Your Author Online Platform and Social Networks – Blog Page Views and Twitter Followers

By Karen Cioffi

Your Online Platform – Blog Page Views and Twitter Followers (numbers count)

Online marketing and social networking go hand-in-hand. Content shareability and visitor engagement is what counts with search engines.

According to Chuck Sambuchino, in his book “Create Your Writer Platform,” an author’s platform and its ‘reach’ is an important factor when seeking an agent or publisher.

Take note that this is not after a book is published; it’s when the author is looking for a contract.

Sambuchino advised that “the size of your desired book deal” is a factor in the size of your author online network realm. So, if you’re seeking a big-time New York agent or publisher, with a hefty advance, you’ll need to have a hefty social network in place and substantial traffic to your website.

There were five categories mentioned in the book: blog page views; twitter followers; newsletter subscribers; public speaking appearances/audience; and sales of self-published books.

If you’re a new author just joining the writing and publishing ranks, you may be taken aback at the thought of the book marketing strategies that need to be in place before you even have a contract. Well, welcome to the author’s world.

This article will cover the first two categories.

Blog Page Views

Under this category keep in mind that your social networks, including the groups you belong to, play a factor in the numbers. You need to ‘share’ your posts to help bring traffic.

Sambuchino suggests that 20,000 views a month is a notable amount. This is the lowest amount mentioned. Twenty thousand views a month. For most authors this is a significant amount.

If you’re a writer and you’ve been utilizing online marketing to create and build your author platform and presence you know how difficult it is to garner 20,000 blog views a month. It takes a lot of marketing strategies, time, and effort.

So, if you’re at the 20,000 mark, congratulations.

Next is ‘very notable.’ This number is 100,000.
If you’re at the 500,000 mark, which is considered “impressive,” WOW. You can go for any agent or publisher you like.

Twitter Followers

Next up is Twitter and 5,000 followers are considered notable. For Twitter, this isn’t difficult to do . . . if you don’t care about who you’re connected with. But, if you want followers who have certain criteria, then reaching 5,000 will take a bit of work.

Let me explain what I mean about some people having a certain criteria.

If you have followers who curse or use vulgar language and you’re a children’s writer/author, you should to be choosy as to who is associated with your Twitter account. Or, you may be a Christian writer, the same would apply.

How about if you’re a writer and marketer, would it be effective or beneficial to your other followers to connect with a winery, a real estate service, a sports enthusiast?

Another scenario that happens is the individual who wants to connect, but has tweets in a foreign language. In this case you have no idea what’s being said. Would it be wise to connect?

One other questionable element of getting ‘followers’ is the use of ‘unethical’ services that will get you 25,000 or 50,000 followers for a fee. Would this be a good thing to do just to have the numbers? Do you think you’d have any control over who will be included in the thousands of followers?

Getting the numbers isn’t that difficult, unless you have criteria in place to keep your connections G rated and focused.

Very notable in this category is 15,000 – impressive is 50,000.

Bottom Line

It’s pretty simple – numbers matter. While you shouldn’t be losing sleep over it, you should be working toward building a 'notable' online platform, at the very least.


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Dr John Yeoman said...

I'm all in favour of building a platform, Karen. It can introduce you to some nice people. (Isn't that how we met? :)) But I totally disagree with Sambuchino that 'if you’re seeking a big-time New York agent or publisher, with a hefty advance, you’ll need to have a hefty social network in place and substantial traffic to your website'. Some agents still have integrity and will judge a work on its merits, not its author's fan club.

And if you have 500,000 blog views a month, which Sambuchino considers 'impressive', you'd be totally mad to approach an agent or publisher. You could make a ton more money by indie publishing your book. Why beg for 15% of the net from a trade publisher, who'd make you wait 18 months before publication and have you do all the marketing yourself anyway, when you could collect 70% at Amazon at once?

In short, Sambuchino is offering bad advice. Is he, by any chance, selling a course in social platforming?

Karen Cioffi said...

John, very well put. And, yes, that's how we met. :)

I tend to agree with you on this one. If you have those kind of numbers self-pubbing would be a breeze. And, unless you're a heavy-hitter site, it's really, really hard to get those kind of numbers.

I know when I read his book, I was taken aback when I saw those numbers.

But, there are still those authors who would rather be traditionally published. For those authors having high numbers will be a benefit. Publishers want their authors to have a strong social foundation.

I don't think Sambuchino is selling a course on social platforming. :)