Tuesday, March 27, 2012

April Platform Challenge

One of the most important tools for a writer trying to find success in today's media environment is a strong platform. That's part of the reason I devote so much time to the topic on MNINB. However, I've been thinking about how to get even more hands on with helping writers build their online platforms, and I think I know the solution: A month-long platform building challenge.

Here's how it will work:
  • On April 1, I'll post a task for writers to complete that day.
  • Each day afterward, through the month of April, there will be a new task for writers to complete on that day.
  • At the end of the month, every writer who completes the challenge should have a stronger platform and be able to say they took part in the first ever April Platform Challenge.
Plus, there will be a prize!
Everyone who completes the challenge will be able to enter a raffle to receive a signed copy of the 2012 Writer's Market Deluxe Edition that I edited. The book contains more than 200 pages of articles on the business of writing, thousands of publishing opportunities, a one-year subscription to WritersMarket.com (which lists more than 8,000 publishing opportunities, updated throughout the year), and access to an exclusive webinar I did on platform building. In other words, it's a pretty helpful resource.



What do you need to do?
Just show up and complete each activity by noon on May 3. When you complete an activity, just comment on that particular post that you're done (and feel free to leave any extra comments as well).

Everyone who wishes to be entered into the raffle (for completing the challenge) will need to send me an e-mail at robertleebrewer@gmail.com by 11:59 p.m. on May 5 with the subject line: April Platform Challenge Completed.

Please include your name, mailing address, and e-mail addy in the e-mail message.

(NOTE: I'll be glad to take your information now, but the raffle is for writers who have completed the challenge--so it would be best to send me an e-mail on or after April 30, though before May 5 at 11:59 p.m., Atlanta, Georgia, time.)

Who is allowed to participate?
Anyone.

That said, this challenge will probably be most helpful for writers. And the challenge is aimed more at beginning/intermediate platform builders than to the advanced set. But anyone and everyone is welcome to participate.

Any other questions?
Drop them in the comments below.

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98 comments:

Khara House said...

Oh ... I am so in on this.

Mateeka Lanee' said...

This looks fun! Can't wait to get started.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

That's great! I'm hoping it will be fun and helpful.

BarbaraS said...

Looks like the sort of challenge I need!

Kiril "The Mad Macedonian" Kundurazieff said...

Building a "Platform", "Omline Presense", "Attracting na Audience", what ever you care to name it....has been the one thing I've had the hardest time mastering.

I've been blogging for a decade, and while an old Bike blog effort didn't pan out, despite frequent praise, and attention, there has been something closer to my creative writing heart that has shown potential, all along, but wasn't until Jan. 2010 that I gave it its own blog on which to expand, and shine...

My Cat blogging....or I should say, the blogging of my Cat Mr. Nikita, and his young protege, Elvira Mistress of Felinity. :-D

Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat (Click on my name) is unique within the evolving Cat Blogging Community, especially with regards to the content of its sdebar, and has been praised more than a few times, but gets few regular readers, getting more attention from Spambots, and Googlers.

Trying to build connections hasn't worked out, as sending fliers to various organizations never were responded to, Nikita's Facebook page gets no comment, and we gave up on Twitter completely as a waste of time to deal with.

I am on LinkedIn, and have been invited to a red carpet charity event, and been offered opportunities to review books, and products, and the blogging has been praised, which all shows that there ARE those who see our potential....

That being said I know I am unskilled, and ignorant, in so many areas.

I'm unemployed, and recovering from a broken ankle, uncertain where things are going even in the next 3 months, but if there is even a possibility I could learn something that could help me, I'm interested in trying this

I know what I have, and what I have the potential to accomplish, as a writer, I just need to find ways to take positive steps forward...

Sorry for ths ramble...

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

Yea! Maybe now I'll know what building a platform REALLY means.

Diana said...

Robert - is this the website to "attend to" or another? Count me in!! And thank you!!

Anne Marie said...

I need this! Thank you and God bless.

Anne Marie :)

Julia Tomiak said...

Thank you Robert! I will participate and share in this wonderful exercise! Great idea!

F.T. Bradley said...

