I have to admit it, creating and maintaining my own website was not on my bucket list. My preference would be to spend my “computer time” catching up on news, communicating with friends and family, or working on writing projects. However, successful writers, agents, and publishers stress the importance of having a web presence, a platform, where we can maximize our influence.
So, almost two years ago when I was invited to become a regular contributor to a group blog, Colonial Quills http://colonialquills.blogspot.com/ I was thrilled. Most of the other writers who contribute to this site were multi-published authors and all share a common interest in our colonial past. This would give me a chance to write about topics dear to me, our incredible history and the Christian faith. Terrific! Now I had a web presence.
In 2012, Michael S. Hyatt, the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, one of the largest trade book publishing companies in the U.S. produced a bestseller on just this topic. Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Wanting to be current, I read this excellent book about getting our message out, and getting noticed. http://michaelhyatt.com/platform
Perusing the web and checking out many author’s blog and websites was fascinating with so much talent, creativity, and my goodness, so many published books on display. Hmm, I would certainly need to get a website as soon as my manuscript was picked up by a publisher. It didn’t take long to notice that almost all the writers that I knew, published or not, already were on the web. I needed to take the plunge and not put it off any longer
Now, two weeks after launching my website, I’ve learned so much, and like so many other things in my life, I’ve learned some important lessons the hard way. My first lesson was; after you post, ALWAYS review it again to be sure it is ALL there, no missing paragraphs, words, or letters.
In addition to reading Jesus Calling every morning, I also receive a wonderful devotional from Nicky Gumbel, the Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, the largest Anglican Church in Britain. He pioneered the Alpha Course, an evangelism ministry that I was involved with for many years. http://www.alphausa.org/Groups/1000065342/Alt_Home_page.aspx
On August 14th, the very day my website went live Nicky’s devotional was waiting for me in my inbox. Now, why would I be surprised at the timing of his message?
“Maximizing Your Influence”
(used with Nicky’s permission)
1. Use your influence for the good of everyone Psalm 96:1-13
2. Use your influence to spread the good news 1 Corinthians 9:1-18
3. Use your influence to plant good seeds Ecclesiastes 9:13-12:14
• Watch your words
• Take risks
• Spread your efforts
• Take your opportunities
I particularly appreciated his closing prayer.
“Lord, help me and help our community to make the most of every opportunity that you have given us. Help us to fear you and keep your commandments. Help us to use our influence for good and not for evil. Help us to make the most of every opportunity that you have put before us.”
‘Of the making of books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.’
Ecclesiastes 12:12 NIV – UK