The Benefits of Building a Writing Platform

If you decide to build a platform — to create a brand and connect with others, you’ll see breakthroughs with your writing you never would have imagined.

Writing Platform
Photo credit: mpclemens (Creative Commons)

After six years of slaving away, I finally decided to quit my old blog and start a new one. When I did that, things really started to take off. Part of it was luck. Part of it was, I’m sure, God’s grace. And another part was a lot of hustle.

But in eight short months, my writing was reaching more people than it ever had before. I don’t share this to brag, but to illustrate the power of a platform. Every writer, artist, and communicator should do this. It’s essential to your message getting heard.

The best time to be a writer

This is an amazing time to pursue your passion and live your dream. Think about it: You, the writer, can now create a destiny for yourself that was never before possible. Amazing, right? Here are some of the opportunities that await you:

I used to be afraid of rejection. So I waited for the gatekeepers to pick me, to choose my work. Now, fear is no longer something that controls me. Why? Because I stopped waiting and started creating.

Sure, I still struggle with fear (don’t we all?). But I’ve finally picked myself, and it’s fun to see the gatekeepers come to me — instead of me continuing to wait and plead to be published.

Change your mind

All of this began with a pledge, a simple understanding: I am a writer. I just need to write.

Of course, there’s no formula to becoming a writer, but believing in yourself is essential. It’s what makes a writer, a writer. Anne Lamott illustrated this the other day in a tweet:

If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Ignore your narcissism and bad self-esteem.

Being a writer just means that you write, not that you’re any good. The real trick is sticking with it long enough to show the world something.

You can follow a similar process as I did, or you can try something completely different. Find what works for you, but make no mistake. It all begins with a core belief in you.

Maybe you’ll see success sooner than those who came before you. Maybe it will take longer. But the bottom line is this: If you do the work, you’ll see the results.

This is a time of incredible opportunities for writers. It’s the Age of No Excuse — where anything is possible and the only person holding you back is you. Your opportunity is here. Don’t let it pass you by. And remember: It all begins with a change of mind.

Start here

  1. Declare yourself a writer. (My new eBook can help with this.)
  2. Start writing. Stop doubting. Live into your identity.
  3. Get better. Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you’re a good one. So start practicing.

What has building a platform for your writing gotten you? What do you hope it will give you? Share in the comments.

This post was an adaptation from my new eBook, You Are a Writer, which a lot of people are finding useful. It’s currently on-sale here.

55 thoughts on “The Benefits of Building a Writing Platform

  1. Well, I only launched my blog a month ago, but already I’ve experienced some benefits: 

    1) More confidence in my writing ability
    2) (Growing) confidence that I have something worth saying
    3) Regular writing practice, which I’m sure will make me a better writer
    4) The satisfaction that comes from encouraging even just a few people.

    I also hope to: find an audience, attract offers for writing work, and, most of all, put a stick of dynamite under mediocrity and the status quo.

    1.  I’m with you! I read some of the stuff I write and most of it is pretty good, but I really need to stop and breathe every so often because some of my thoughts just go and I’ve had to step back and find out what it was I was trying to get across to others when it’s not even clear to me!  

      1. Actually, that’s one of the most valuable pieces of writing advice I’ve read recently: think clearly and you’ll write clearly. I’m trying to practise it too. 🙂

  2. I agree with you, Jeff! :). After blogging for two years, I have realised that without blogging I wouldn’t be who I am today. Plus, it’s always encouraging to see an encouraging comment from your reader :). Building a platform takes time, though.

  3. Jeff, I found you through Michael Hyatt’s Platform Launch Team… and, I’m so glad I did.  You have much wisdom and I have much to learn!  

    Thank you!

  4. I absolutely love this, Jeff! Thank you. This was just the push I needed this morning. All day long I have to remind myself “I write, therefore I am a writer. I am a writer, therefore I must write.” Thanks so much for the inspiration to keep moving forward.


  5. I hope to gain the ability to impact a greater sphere of people to do the great things they are capable of.  Thanks for constantly driving home the thought that we need to be out creating and serving.

  6. Much of the time it’s all about perspective, how we see us. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). When we get our thoughts of our heart straight, then from that overflow speak (Luke 6:45), then our tongue seems to guide our life like a rudder of a ship (James 3:1-5).

