Writers & Social Media

Why You Need to be Your Own Super Hero

Writers can't just wait to be discovered with all the noise online. You have to go out there and find your audience and create your own author platform.

One year ago I decided enough was enough. No longer was I going to hide under the table every time I posted something online. No longer was I going to hide my writing from the world. If I wanted to make a respectable living as a writer then I needed to push myself. I needed to do something differently to what I’d been doing for the last decade.

It is one thing writing. It is another getting people, an audience, to read this writing. And isn’t that what we, as writers, want? People to read our work? (And maybe a five figure advance on a book deal…)

But have you noticed how much noise there is online? So many voices shouting and jostling to be heard. How the hell do you get seen above all of that?

That was my quandary.

So I decided to take control. I decided, unconsciously, to be my own super hero* and stop waiting for people to discover me. I decided to stop waiting for my writing career to just take off but proactively do something about it.

I decided to find my own audience and make things happen.

This is what I did:

  1. I invested in myself and my writing. I hired someone to help me. Two coaches in fact. I knew I wanted to concentrate on my instagram feed to build up an audience but I didn’t quite know how. So I asked Sara from Me & Orla to help me.
  2. The second coach, Jen Carrington, helped me define what I wanted to achieve, what I wanted to write about, and how I wanted to grow my brand.
  3. I experimented and tried new things. Like imovie in order to create YouTube videos and watched tutorials on how to create mailing lists.
  4. I experimented with different ways of writing. I started telling stories about what was happening outside my back door. Or about my developing interest in nature and slow living. And yes, I took photographs of this for instagram.
  5. I developed a ‘sod it’ attitude. I started to show pictures of my chicken doodles. Something I never thought I would do. Or I was creative with my notebooks by adding little drawings with real leaves and flowers. It captured people’s attention.
  6. I started to see myself more as a brand. It helped to see my writing and photography as a separate being. It stopped me from being so scared at showing my work. This is why I created A Bookish Baker rather than just having my name on the blog.
  7. I looked around me. Not at what authors were doing but what bloggers were doing. They didn’t just write. They did podcasts, mentoring, or had a Facebook page that had massive engagement. How were they doing it? What could I learn from them?
  8. I listened to podcasts about marketing, invested in learning new skills, attended a blogging conference.

Writers can't just wait to be discovered with all the noise online. You have to go out there and find your audience and create your own author platform.

And it is working. My blog readers have gone up massively. My instagram feed has just hit 9000 followers. The engagement is phenomenal and I’m constantly being inspired by other creatives on there.

(* Thanks to Shrads with this post for the ‘be your own super hero’ inspiration.)

So all the above, being my own super hero, amounts to me marketing my writing. Creating my own online platform. And if I can do it then others can too.


I’m currently writing a free mini e-guide specifically for writers about how they can promote their writing and books through social media. No icky selling involved! You can sign up below and it’ll be in your in box very soon.

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  • Reply Gaelle DGSage Photography

    This is so inspiring! I really need to do some work with a coach. I have been thinking about that since your 2016 review post…

    6th February 2017 at 9:54 am
  • Reply Lizzie Woodman

    Great post! I completely agree with it all. Looking forward to reading the e-guide!

    6th February 2017 at 2:41 pm
  • Reply Flora

    Go you! This post is so motivating (and good on you for having the guts to share more… I have some ideas for a book swirling around my head and I’m terrified to even start drafting it out. I think it’s because some of it involves summoning feelings I don’t want to admit to myself, much less commit to print!).

    I’ve signed up to your course and look forward to it! :)


    6th February 2017 at 5:30 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Oh I know that feeling well, Flora. Hope you enjoy the guide when it arrives x

      8th February 2017 at 10:01 am
  • Reply katie

    Well done you, all the hard work is definitely paying off! x

    7th February 2017 at 10:22 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thank you, Katie! x

      8th February 2017 at 9:59 am
  • Reply Alice @ The Filling Glass

    Hi, I’m someone who has just recently started following you on instagram, and last year decided to go for writing that book that has been hanging in my head for the last few years. This is so interesting and inspiring, I look forward to more. Xx

    8th February 2017 at 9:35 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Hi Alice – thank you for commenting. Good luck with writing your book. Looking forward to hearing how it goes. :)

      8th February 2017 at 9:58 am
  • Reply K.D. Jennings

    Love your post! :) xx

    8th February 2017 at 10:24 am
  • Reply Lindsey Dickson

    Hello Helen, I’ve just read most of your posts and you’ve given me inspiration to expand/adapt my own blog and writing and have a bit more confidence in myself. I find it difficult to call myself anything other than a blogger and am a wallflower when it comes to self-promotion which I realise is going to get me absolutely nowhere. Thank you for your forthwrite advice.

    9th February 2017 at 5:55 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Oh Lindsey I know exactly how you feel. I was doing that for 10+ years. Eventually I decided enough was enough. Good luck and let me know how you get on!

      9th February 2017 at 5:59 pm
  • Reply Sara Ward


    Great post Helen – love your brand!


    11th February 2017 at 9:55 am
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