Looking forward to this!

Linda H. said...

Sounds interesting but I'll wait to see the details before I commit. As far as posting by noon, that would be 6 PM here in Germany, shortly after I arrive home. I'm not sure how that will work for me.

With PAD and this new challenge, all of us--including you--will be busy in April.

Fred Shrum, III said...

Sounds great...retweeting now.

Simone Says... said...

sounds like a plan. although i'm tired of hearing "you need a platform" - what happened to the days of "you need to have a great story"?

hopefully i can keep up...

Nicholas Tozier said...

Perfect timing! Just kicked off a new personal website. I'm in.

Anne Kimball said...

Really looking forward to this. Much needed. Thanks for doing this!

Laura T. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Laura T. said...

Sounds interesting and helpful. Please count me in.

R. Kojetin said...

This sounds like the kick in the proverbial motivation I need.

Lei said...

I've no idea what a platform is, but, hey, I'm in!

I'm joining the April PAD Challenge,too. Gotta push myself. :)

PoetColette said...

Way cool!
I'll give it a whirl!

Thanks, Not Bob.

blancolin said...

I want to participate in this and I hope you'll start with the assumption that some of us (like me) have no idea what it takes to begin.

Mamaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
April Galloway said...

I am in, (after all you named it after me) it's not like I have anything else going on....but I promise to put it high on my priority list. (Sorry, I signed in with the wrong ID.

Becky BraveHeart said...

Excellent! Just yesterday I pulled out my tepid and go-nowhere blog to decide whether to revamp it or start fresh and here you are, offering to walk me through it, holding my hand the whole way! I love it when a plan comes together! (rubs hands together enthusiastically - letting go of yours just long enough to do so.)

Becky

Romelle Broas said...

What a great idea! I'm excited to give it a try. I have no doubt that this will be a great exercise! I'm so glad that I ran into your blog in just the right time!

Madeline Sharples said...

Robert, I love this idea. I'm definitely in. My platform already seems to be working, but it always helps to try something new.
Thanks.

the whatnot shop said...

I am so in need of this! Looking forward to it - and thank you!!!
:-)

Rachel Z Cornell said...

Robert,
Would you give us an example of what a daily platform building task might look like?
Rachel

Claudette Young said...

Oh yeah, count me in on this one. I need to do this right now. I have too many projects waiting to go to the finish line where a platform will really help them sail away.

This may be grueling, Robert, but this couldn't have come at a better time.

Thanks.

Katy Bennett said...

I would love to but not sure if my current study load will allow me to. Will drop in on the 1st and get a better idea. Best of luck with this and april pad.

Are the tasks designed to be fairly quick to complete?

Katy

vivinfrance said...

I don't think I know what a platform is, nor even if I want one: PAD is maybe as much of a challenge as I can cope with. But I'll look in and see what it's all about. PAD prompts don't arrive here until late in the day, so by the time I'm ready to post there are zillions of others to scroll through.

Marcia G. said...

Yowza! Yes, I really need help with the platform thing, but adding it in with PAD?!? April is crammed with our Missouri state writers conference too - and my birthday. But I'll sign up and wait to breathe in May.

Beth Stilborn said...

I'm going to definitely check this out, and do what I can! Thanks for this challenge, Robert.

Sharon Stanley said...

I'm in! and it comes at just the right time for me. Thanks for doing this, I'm looking forward to it.

Lauren Miller said...

Sounds like a great idea, I'm in! Do you know yet how early the challenges will be posted each day? The noon deadline has me a bit worried for writers like me who still have day jobs (or no touch-screen phones for social media).

Thanks for setting this up and I'll be checking in later this week.

Felt Tip Fountain Pen said...

Not Bob, You = Mad Genius

Mariya Koleva said...

Yes, I'm in! Hope to learn a lot and get the courage to do it.
Best, M.

Sarah in Maine said...

Looking forward to April. The first one I did was fun and a good challenge. Bring on the prompts !
Peace,
Siggi in Downeast Maine
PS...I finally figured out how to add the gravatar...my cat Bianca !
Look for the cute little white face looking back at you ☺.

