Suggestions on Building an Online Platform for Writers

Like many writers, I jumped onto social media and other platforms with no strategy whatsoever. As a result I jumped around aimlessly for over a year or two, trying to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of these platforms and how to best use them. I’m now much more experienced and ready to pass on what I learned through trial and error.

1. Who is your audience?

So, you have a Twitter account, Instagram account, and a website/blog. That’s great. Who is your audience? Readers? Other writers? Industry professionals? Friends and family? If you think about it, each has different interests although some might overlap. For example, every group I mentioned likely reads books. But getting each to follow you on regular basis might require a slightly different approach. Think about, this post is going to appeal the most to other writers.

Each social media platform is quite different with different demographics. For example, Twitter has been, up to now, a microblogging platform. It’s a great for short concise messages or info. Personally, I like it the best. I scroll through tweets until one catches my eyes. But it makes sense to be on multiple platforms because each has different demographics. Instagram requires photos and video and links for sales are difficult to do. TikTok is a video platform and has a large number of young users which works well if you write YA books.


Facebook has 3 billion users (56% male) who spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the platform. Despite the fact that largest age group is 25-34, it is largely and older crowd and usage is dropping as younger users move to TikTok and other newer platforms.


Instagram has 2 billion users (52% male) who spend an average of 30 minutes a day on the platform. The largest age group is 18-24, so it’s a younger crowd compared to Facebook and they are still experiencing growth. Instagram introduced Reels to keep up with TikTok. Reels now drive engagement on the app.


LinkedIn has 2 million users (52% male). The largest age group is 30-39, so it attracts the oldest group of social media users. There is no information on the average amount of time spent on the platform. The app has a large number of professionals and its users are the highest earners.


YouTube has 2 billion users (51% female) who spend an average of 45 minutes a day on the platform. The largest age group is 15-35. Users are more focused on entertainment.


TikTok has 800 million users (61% female) and growing rapidly. They spend an average of 45 minutes a day on the platform. Twitter has the youngest demographics with largest age group is 18-24.


Twitter has only 300 million users (61% male) and there is a lot of uncertainty with the new owner. They spend an average of345 minutes a day on the platform. The largest age group is 18-29. Data suggests that Twitter users are better educated and earn more. It’s an ideal app to share content and drive discussions.

2. Establish Your Online Presence

So, you’ve decided which social media platforms you will be using. Remember, you don’t have to be everywhere. If you hate Facebook then don’t bother with it. Whatever you choose, it’s about showcasing your work and connecting with readers. In addition, literary agents may take a peak at your social media accounts and their interest is whether you are building a strong platform.

3. Connect With Readers

Connecting with potential reader is the name of the game. So, I avoid posting and responding to anything related to politics because that has become a polarizing topic on society. I don’t want to turn off readers because I may support or hate a certain politicians. Establishing a connection with readers is so important because once they become engaged, they keep returning to check out your account. I have accounts that follow me for two years before diving into one of my books. That can lead to subsequent purchases and book reviews. Many writers tend to follow other writers. I fall into that group but be careful that you are not ignoring the reading public.

4. Be Strategic and Develop Your Brand

Don’t just post random things that readers may not relate to. Build a following by being predictable. My posts are a mix of jokes, info and background about my books (including books in progress) and some personal stuff. I look at what types of things attract the most views and double down on those types of posts. Social media can be an invaluable tool for writers if used correctly, so take the time to develop an effective strategy and capitalize on its potential benefits.

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