From my house in Michigan, USA, I talked with Kenny MacKay in England on his podcast, Author Your Dream. Kenny’s podcast is for newer authors, because most author advice podcasts focus on highly successful, career novelists. Their advice doesn’t always work for new authors. For one, they have teams of PR, marketing, social media, etc…, AND they already have a sizable following. But how do you get a following in today’s world?
I had someone at a Christian publishing company give me advice before I even finished my novel. “Write a blog. Newer authors can build a solid following that way.” I took that to heart and started one. Then a podcaster in my neighborhood heard I was a writer with a blog and asked me to write blogs for him.
I told him, “I’m doing the blog to build an audience, more or less.”
He said, “Do a podcast too! You can reach even more people that way.”
I started Creative Ops with hardly a clue what I was doing. I don’t share download numbers with people who aren’t paying for that information, but I will tell you this. I’m in year 3 of my podcast, and this year alone I already have TEN TIMES AS MANY DOWNLOADS as I did my first year.
Having a podcast won’t immediately grow your audience, but as you share yourself with your guests’ audiences, you slowly start to pick up followers, listeners, and potential readers. I admit it, I started a podcast for selfish, capitalist reasons. BUT…
It Becomes Something More
After the first year of podcasting, I had met people who became friends, peers, colleagues, and collaborators. I just had coffee with TWO people I met purely because of my podcast. They’re both creatives. Come to think of it, most of the people I talk to regularly now are creatives. This silly blog, podcast, and book have changed my life. Not in a I’ve-got-money-now kind of way. My entire operation (books, blogs, podcast) is only recently–and I mean the last month or three–making enough money to sustain itself. My book costs from Switchers are paid. My costs for the next book I’m working on are paid. I’m using money for promotional stuff. I rented a co-working office. Stuff is happening.
Am I living in the lap of luxury? No.
Am I enjoying my life with a sense of purpose that was missing for the first 30 years of my life? Yes.
What Did We Learn Today?
Blogging and podcasting are a great way to start building an audience for authors making their debut.
Not only can these ventures improve the business side of life, it can improve life. Period.
Thanks for checking this out. I’m glad you stopped by. Next time, bring candy…
Christopher Tallon is the author of the dark, adventurous, time-travel novel Switchers.
My baby said I’s crazy / My mama called me lazy / I was gonna show em all this time Cause you know I ain’t no fool and / I don’t need no more schoolin / I was born to just walk the line