    But Jeff, there is a question I’d be interested in reading a blog post about one day. Were there any barriers, any blocks, any plateaus that you hit along the way. Our blog is growing, but we are at a bit of one now – looking to push through. Was there any time when your growth slowed?

  7. Great post as always Jeff! Another book that really helped me grasp the democratizing power of the Internet for creatives was “The Long Tail” by Chris Anderson. It’s a great, informative read that nicely explains the power-shift toward those who develop and share quality content or ideas – such as youself!

  8. Building a platform has introduced me to a whole new world of wonderful writers that I didn’t even know existed beforehand. It has given me helpful feedback in regard to what I am saying that resonates for people, that will help me eventually write a book. It has made me more disciplined, a better writer, more generous and focused. Sometimes it feels like it takes forever to build one, and then I remember its only been nine months since I started being intentional. And your latest e-book is fabulous. Read it while driving through England last week.

  9. Just a couple of weeks ago I landed a freelance job with a new literary magazine that will be launching over the summer. And I didn’t apply for a thing. I just happened to get an email from an editor who had stumbled across my blog and thought my writing style would be perfect for the publication. 

    I’m still in shock that this works, and it’s great motivation for those days when I don’t feel like blogging…ever again 🙂

  10. Live into your identity – nicely put, I don’t think I’ve quite thought about it that way.  A much better statement than “fake it till you make it.”  

    Building a platform has compelled me to write more, to connect more, to engage with people I may never have known, and most importantly I feel like I am building a legacy, brick by brick (post by post).  Thanks Jeff.

  11. Life keeps changing for me and so I keep changing my platform.

    I struggle with the idea of only blogging about one basic subject.

    I have too much to say across too many subjects.

  12. Love this quote “Being a writer just means that you write, not that you’re any good. The real trick is sticking with it long enough to show the world something.”
    So often we don’t acknowledge we are writers because we figure we are not good enough yet. So we sabotage ourselves and our journey.
    Building my platform (blog) has helped me become a better writer and thinker. My next step is book publishing, whether traditional or self, teaching/training and public speaking.
    Great post

  13. I love what you said Jeff that ‘ fear is no longer something that controls me. Why? Because I stopped waiting and started creating.’ I have found this to be true…the more I blog my confidence in writing increases and I’m learning that the words that come from inside seem to give people hope, which is awesome:)  So I will stop doubting(even though doubts and fear still come) and live into my destiny… thanks so much Jeff for another great post!

  14. Having launched my first blog just over 6 months ago, I’m starting to see progress. I’m connecting with many other bloggers in the community. My writing style is evolving. I feel like I’m able to make a difference to more people. 

    So, building my platform has given me an audience. 

    What do I hope it gets me? I’m hoping for a steady income, maybe some speaking gigs, a more flexible work schedule. 

  15. It has literally changed my life. Already! But now that I have a platform and have really been crystallizing my message, I am a little worried that my domain and blog name aren’t the right fit for where I want to take my blog and my business. They’re close, but not perfect.

    But if I were to change things, I would have to start over completely, traffic-wise, right? I’m not a complete newbie anymore, but I have no idea how that works. Any advice for a big ol’ redirect?

      1. I’m right with you on that. The thing is, everything else is right (or easily tweakable) – just the name, really. But the name sets the tone. Not that I have nailed down the perfect one or anything, but I do know fewer characters would be a good idea. A bit wordy…

      2. I’m right with you on that. The thing is, everything else is right (or easily tweakable) – just the name, really. But the name sets the tone. Not that I have nailed down the perfect one or anything, but I do know fewer characters would be a good idea. A bit wordy…

  16. I would add that this works with other platforms as well – podcasting, public speaking, etc. In fact, I think that writing is the simpler one. Sitting behind a computer and hitting the publish button is intimidating, but nothing compared to speaking in front of a group.

  17. After 10 months of writing I only have one regular reader. I just realise that I don’t have a good platform. I’m at a point where motivation is difficult to find. I have stopped publishing every day and I’m writing on an e-book instead. Maybe that could be used as part of a platform?

