We know building a platform is hard so we decided to grow a new platform, share the journey, and invite you to start (or restart or continue) to build yours. The big question is, “How do I find ideas for content?” We’re gonna show you.

The focus right now (and has been for a while) is VIDEO.

Creating. Short. Videos.

60 seconds or less. (Tik Tok)

30 seconds or less. (Reels)

10 seconds or less. (IG Stories)

How Do I Find Ideas on What to Post?

​​Step 1: Research.

Search for your topic (like on Instagram) using the hashtag for the topic and adding the word problems, fails, or guilt.

For example: If a theme/topic in your book is on gardening, use Instagram’s search to look up posts that are talking about it (and see what other hashtags can be used.

As an example, #gardeningproblems has been used 56,000+ times. It’s not going to reach a huge audience since it’s not super popular, but you can look through the posts and find out what problems they had and how you can provide a solution.

#gardeningproblems in the search bar of Instagram

Let’s look at another example. Instead of searching for a theme or topic, you can search for audience. If you’re writing to moms, try the same hashtags, but replace garden with mom.

#MomProblems weighs in at over 1 Million posts.

Step 2: Look at the top posts and recent posts and ask yourself some questions:

  • What topics are they addressing?
  • How is their audience responding to them?
  • What type of photos/mediums are they using? (text-based? memes? selfies? nature? Reels? Stories? etc)

Step 3: Make a list of what worked.

Step 4: Create similar content with YOUR spin. Your voice. Your experience. All directed and funneled toward YOUR target audience.

That is one of the strategies we’re using, too.

Last week we shared our new @SeriousWriter Tik Tok account and in a few days, our best video had 12.8K views. We just checked and it’s up to 33.1K. 😳…and almost 2K in followers.

That Tik Tok channel is publishing advice from a literary agent’s perspective so we decided to test our methods and create a second account.

Because why not?!

The @SeriousWriterFamily channel is sharing publishing advice from a traditional author’s perspective. We haven’t seen a video grow so fast on there just yet but we’re not doing too shabby: 130 follows and several videos with 500+ views.

So we’re learning. And we’re sharing the process so you can do it, too.

Conversely, we’re sharing similar content over on Instagram. The Reels, which we just started doing, are hovering in the 200 view range, with a couple pulling in 1800 and 2700.

The Best Performing Video:
The Worst Things You Can Say to a Literary Agent ( created on June 11)

Because we like to do things together and because we didn’t want to wait until our September event to start teaching these strategies, we started the One Video-a-Day Challenge.

The goal: to post one 30-second or less video per day on either IG Reels or Tik Tok (or both).

If you’re S E R I O U S about building your platform, take this challenge with us. Don’t wait any longer. Don’t wait any longer.

June 25, 2021 Update:

There are only 8 spots left in the Intensives track: 4 left in fiction and 1 left in nonfiction. Event details here.

Even if you can’t make it to the intensives, we’re hosting a one-day event on JUST SOCIAL MEDIA and we’re sharing the strategies Cyle has used to grow to almost 300,000 followers across his platform (we were wrong about it only being 100,000 followers, so sorry Cyle!).

Register for the Build Your Brand: Social Media and/or the Serious Writer genre Intensives event today!

We’re excited to continue to grow this community, so share this with a friend!

Share your Thoughts


Written by Bethany

June 25, 2021

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