Thursday, March 7, 2013

What's Working for Your Platform? (Call for Submissions)

Last April, I led a challenge for writers interested in kick-starting their writer platforms. Each day, there was a new task to be done that day. After 30 days, writers had a better handle on their platform-building efforts (or at least that was the plan--and what I've been told). If you haven't yet, please start taking the platform challenge today as an independent study.

If you have taken the challenge (whether in April or later on independently), I'd love to hear from you about what's been working or not working over the past year for you. In April, I plan to share guest posts from Platform Challenge veterans about their specific accomplishments and obstacles.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I'd love to hear everything. And the posts don't have to specifically call out the challenge. Rather, I (and I have a feeling Not Bob readers) want to know specifically what's working for you, why you think that is, and how others might be able to duplicate it. Or what's not working for you, why you think that is, and then maybe we can get comments from readers.

My hope is that as a group we'll gain a few things from this exercise:
  1. Learn something new. We should never quit trying to learn new things, and the best way to accomplish that is by sharing our collective knowledge.
  2. Find inspiration. I've found over the years that the best way to spark new ideas is to look outward and then spin what I see around in my head. I'm inspired by the work of others.
  3. Build community. Last April, community sprouted in various ways, including the very cool Wordsmith Studio. While it's great to continue strengthening that community, I'm sure this project will bring in new faces as well.
  4. Increase traffic. Guest posting is a great way to increase traffic and find new readers. This is a great opportunity to attract new readership.
  5. Strengthen our platforms. Every small step forward, every post, every new connection, every bridge built--it all helps strengthen our writing careers. Here's a mantra: Don't burn bridges, build them.
How to Participate
This is the easy part. To participate, please just send me an e-mail at with the subject line: Lessons Learned Guest Post. In your message, include the following information:
  • One or two ideas for what you might share or cover in your guest post. Don't be afraid to throw out some crazy ideas. Relate it to your personal experience but remember that your experience should help others (that is, not just a self-serving post).
  • Your name, e-mail, URL to website and/or blog. This information often goes missing when I make these requests. Crazy, I know, but true.
  • Brief note about yourself. Don't worry if you have very little experience and don't try to over-inflate. I won't reject guest posts based on this note, but it does help me understand who you are and where you're coming from. Try to keep these notes down to 3 or 4 sentences in one paragraph--after your guest post idea(s).
What I Expect
I'm not sure how many people will participate, so I'm not sure how the posts will be distributed through the month (and/or if they'll continue into May and beyond). However, I do expect the posts to run around 300-800 words in length with an image or two (even if just a head shot of you).

Based off how many pitches I receive and when I receive them, we'll figure out deadlines. Some folks will surely be ready to go at the beginning of the month, while others will need more time. I'm flexible, and we'll shoot to have everything spread appropriately throughout the month.

This is a volunteer effort (on my end and yours), so don't put too much pressure on yourself (or others). The main thing is to be helpful, encouraging, and have fun with the process.

I hope you'll consider joining the effort!


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Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

Hi Robert.
So glad to be the first person at the comment space. I just shooted a mail to you. This is really a good idea. Keep going.
One suggestion here. please take out the word verification from here, so that the readers can easily post their comments here.
I am
Phil @ Philipscom
An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good
And My Bio-blog

Unknown said...

Word verification has become necessary on most blogs to prevent spam from filling the comments sections.

This sounds interesting. I am going to have to look at the platform challenge and see if it is something I should add to my to-do list.

Unknown said...

Hiyah, Robert..

I've sent you an email with my ideas.. and I'd like to submit an article for your site. In fact, I'm going to jump off the platform.