Building a Platform: Lessons from author Marisa Treviño

Building a Platform

As the author of the new e-book A Simple Start to Blogging with Social Media and publisher of Latina Lista — one of the premier news sites with a focus on Latino culture and viewpoints — Marisa Treviño possesses a great deal of knowledge on how to write and distribute content for a wide base of readers.  

Last week, we talked with Marisa about how she started a blog from scratch and developed it into a full-blown news site that has a large, dedicated readership. Today, we find out more about how she uses social media and an understanding of her audience to continually expand her reach and grow her platform:

Between the news site, Twitter and Facebook, Latina Lista has an impressive online presence. How do you use all of these smaller pieces to help boost your larger goals?

I’ve learned that I have three distinct audiences with each platform. Of course there is some overlapping, but I’ve learned what my audiences expect from Latina Lista on each platform.

Ultimately, the goal of Latina Lista is to be the “Smart News Source.” There are all different kinds of smart news just as there are all different kinds of readers. The different social media platforms allow me to meet the unique needs of my readers, which in turn allow me to grow my readership in a way that a single website could never do the job.

How have you created synergy among all the different pieces of the puzzle?

It’s taken a lot of trial and error and practice. Basically, it comes down to three things:

  1. Knowing my audience for each platform
  2. Knowing my audience’s expectations from each platform
  3. Delivering on those expectations

How does your new e-book fit in to your larger platform?

I had honestly never considered writing a book of any kind. I was busy enough with all my other writings, but I had so many people asking me questions on how I created my site and the practice of blogging that I thought an e-book would save so much time.

Also, around the time I was finishing the book, sites that were encouraging people to raise money through crowd-funding were becoming very popular. I thought, “Why not write an e-book and use it as a crowd-funding exercise as well?”

When I saw that Booktango allowed the writer to keep all of the proceeds if the book sold on their site, I thought it might work.

What advice do you have to other writers looking to build a platform to support their message?

The only real advice I can offer is to have passion about what you do. It’s that passion that will keep a person writing even when they don’t have a lot of readers. It’s that passion that will evaporate feelings of tiredness and frustration and allows you to get “lost” in the post. It’s that passion that will keep you writing when others — who aren’t emotionally invested in their sites — quit. It’s when you have that kind of sincere passion that opportunities arise and help carry that passion to the next level.

What subject are you passionate about? And what are you going to do about it?

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