How to build your author platform: 15 top tools

15 best tools to build your author platform - inexpensive and automated!

How to build an author platform

Author platform

It's important for authors to connect with their readers and sell books, but the internet is also a crowded space, so you need a plan. Over the years, I've found inexpensive tools and time-saving automations to help with my blog and social media platforms. 

Here are my top 15 tools for growing your author platform and building an online audience.

Create an author website to build your author platform

A website for authors is like a business card: it's your chance to show off your personality and your writing. Check out GoDaddy for inexpensive website templates and hosting. I built my blog over 10 years ago using Blogger, which is free, and I use Blogger templates from creators on Etsy - which cost around $20.

The most important pages to have on an author website are an about me page (listing publications, awards and a little bit about yourself), a page for any published books, a contact page and a subscribe page. 

Pick one or two social media platforms and do them well

Don't spread yourself too thin across social media - it's better to choose one or two platforms and do them really well. Otherwise, you'll suffer from social media fatigue. Good social media platforms for writers are: Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.

author instagram page

Add a Beacons page to your social media bios to feature pages on your website. A Beacons page is a great way to direct people straight to your books page, best pages on your blog or where else they can find you on social media. 

writer beacons page

Think carefully about how you want to present yourself on each platform, for example, my Instagram page is stylised in black and white and I only post poetry or short snippets from my novel. I see my Instagram page as showcasing my actual writing. On Twitter I post links to my blog. On TikTok I'm just silly.

Writers! automate your social media

Automate, automate, automate. Find ways to save time or you'll risk social media burnout! 

Missinglettr automates blog posts to social media so you can literally create 10 social media posts on 4 platforms in two minutes. The AI in Missinglettr grabs quotes from your blog post and pairs them with images. It drafts social media posts for you to review. You can then edit the posts and click launch campaign! It's as easy as that. You can start a free 14-day trial here.

Missinglettr screenshot to automate author blog posts to social media

I also like Buffer to schedule posts to Twitter. After they are posted, I can reuse them again. It's a great way to ensure you are posting consistently.

And finally, for Instagram I use Later to schedule posts - I especially love the preview function which allows you to see how the grid will look before you post. So no more face palm moments when two images don't look good when placed close together!

Create a book review account

The people you want to connect with most as a writer are readers. The best place to connect with readers is on book review platforms like Goodreads or The StoryGraph. Create a profile and start reviewing the books that you are reading. Writing book reviews also helps you to process and articulate what you have read. Follow other readers on these sites and start to build a community of readers.

Create an author email list 

An email list is a way to build your tribe. I use Mailchimp for my email newsletters. If you have under 2000 subscribers the platform is free to use. They have great templates and offer reporting on the number of opens and clicks so you can see if your emails are hitting the right note. Make sure you have a 'subscribe' button on your website, so people can sign up easily from there.

Fiverr for editing, design or author promotion

Fiverr is an online marketplace of freelancers who can help you with all sorts of author platform building tasks. I've commissioned freelancers from all around the world to help me with my website, fix my Google Analytics, improve the SEO of my website, assist with building my Instagram following and more. 

You can also find beta readers, editors and proofreaders on Fiverr or book designers to help you with your book cover design. Read the individual's bio and reviews before commissioning them - to see what others have said about their services.

Take a really good author headshot

You need to have a good profile picture of yourself for your website and social media platforms. Personally, I hate anyone taking my photo - but I've worked out a way to take a good selfie. Check out my previous blog post on how to take a really good author headshot! You can even get a professional photo retoucher on Fiverr to fix up those blemishes and remove those bags under your eyes!

how to take an author headshot

Use Jasper AI creative writing assistant for blog posts and social media 

So although I write novels, I actually don't enjoy writing captions for social media posts or birthday cards! Jasper AI is a brilliant writing assistant and can help you compose introductions to blog posts, email headlines and social media captions. Jasper AI is smart and witty and can generate a number of different options for you - that you can then tailor for your own needs. 

Using this artificial intelligence can also improve your copywriting skills and teach you content marketing fundamentals such as the AIDA framework: Attention - Interest - Desire - Action and PAS framework: Problem - Agitate - Solution. You just plug in a content description, choose a tone of voice and voila - Jasper AI has generated your text for you!

Jarvis AI creative writing assistant for authors

I even tested Jasper AI's creative writing skills by entering the plot of one of my novels - and it actually performed quite well in writing a fictional paragraph! You can see my blog post on Can AI help you write a novel here.

Create an audiobook sample of your book with Speechelo 

This product is amazing! You can create a Hollywood-actor-sounding audio chapter of your book as a sample on your website! No more robot-sounding voiceovers ... Speechelo sounds like a professional voiceover artist. I'm not kidding. Go to the website and take a listen now! Just upload your chapter to Speechelo to create an audio file. 

You could even use Speechelo to create interesting voiceovers for social media posts on TikTok or Instagram reels or other short video platforms.

Improve the SEO on your website and blog with Surfer SEO 

You need organic traffic to your website by having SEO that will draw people to your website via a search engine. Someone from a digital advertising firm once told me that SEO is actually much better than paying for ads on Facebook or Instagram.

Okay, I'm going to admit, I don't know a lot about SEO. But I have been using the super easy content tool in Surfer SEO to write my blog posts - to make sure they are rich with SEO keywords. I know that SEO is really technical and there's a lot to learn, but I feel as though this is the least I can do to make sure my blog posts have important keywords that will rank on Google. The Surfer SEO content score helps to encourage me to write more headings, longer text and alt text on images. It's a good visual reminder for how to improve the content on my blog posts. Personally, I've signed up to the hobby plan at $29 a month which gives me 5 content editor opportunities a month.

Surfer SEO help for authors


Scrivener: By writers, for writers.

Scrivener is the best book writing software. I first heard about Scrivener from 'We Were Liars' author E. Lockhart - she swears by it!

Scrivener helps authors move whole chapters with a simple drag and drop. You can also get a birds-eye view of each chapter in the manuscript on digital index cards!

Check out Scrivener today! Download a free trial, or purchase for one payment of $77 (no ongoing subscription fees!)


Sign up to receive a free 7-step action plan to become a published author!
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Read the blog post Tips on how to write a novel for more help on writing your novel!