If there’s one word that fits perfectly with an author, it’s FREE. Here are five free services that can help build your author platform.
Let’s get this one out of the way. It was always going to appear on the list, wasn’t it? I didn’t like Twitter at first. I didn’t think I would sign up, but eventually gave in to the Twitter Angels.
Can a writer live without Twitter? Yes, but you’ll miss out on the impact it can have. It’s a quick and easy way to interact with, find, and get on the radar of existing fans, future readers, and industry influencers.
Here are some articles to help you get started with Twitter:
- Are Your Tweets Crap? (my post)
- The Secret To Twitter That Can’t Be Taught (Jane’s post)
- Writer’s Guide to Twitter by Debbie Ohi
I have a serious love affair with Buffer. It allows you to automate and schedule your Tweets and Facebook messages. The main benefit of Buffer is how it spreads out your messages.
Now, be warned, automated marketing can be dangerous. However, if you approach it properly—as a way to keep your sanity during busy periods and to better time your messages—it’s a wonderful tool. If you rely on it solely, and never interact, you may start to look and sound like a bot on social media, which your friends/followers will be able to detect from a mile away.
Here are some articles for the Buffer Beginner:
- How a Strategic Marketer Uses Buffer (my post)
- How & Why I Use Buffer (Duct Tape Marketing)
- A Month With Buffer (ProBlogger)
If my love for Buffer is big, my love for Evernote is unhealthy. Writers need to stay on top of their information and be organized, which is a big part of creating a successful platform.
There are many tools, apps, and virtual notebooks to choose from, but for me it’s Evernote all the way. It allows you to link your laptop, tablet, and phone, and you have access at all times.
It’s free to start (you would have to use it a lot to need the paid version), easy to use, and has a host of accompanying apps. Here are some articles to get you started:
- How I Keep My Author Platform Organised With Evernote (my post)
- 10 Tips For Using Evernote (ReadWriteWeb)
- Evernote For Writers (Christopher Gronlund)
- Capture Your Ideas With Evernote (Jeff Goins)
This is an e-mail newsletter provider that Jane has often recommended, and I recommend it too. You can use MailChimp for free as long as you’re under 2,000 names; then you have to choose a pay plan. Find out more below:
- 7 Reasons Why Mailchimp Is Better (Author Media)
- Getting Started With Mailchimp (MailChimp’s own guide)
- Why We Use Mailchimp (WP Beginner)
Rather than check each social media platform individually, keep Hootsuite open all day and have everything update before your eyes.
It’s not just efficiency, though—it’s the extra features too, such as tweet scheduling, campaign strategy, and analytics showing how effective your posts are. Find out more below.
- How I Use Hootsuite (Marian Schembari)
- How Hootsuite Can Help Busy Writers (Shari Lopatin)
- Hootsuite Quick Start Guide (from HootSuite)
I’d love to learn about free services that you use. Please share in the comments.
Matthew Turner (aka Turndog Millionaire) is a Marketing Strategist with an MA in Advertising & Marketing from Leeds University Business School. As an aspiring author, he blogs about book marketing, strategic planning for aspiring authors, and how new marketing techniques can be used in the world of publishing.