Munce, the largest association of independent Christian bookstores in North America, holds two CPEs each year, the second in Nashville, TN, in the fall.

It is a real privilege to come and interact with 100+ bookstore owners. Karen Whiting will do a special training at the CPE in how to make the most of this exciting opportunity including: 

1. There are several limited spots open to sign complimentary copies of books for retailers at the Sunday afternoon (4:30 – 5:30) author personality event. Authors need to provide 50-80 copies of their book to give retailers. This is a great opportunity to get your book in the hands of retailers who might choose to carry the book, or have you come to their store for an event. You can include your speaker one sheet, bookmarks, and other promotional materials.

2. Experience a book trade show. The exhibit floor is open on Monday and Tuesday plus there are workshops on marketing and other retail topics. You’ll see the latest in products and have the opportunity to talk to retailers and sales reps (you cannot interrupt the sales happening between retailers and sales people).

Click here for the schedule. If you’re interested in attending, email Karen at authorkarenwhiting@gmail.com.

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Angela Schans Head Shot 8X10Guest Blogger
Social Media Coach
Angela Schans

If you are like many authors who have started a blog or website, Facebook page or other social media profiles, you’re likely to now be wondering, “Why isn’t this working? Where is my active, engaged, and growing audience? Is this working like it’s supposed to? How can I optimize my efforts?”

At the Build a Strong Foundation for Your Online Platform Clinic I am teaching at the July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference you will receive a social media tune-up, overhaul, or kick-start, personally tailored to your current starting point and individual goals to make God’s answers accessible to the online world.

  • Get your social media platforms assessed.
  • Receive a point-by-point personalized agenda for your social media tune-up, start-up, or overhaul.
  • Spend class time with me by your side helping you with your social media renovations so that you can share His answer (as written in your book!) in the most effective way.

You may enter the class as a social media baby, but you will leave, a ROCKSTAR! Each day will begin with in-depth instruction on technical topics made simple including:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Algorithms
  • The nuts and bolts of YouTube production
  • how to design engaging and attractive graphics and videos to express His Answer in a professional and consistent tone with your book/brand

In my pursuit of becoming an author, I found myself tired and frustrated when my blogging and social media efforts were being viewed by 2-20 people in a week’s time.

It wasn’t until I unlocked the power of connecting various digital media tools to optimize my blog and social media accounts that my blogs finally got the thousands of daily visitors I had been longing to see.

At this year’s clinic, I am excited to share with a select group of Christian authors exactly what to do to move the needle for audience growth and professional digital development of their author platforms.

Having this ideal opportunity to assess each of my student’s current digital footprint and offer today’s BEST practices for maximizing their impact on the world-wide web is a thrill!

I’ve had the joy of helping others optimize digital success through personal coaching. Click here for testimonials of some of the people I’ve worked with. And check out their websites or YouTube channels to see the great impact their efforts are making.

I can’t wait to check out your website/ social media profiles for style, voice, professionalism, user friendliness, and appeal. I will also be investigating your current content creation process and sharing individualized techniques to offer tips to improve your online impact.

Together we will apply valuable online renovations so that the work you have put into your author platform actually WORKS for you!

We’ve extended the deadline for applying for my clinic through July 10.  You’ll find the application at http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/clinics.

I’ll also be teaching an early bird workshop on Wednesday, July 26, from 2:45 – 4:00. In “Demystifying Digital Design” you’ll learn how to design beautiful digital graphics to promote your book, brand, or website. I’ll share the finer points of digital design. What makes a message pop? What colors work and how can you choose them? Where can you get royalty free images to help illustrate your blogs, videos, graphics or books? How can you edit images? What font should you choose? In this workshop you’ll learn how to use PicMonkey to design or edit any picture you can imagine to help you “Write His Answer.”

God bless and I look forward to seeing you at this year’s Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference, July 26-29.


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Fact or fantasy?

All you have to do to be a successful writer is to sit down and write.

Well, yes, certainly you’ll never be a writer (successful or not) if you don’t write. But the days when all a writer needed to do was to write are history.

In today’s world it is essential that we master technology. Okay, we won’t master technology, but it is critical that we know the basics of how to use a computer. And that doesn’t mean just learning how to use Microsoft Word to create a professional looking manuscript that is properly formatted and has headers and page numbers. The wise and brave will learn how to use Scrivener. (Debbie Allen is teaching a 4.5 Wednesday afternoon early bird workshop on “Scrivener from 0-60: Get Comfortable, Get Writing” May 17 at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut the actual writing and learning how to use the great tools we now have is just part of what we need to do. I began writing on an old manual typewriter. Well I’m not as old as this antique typewriter although I do remember my grandfather had one in the basement. My first manuscripts for publication were created on a blue Royal with keys that got tangled when I typed too fast.

Selectric type ballThe introduction of the Selectric typewriter and that marvelous spinning ball greatly increased my productivity. And to be honest, when computers were introduced, I was not at all interested in giving up my trusted Selectric and learning something new. (I really didn’t think I was smart enough!)

Even today, when my computer is causing me grief, I admit I almost long for the good old days of a yellow legal pad and pencil!

The greatest struggle though is all the other stuff that has become essential. Yep! I mean the “building a platform” stuff. While it’s exciting to be able to write something and publish it ourselves as a blog or ebook, the challenge of finding readers is daunting.

Both the May 17-20 Colorado and July 26-29 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference will provide help with


     Creating a Brand

                    Marketing Plans

           Public Speaking

                       Social Media How-to

     Website Evaluation

Below is a chart of Colorado faculty members who are available for one-on-one appointments to help you grow your platform and thus your writing ministry.


Important: For a PDF of the above chart click here.
The links are live in the PDF version.

Father, help us to embrace today’s opportunities to reach the world with the words You’ve entrusted to us. When we feel confused and overwhelmed by all we need to learn and to do, help us to trust You. Thank You for Your promise:

Now you have every grace and blessing; every spiritual gift and power for doing his will are yours during this time of waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:7 TLB


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