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Featured Online Class on How to Create an Online Platform

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CREATE AND BUILD YOUR AUTHOR-WRITER ONLINE PLATFORM: Website Creation to Beyond Book/Product Sales by Karen Cioffi

START DATE:  Monday, November 3, 2014

DURATION:  6 weeks

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  As an author or writer, it’s a certain bet that you have something to sell; it may be your book, your skills, or your experience and knowledge. In order to sell what you’re offering, you need to create and build your online platform.

Why is this absolutely necessary?

Well, imagine being a spec in the sky . . . so tiny and far away that you’re invisible to the human eye. That’s you in the Internet universe. So, how do you get a flickering light going and build it into a steady strong beam?

By creating and building your author/writer online platform.

If you’re a first time author, the platform process should begin before your book will be available for sale. This course will take you from square one right on through to beyond book sales. 

If you’re a freelance writer or an author with one or more books under your belt and already have a website up and running, is it effective? Is it optimized? Are you extending your marketing reach and drawing more traffic to your site? Or maybe you want to branch out with additional writing related products or services. Weeks two through six of this class will help you achieve these goals.

The class will also provide five over-the-shoulder videos to further aide in understanding and reinforce the basics. This format allows the presenter to share her screen, so students can see how each step is done.

Three months after starting my freelance editing business, I knew I needed a website and blog but was too overwhelmed to set them up. Karen Cioffi’s class, “Creating and Building Your Author Online Presence: Website Creation to Beyond Book Sales,” looked like the perfect nudge I needed. And was it ever! Karen provides even more information than I’d hoped for. She is approachable, helpful, and knowledgeable, and not only did I learn what I knew I needed to learn, I also came away with new marketing strategies I hadn’t even thought about—and that’s saying something, considering my background in publishing. If you’re even just thinking about writing a book someday, take this course now and start building your author platform! ~ Candace Johnson, Change It Up Editing and Writing Services

Karen Cioffi knows her stuff! I sat in on her class and was extremely impressed by her course materials, website evaluations, and personal coaching with students. She knows a lot about making your website stand out from the pack—even an old pro like me learned a thing or two! She provided students with unique solutions personally tailored to their own websites that I would never have thought of. I highly recommend this course for those who are looking to build their online platform. Karen goes above and beyond for her students and is a fantastic mentor. ~ Angela Mackintosh, editor and publisher of WOW! Women On Writing

The last three weeks have been invaluable and this course has helped in so many amazing ways. Thanks for all the wisdom. I am learning a ton and feel so much more equipped to build my platform. Thank you so much. ~ Amy Crawford, PhD, LMFT Psychotherapist & Writer Specializing in Military PTSD

I so appreciate the help you’ve given me with this course. I found it to be very informative and easy to understand. Thank you so much for your help and patience. I feel I’ve definitely improved my marketing skills and created my own blog. Thanks again. ~ Susan Lapp-Mellott

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice is the go-to person for online marketing. She knows her stuff and does what she does with heart. 
~ Carolyn Howard-Johnson, multi award-winning poet, writer of fiction, speaker and teacher

I’d like to add my thanks and appreciation. I will keep the PDF for future references. I have learned a lot in this workshop, and I appreciate the time you put into it. ~ Andrea

A huge vote of thanks and waves of appreciative applause for all the time, effort and enthusiasm you invested in this workshop. For me it has certainly been one of the highlights of this conference—so many thanks for sharing all your expertise so generously. I think there will be more than several better websites and promotional pages on the Internet after this.
~ Anne Duguid, MuseItUp Publishing Content Editor

Thanks so much for sharing your time and expertise in this workshop. It’s vitally needed by authors today. ~ Karina Fabien, author

Thanks so much for offering this workshop this year. I learned so much! ~ Deb Hockenberry, author

Your PDF is a keeper and I will continue studying the lessons through the coming month. Your guidance and inspiration has taken some of the intimidation out of my non-techno abilities to shape my website (currently in languishing limbo) as well as my blog. Many Thanks for an Exciting Experience. ~ Kate Sender

Karen, Thanks for all this valuable information. ~ Beverley Eikli


Week One: The Bare-Bottom Platform Basics: Creating an Author Website

14 Steps to Creating an Effective Website, which includes:

  • Choosing a domain name
  • About the site’s subtitle
  • Basic differences between Blogger and WordPress
  • The various website pages you’ll need and what should be on them
  • The basics of website optimization

Setting up Your WordPress Website Basics (video)

If you don’t yet have a website or blog, this is the time to create one. The information provided in Lesson One will give you the tools needed to create a website that’s reader friendly and SEO ready.

Video included: 10 Website Landing Page Must-Haves

Note: Each lesson has an assignment.

