Class 6

Reflection: Writing Practice

  1. How often did you write during this course? (Average number of times a week)
  2. How many moments occurred that you wanted to write but didn’t?
  3. List any barriers that prevented you from writing more:
  4. What helps you in your writing? (Deadlines, atmosphere, schedule, collaboration, etc.)
  5. What are your long-term goals for writing?
  6. List one writing goal you want to focus on in 2011:
  7. Write 3 action steps to help you achieve this goal:


Topic: Building a Platform

  • Attract readers for your writing
  • Project professionalism
  • Attract interest from agents & editors

Consists of:

  • Web presence (website/ blog)
  • Public Speaking/ Readings
  • Classes you teach
  • Media contacts you’ve established
  • Articles you’ve published
  • Professional Organizations
  • Networking
  • Volunteering
  • Hosting events
  • Offer services such as Coaching or Consulting
  • Offer to write guest posts on popular blogs
  • Mailing list (at least 2000 names)
  • Newsletter
  • Be a joiner
  • Getting attention from local + national media
  • Send press releases about yourself to media
  • Offer to be interviewed
  • Post videos on YouTube

Platform =

Topic + Niche (specialization/ expertise) + targeted Audience


3 Types of Platforms:

  • Authoritative
  • Niche
  • Thoughtful

Your Brand (AKA Identity):

  • Should communicate your expertise (you know who you are & what you offer)

Presenting Your Platform to others:

  • Tagline
  • Signature
  • Bio
  • Mission Statement
  • Headshot
  • Testimonials
  • Website URL – your name + identity
  • One-page Platform Statement


Recommended Reading:

Katz, Christina.  Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform.  Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 2008.



Activity:  Brainstorm – What is your Platform?

  1. What topic are you passionate about? (A topic that you loved 10 years ago, still love now, and will love in 10 years)
  2. Do you do anything that already brings a following, network, or fan base? (Does not have to be related to writing)
  3. Is there an aspect of your past (personal, professional, hobbies) that you could bring to your platform – an area of expertise?
  4. What audiences are you already apart of? (Writers, gardeners, world travelers, wine enthusiasts, mom, wife, best friends)

Now – put it together –Topic + Niche (expertise) + Audience

Your Platform is _____________________________.



Travel Writing Associations:

Local  — Writing Organizations:

Local chapter– American Marketing Association:


Topic — Web 2.0:

  • Social Networks – ex. Facebook
  • Social Content – ex. Wikipedia
  • Social Media – ex. YouTube
  • Social News/ Bookmarking – ex. Delicious

Stay ahead of the trends:

** Guidebooks for Twitter + Facebook, Mashable Awards



Activity:  Exploring Web 2.0 Choose 2 Web 2.0 sites listed below and think of ways you can use them to build your platform as a writer.


Groupon, Foursquare, Digg, Tumblr, Vimeo, Linked In, Twitpic, Tweetdeck, Kickstarter, Squidoo, Slideshare, Scribd, Delicious, BlinkList, Feedburner, Ning, Feedster, Furl, Tinyurl



Readings – Travel Writing Articles


Discussion — Your Next Trip



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