Anonymous said...

I need to remind people that I am
Siggi in Maine
not Sarah in Maine...
Google had a blip and now I don't know how to change it.
Peace,
Siggi in Downeast Maine

PSC said...

Oh yeah! Brand new blog... still learning the ropes -- could definitely benefit from this... if I can keep up! :-| . Looking forward to April with anticipation and trepidation. :-/

Pamela Toler said...

Daily assignments sounds like a good way to nibble at an often overwhelming project.

imunuri said...

Wonderful idea, RObert. I'm on board with gratitude :)

Christen Price said...

looking forward to this challenge!

Alecia @ Hoobing Family Adventures said...

Sounds like a great challenge!

stanalei said...

I'll play.

Sally Bair said...

Perfect timing, since my self-published book will be out there in ebook format come April 1. And a sequel in print and ebook by June 1. I'm excited about this assignment. Thanks you.

Linda M F said...

Thanks for providing this opportunity.

Laura Howard said...

Sounds like just the ticket for me since when I hear the term platform I think "I'll do that some other time". Thanks.

E.B.Pike said...

Yay! Thanks for posting this contest/opportunity. I'm a n00b blogger and need all the help I can get! I feel like I'll be learning from a master ;)

Brooke Ryter said...

I am with F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer, I have been trying to build an online platform, but by the seat of my pants guessing along the way. I will approach this as if I am following a guide through a jungle of unknowns. You always have helpful things on this site.
Thanks!!

Muddy said...

OK, Not Bob, I'm in! I'm still working on getting my blog up and running, so I'm very new. I can use all the help I can get! Thanks for offering this!

Muddy

Claudine Giorio said...

Oh thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :) I need all the help I can get as a new writer.

Brandi Amara Skyy said...

yea!! My first writers challange! Count me in!!!!

Angela James said...

Sounds good, can't wait!

P.I. Barrington said...

I rarely participate in things like this but I think this one might be the one!

Delores Jefferson said...

This will give me the direction I need, one day at a time.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hi, Jane! This is a wonderful idea. ;o) I would like to help you spread the word by reposting your article (with permission) at our award-winning collaborative writers' blog, Murderby4.blogspot.com.

Let me know if you'd like to do this,and I'll get it up on the site tomorrow or Sunday.

Best,

Aaron Lazar
www.lazarbooks.com

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Robert, sorry I called you Jane. LOL. Too long and complicated to explain, but humble apologies!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Aaron, yes, please feel free to share/link! (That goes for anyone else too!) And don't worry about calling me, Jane--I've been called worse. :)

For others who are stressing about rules and such, I just want to let you know not to worry too much about the rules. I call these guidelines for a reason--to avoid stressing people out. If anyone's schedule gets hectic during the month, I'm seriously not going to worry over whether you did everything specifically on a certain day--or did three things on one day.

This is meant to be more fun and helpful than competitive and stressful. See everyone bright and early on April 1!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Wonderful, Robert. I'll send you a link when it's up. My email is aaron.lazar at yahoo dot com if you'd like to connect that way. Thanks and good luck!

Bo Henley said...

Wow! This sounds great. Looking forward to the first challenge.

Amy Morgan said...

April is going to be a ridiculously busy month - look forward to trying to keep up with the platform challenge!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Robert, your piece is up on Murderby4. Here's the link: http://www.murderby4.blogspot.com/2012/03/april-platform-challenge-by-robert-lee.html

Can't wait to watch this unfold!

Rebecca Barray said...

Sweet! Just what I need to improve my platform!!

Mariana @ The Daily Spark said...

How does it work? Do we post on your blog?by email? please post some detailed instructions.
thank u!

Phillip A. Ellis said...

I'm going to give it a go!

trish said...
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Diane Stortz said...

Not having to do one thing each day, just get everything done, could make this work for me. Will read along at the very least! Thanks for doing this!

Martha said...

I am now following you via GFC. It list me as my business Martha's Digital Creations because that's how Google sees me but I am also a writer. I currently have three blogs I write for but still need to sit up my actual writers blog. I'm looking froward to the challenge and as long as it doesn't take long to do each step, I should be able to hang in there since my day's are pretty full already.