  18. I have just realized that Deuceology has become a brand.  I didn’t really set out for it to be that, but it has.  One of my readers even told me what it was that I do the other day:  Make Others Think Twice About What Matters Most.  I think I am in a similar place to where you were 18 months ago.  I’m not burned out, but I’ve blogged long enough now to know there I can do better.  The question is do I pull the plug and start over like you or simply tweak the brand I’ve built?

    1.  everyone has a brand. the smart people do something meaningful with it.

      in regards to your question, do what feels right. i usually counsel people to not quit their blogs — it’s a last resort.

      1. Thanks. I’ve worked hard over the last year,particuliarly the last six months building what I have. I will probably just tweak it up some.

  19. After I decided to stop trying to just make money and truly help people is when things started to happen for me, I’ve focused on my platform and adding value and the doors have opened:

    I got a book deal from Sound Wisdom (without an agent or proposal),

    I’m speaking at:
    The Bam Social Media Conference in West Virginia at the end of this month,
    Eight days later I’ll be speaking at WordCamp 2012 in New York,
    I’m speaking at a conference in California and Texas in September,
    I’m speaking at the Hawaii Social Media Summit in October,

    I also have three clients that I’m coaching. I’m on Chris Guillebeau and Michael Hyatt’s luanch teams’s for their books.

    Does what you’re talking about work? Yes. It may not always be easy but you can build a platform!

  20. Building a writing platform has given me many new friends from around the country and around the world.  It’s also given me another place to make a difference in the world.  One of the cool things to come out of my blog recently is the possibility to build a house in Guatemala – all based on my blog.  When I see things like that happening I begin to realize how powerful a writing platform can become.

  21. I love this and literally laughed out loud- “Being a writer just means that you write, not that you’re any good.”  AMEN AND AMEN!!!!

    I’ve started to choose myself.  And it’s a great feeling!

  22. Jeff  – Do you know someone mentioned your site on the HAY HOUSE Facebook page? I am sure your following has been increased by this. The Hay House page is for people who have attending their writing workshops. That is how I found you. Thanks for the wonderful information and encouragement.  Je’

      1. Jeff – Being on Hay House and the word of mouth from them could really bring traffic to your site. As a matter of fact, I think I will go there right now and post something to drive more to your site. I think it will really help people. Again, Thank you for the grate info. Let’s really get your numbers up so other can spread their message and change the world – for the better of course. There is so much influence in the written word and the spreading of it. Je’

        1. Jeff – I just went to FB – It is “Hay House Writer’s Workshop” page. I did make a post and your book is being recommended. Be prepared! Good Going! Je’

  23. Since I became a writer I have had to turn down Oprah, Leno and Letterman. I have made millions and have had two supermodels accuse me of being gay because I refused to date them.

    I guess that when I said my pen is a mighty sword they misunderstood, or maybe my writing is still barely legible. 

  24. It has given me the chance to sharpen skills and to try new styles.  I am hoping to be able to share my poetry with the world right now.

  25. great post. I just started a blog and it took a lot of prodding and encouragements from blogs like Michael Hyatt’s to actually take the plunge. It now seems more then worth it and I have only begun this journey. I am not very knoweldable of “techniques” in writing and technology to make blogging successful but I feel I am bring wisdom of spiritually how communication works and therefore I posted my first blog post on this subject

    Spiritual Principles In Running A Successful Blog

    I look forward to continuing to read through your blog and learn more practically in writing in the blogosphere. 

  26. I also love your comment, “Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean you’re a good one. So start practicing.” 

    I have never thought of myself as a writer until I started my first blog.  I was amazed by the fact that eventually someone contacted me about a paid writing position for her blog.   Getting hit up like that is real encouragement.

    Now, with my newest project, I’m looking to build a platform for my latest project, – and I’ve started by writing a few articles.  Even though I don’t have people interacting or commenting much yet, it makes me feel good that people are spending more than 2 minutes on my site and I get about 400 people per month.  It’s not much, but to me it’s pretty amazing. 

    For the last year and a half or so I’ve been working on taking things to the next level – writing a book on my passion for growing food using electricity to boost yields and more.   I’m finding that writing a mostly technical book requires very different skillsets like keeping meticulous records for citations and the like.  Yet with your advice and advice from the Lean Startup movement, working on getting a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) out there is very helpful. 

    I just came across your site and I plan on sticking around for much longer!  Thank you for your inspiration!

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