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The Author Platform Trap

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Does building your author platform feel like this sometimes?

I’m trying to build my author platform from scratch. I guess how else would I build it but from the beginning right? The problem I have is I have 10,000 ideas and no time.

Right now it is 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night and I’m just starting my daily writing. I usually write during my boy’s nap time, but my youngest was fussy today and didn’t sleep his usual couple of hours. Like most days something came up and my writing saw the short end of the stick.

I know, boo hoo me.

I did have time to listen to a short podcast today and found a system that I have to try to get my 500 daily words written. In yesterday’s post I linked to Jeff Goins’ podcast The Portfolio Life and how I wanted to take on his challenge to write 500 words per day.

In today’s episode¬†3 Writing Habits, Blogs, and Books You Need to Succeed as a Writer Jeff talked about his Three-Bucket System and how it can help any author hit their daily word goals.

The Three-Bucket System

Bucket One is idea capture. If it crosses your mind you have to have a system to get it down so you won’t lose it. I think I have this one covered with my Google docs system I have set up.

Bucket Two is write your 500 words at a certain time everyday to start building that muscle. Here is where I am struggling because my days can be so hit or miss in terms of what time I have available to focus and write.

The one thing I’m counting on is my two boys are getting into a regular sleep cycle and this weekend we are going to move our youngest out of our bedroom and in with his older brother. I imagine the first few days or weeks might be hard, but once we get them down at the same time every night and they sleep through the night, cue the bells and rejoice.

I know I have to find the time today whenever I can, but once I can safely count on having at least a couple of hours at night free to focus and write it will be a game-changer. At least that is what I’m telling myself.

The Third Bucket is to edit what you wrote. Jeff said he usually edits what he wrote the day before so that it has time to marinate and he can come at it with a clear and concise mindset.

I think I can do this.

The Bigger Author Platform Problem

The problem is writing 500 words per day is not my only goal. I want to write Kindle books. To do this I need to get 1,000 to 1,500 words down on a daily basis.¬†That is the author platform trap I’m thinking about.

I need to write content to build my author platform. However, can I have a platform if I don’t have any books to build it on top of? No sir.

Picks and Shovels

The other issue I’ve come to recognize is I love the digital marketing side of this platform building. Learning the best tips, tactics and strategies to build your email list, optimize your SEO and upgrade your content marketing is fun.

I know some of this is learning in and of itself is enjoyable and some is these pro’s who I have been studying make it their business to be persuasive and keep you on their sites longer than most.

I don’t want to fall into the trap of wanting to be a gold miner and spending all my time learning how to sell picks and shovels.

How to Escape the Trap

So what to do?

I won’t try to do everything. I will pick one thing and focus on it until I have feedback that it will work. That one thing is I’m going to join My 500 Words.

I want to write Kindle books, absolutely. I need to learn the nuts and bolts of digital marketing, hell to the yes.

In the end though I want to be a great writer. Not a good writer who can push out Kindle books like a machine. Not a OK writer who has the most optimized site in the history of self-publishing.

No, I want to be a great writer and if those other areas suffer for now that is OK. I want to look back on my career and know that I did everything possible to maximize my talent.

My author platform will get built. It just needs to be built on a foundation of excellent writing.

Published in Author Platform


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