Writer Wednesday – John Green and the Platform

Maybe you’ve heard of him, maybe you haven’t. He has only been around for around 8 years or so. In that time, he has risen to a point where he is now listed in Forbes as being an author who made 9 million dollars from his writing in this year alone. Sure, other authors out there make more, but very few of them are as new to the field. I would dare to say most of them aren’t as well recognized as individuals if they are new.


It would be easy to get jealous of such success, but I think it is important to understand where that success comes from. I believe much of it comes from skill of course, but also he can likely point to his platform as keeping his readers active and focused so that when a new book comes out, they are right there buying it. His platform is a huge hook.

It helps of course, that across all of his writing, videos, etc, he keeps a ‘voice’ that can be easily recognized as his alone. There is a light-heartedness to him even when he is being serious. He is likable and offers content freely and frequently in many forms. Even just glancing at his deceptively simple website offers up a taste of his style and draws you in. The FAQ page, for example, draws you in with humor to a point that you just want to read it after the first two ‘questions’ to see what else he will respond with.

It is this sort of thing that I think many authors lack, myself included at times. We focus ourselves on getting our name out there in some of the least appealing ways. We get social media set up and then offer no content aside from when we are trying to sell something. Everything becomes about the writing and nothing about us makes it through. Maybe if more of us did random videos of our thoughts or offered insightful commentary on things outside of our own writing, we might also find ourselves drawing more attention.

Perhaps not all of us are as skillful at writing as we might wish to be. Maybe we don’t have vast knowledge to draw from or a great sense of humor. We all have some talents though and we all have an audience of untapped readers who would love our work if they could just get to know us. I am constantly reviewing my blog and website for ways I can improve them. I think I should perhaps be doing the same with social media.

It is too easy to fall into a numbers game and think that by ‘diluting’ our content, that we are somehow pushing away others. One of the reasons I only give marginal attention to SEO is because of how it tends to focus you on percentages and patterns rather than on value. Offer value and do so in an interesting way. If you can do that, you are going to have people beating down your door to have more.

Interested in checking out John Green’s webpage for yourself? Start with the FAQ section: Here

You can also find several channels he is involved with on youtube. Here’s a little taste:

If you want to find out a little bit about the other millionaires who got there as authors, you can find more on the Forbes Site. Realizing how many write a large number yearly, own full rights or have movie deals says a lot about what it takes to be a rich writer. They’re about as common as unicorns.

What are your thoughts?

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