Writer Wednesday Welcomes: Dana Sitar

What Value Do You Add to Your Readers’ Lives?

by Dana Sitar

The cornerstone of your platform is this gigantic but basic question: What value do you add to your readers’ lives? Whether you’re trying to pin down your audience for your marketing strategy, drawing up a book proposal, or drafting your blog’s editorial calendar, it all comes down to what you can really offer to your readers.

It is, after all, this value that draws your audience in and keeps them around. It is this value that they will eventually pay you to provide. So, make sure you understand what they need, how you can offer it, and what makes you different from anyone else who can offer it. Before they dish over their money or time, your readers are going to ask themselves this same question. Be sure you are building a relationship with them that will result in a favorable answer.

How are you utilizing the avenues you have to reach your readers? Through your blog, social media, publicity, and products, you have tons of opportunities to position yourself as an expert in your niche and build a relationship based on trust with your readers. Make yourself the go-to person in your field before you try to sell anything, and they’ll be eager to buy your books when they’re finally released.

Here are my tips for adding value to your readers’ lives:

Through social networks –  While Facebook and Twitter offer great avenues to share your work, some marketing experts recommend that as little as 1 in 10 posts be self-promotion. The majority of your social media messages should be for your readers, not for you. Share a link to an interesting article you’ve read or a great new tool you’ve discovered. Ask a question that gets followers thinking and encourages a discussion. You can even tell a joke – I follow a lot of comedians on Twitter, because their feeds are chock full of the value they provide best: humor.

On your blog – Share more than your anecdotes and opinions. Some of that will help readers to get to know you, but what will keep them coming back is the information you can offer. Share your tips. Offer them the value of your expertise, education, and experience. Do some research, and share what you learn along with the resources that you find. If you’re just getting started in your niche, a great way to offer value on your blog is to invite those with more experience for a guest post or an interview.

In your book –  Writing a book proposal is a great exercise in assessing your value. It’s all about how your book will add value to your readers’ lives: What will they gain from reading it? Why are you the one qualified to write it? Why will they want it now? Whether you want to write a proposal and find a publisher, or you want to self-publish, know the answers to these questions to ensure that you are putting out a product that your audience will love.

About the Author

Dana Sitar is a freelance journalist and author of the ongoing memoir series This Artists’ Life. Her latest release, The Hart Compound, follows the writer to her journalistic roots as Senior Campaign Writer to a Mayoral campaign headed by two Madison, Wisconsin comedians. Dana shares writing tips and anecdotes at her blog by.dana.sitar.

Follow @danasitar on Twitter.

This Artist’s Life: Volume Two, The Hart Compound, My Life in Short Stories, by Dana Sitar

I meet the most incredible people online. Dana is fabulous. I’m honored she’d take the time to write a guest spot for Musings and I appreciate it very much. Thank you Dana! I hope you’ll all take a minute to check her out, visit her blog or learn about her new book. Be sure to leave a comment if you want to hear from Dana! She’ll keep her eyes over here today just in case :)

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