Catherine said...

Looking forward to getting started. This will be my first ever challenge.I started a food blog earlier this year, but got discouraged with so little following.Have some other ideas, so I'm hoping this new challenge will be the motivator.

Jen McPeek said...

I've been needing a kick in the pants to get restarted with blogging. I'm in :)

hcfbutton said...

How long do you expect these writing challenges to take? I'm finishing up a course this month (wish you were doing this in May instead) as well as working full time (away from my desk). I'd love to know how to budget my time for it.

patientdreamer said...

Okay I would love to join in, but not sure I can keep up.... will see how I go and maybe just pop in from time to time. All the best.

S.E.Ingraham said...

I so need this so will try to keep up as well ... great idea Robert!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

In case, folks come to this specific post for Day 1, here is Day 1's post: http://robertleebrewer.blogspot.com/2012/04/april-platform-challenge-day-1.html

Richard Fenwick said...

Great idea, Robert, and I'm done with day one. The exercise has already pointed out a small flaw, in that I've tried to minimize my military career for some reason. Not a good idea, it played a large part in my life. Thanks for running this challenge. I'm going to share each day on my blog at http://ruiningsterner.com/april-2012-platform-challenge/day-one-who-am-i/

Mimsie said...

Valjean
I'm done. First time I've written honest feelings regarding how I feel about myself. I do know writing is my antidepressant. Thanks.

Ginny19 said...

I'm "IN"

Ann-Margret said...

Robert, do we need to leave a comment after each day's challenge or can we just follow along and then e-mail you at the end?

By the way, since I spend so much time on my computer (and since I don't need to e-mail or upload my answers), I decided that, for this challenge, I would break open a new notebook and take on the challenge the old fashioned way: using pen and paper! Should be a nice change of pace to write this way. Thanks! :)

PSC said...

OK... I forgot about this part of the challenge! But, I am done -- sort of... for now.... :-]

JRWoodward said...

Name (as used in byline): Victoria and John Woodward
Position(s): Writers

Skill(s): Writing, Editing, Home Computer Security and Repair, Catering

Social media platforms: Twitter, Kindleboards, James Randi Educational Foundation, Gawker Media

URLs: http://www.MacTamicksFinestScotchLimited (deeply unfinished)

Skipperhammond@gmail.com said...

Discipline. Daily task. Just what I need.

F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

Day 1 behind me. Yea!

Heather Marsten said...

This just came through to me, so hoping that I can complete the tasks -

Anonymous said...

Count me in. Saving the lengthy commentary for later.

Wilno Station Inn said...

Johanna says day one task completed. Makes me realize I have a full life in addition to my writing. Fun!

Anonymous said...

Like Heather, I am also a day late in receiving notices, but count me in as a math teacher off on a tangent of poetry.
Sally

Cameron said...

Very glad I decided to stop by the blog today. Looks like an interesting challenge. Will follow along for a while (at least).

Esther Bradley-DeTally said...

I'm in on this - Esther Bradley-DeTally

Pete M said...

So glad I found this site! This is exactly what I need

Rebekah said...

I'm in! A little late to the party, but I'm definitely in.
Thanks, Robert.

Rebekah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
F.S. (Sharon) Vander Meer said...

Day 2 done. This is an interesting exercise. Makes a body think.

Roberta said...

I'm going to catch up.

Denise Stanley said...

I'm late, but I'm in! Thanks for doing this.

Laotz00 said...

Hello There,
Just found the link to your blog from one discussion group that I am with. Hoping to still be included in the challenge.And thank you!

Kate TX said...

Just found out! Perfect timing, as I am just entering month three of a first-time commitment to a daily writing schedule (in spite having written two books, plus columns, etc in the pre-electronic day). I'll scramble to catch up on the first few assignments, though. I've been working on getting a stash of a dozen or so blog posts (right terminology?) before I try to go on line with it. As I said, perfect timing. Thanks for taking your time to do this!

Linda said...

How do I get started. I am excitted to learn, definitly a newbie?