How do I build my profile?

More than ever, it's important for writers to think about their profile - even before they're published.

Publishing houses like writers who already have a strong profile, and may make a decision based on the size of your existing audience.

So it's a good idea to start building your profile early so that when you approach publishers you have mature platforms with a good following. Pick a platform that works for you, do it well and stick with it (whether it's a simple website, a blog or social media).

Blogs can be a perfect platform for writers. They can help us develop our craft through a regular writing habit, as well as providing a platform to showcase our work, and help us build and demonstrate an audience for our writing (which potential publishers will love).

If you do set up a blog or a website and want to publish your own work, there are a few things you might want to think about:

  • Some publications and journals may count putting your work on your blog as being 'previously' published, which might reduce your publication and competition options.
  • Your online work is online forever (or, at least, has the potential to be). A blog is a great place for experimentation or to help you build an audience for your work, but keep your author profile in mind and make sure you're proud to stand behind everything you put out into the world.

Getting out and about and meeting other emerging writers is also really helpful to building your profile, as is starting to build a portfolio of published works (through competitions and submissions to magazines, websites and literary journals, big and small). Volunteering at literary festivals is also really great place to start meeting people and making contacts.

And remember to be professional and polite online and offline. Australia's literary sector is still relatively small, which means that your reputation (good or bad) can precede you.