Bonus Lesson One: The Author Foundation

This bonus lesson is divided into two parts:

The Foundation:

  • Create a Quality Product
  • Article Links on Writing Fiction and Nonfiction

Editing Books Like a Pro: Self-Editing Tips for Books and Articles

  • 10 Tips Checklist for Writers and Children’s Writers
  • 9 Steps in the Final Stages of Self-Editing
  • 6 Last Minute Steps Before You Begin Manuscript Submissions
  • More Self-Editing Odds and Ends
  • The Elevator Pitch for Your Manuscript
  • Being a Writer—Learn the Craft of Writing
  • Lesson One Bonus Resources

Note: Lesson One includes a Basic 6-Point Website Landing Page Critique of each student’s website (one site per student)

Week Two: Blogging for Success: Creating Optimized Content

Lesson Two discusses effective blog posting, which includes:

  • The importance of posting regularly
  • Keyword basics
  • Anchor text basics
  • Tags basics
  • Using images and video in your posts

Since Lessons One and Two refer to search engine optimization (SEO), information on SEO and marketing basics will be included in week two.

Video Included: Publishing and Optimizing a Blog Post

Week Three: Article Marketing: 10 Steps to Writing for Article Directories with Properly Formatted and Optimized Content

Lesson three is an A – Z lesson on article marketing. It explains what article marketing is and its importance. This lesson discusses:

  • How to find article ideas
  • How to create an effective title
  • Types of articles you can write
  • The parts of an article and word counts
  • Using outlines or templates
  • Summaries needed for article directories
  • The resource box
  • Where to submit your articles

To take it further, we’ll discuss how to properly format and optimize your content so search engines will easily find and index it and readers will value and share it.

Week Four: How to Create eBooks for Freebies and for Sale, including creating a cover with Microsoft Office 2010

Lesson Four offers step-by-step instruction showing how to create your own eBook and cover. The lesson is divided into two sections:

Creating an eBook:

  • Creating an eBook: 5 Simple Steps
  • Offering an eBook for Free
  • Offering an eBook for Sale
  • About the ISBN, Copyright, and Creative Common License

Creating an eBook cover:

  • Basic Instructions for Microsoft Office Features
  • Design Your Own eBook Cover in 10 Easy Steps Using Microsoft Office 2010
  • Additional Tips for Designing Your Own eBook Covers
  • Things to Watch For
  • Sample Example One with Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Sample Example Two with Step-by-Step Instructions

In this lesson you will actually create an eBook and a cover to go with it. We’ll also discuss the benefits of creating an eBook to offer as a freebie on your site.

Video included: Create an eBook Cover

Week Five: How to Create PayPal ‘Buy Now’ Buttons for Your Site/s

Lesson Five provides step-by-step instructions on how to create a PayPal Buy Button and how to upload the code onto your site.

Week five covers:

  • The need for ‘Buy Now’ buttons
  • Creating a PayPal account
  • The steps required to add an eBook to PayPal Merchant Services
  • The pros and cons of having the eBook sent automatically to the purchaser or sending it personally
  • Uploading the HTML code onto your website or blogsite

The lesson also goes over the eight elements needed to create an effective landing page for your eBook, if you choose to sell it.

Video included: Create and Setup a PayPal Buy Button on Your Website

Week Six: How to Create a Product Line and Attracting Customers Through Information Marketing 

Through lessons Two and Three you will have the foundation for creating a number of products within your market. Lesson Six is divided into two sections and discusses what products you can create and how to get visitors (potential customers) to your site. It includes:

How to Create and Sell Information Products:

  • What is an information product and product line?
  • What’s the benefit of creating information products?
  • Types of information products you can create
  • Types of content you can provide
  • What topic should you focus your product on?

Attracting Customers (Generating Visibility) Through Information Marketing

  • The importance and primary purpose of attracting visitors to your site
  • Effective strategies to generate visibility and attract visitors
  • The mailing list
  • The most effective strategy to use to increase your subscriber list
  • A bit on using social media

Bonus Lesson Six: More Marketing Strategies

This bonus lesson is divided into two parts:

Create an Effective Press Release in 7 Easy Steps

  • Create an Effective Press Release in 7 Easy Steps
  • Press Release Examples
  • Resources

Book Promotion:

  • 20 Strategies that will Broaden Your Reach

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Karen Cioffi ( is a former accountant who is now a multi-award-winning author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, editor, and author-writer online platform marketing instructor. She founded and manages Writers on the Move (a marketing group), and presents online writing and marketing workshops and webinars.

Karen has published 12 writing and marketing eBooks, the most recent, Article Marketing: Increase Website Traffic with Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized Content.

In addition to this, Karen’s website, Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing (, was named Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012.

COST:  $125 (Special Pricing! Normally $150) for the course, which includes one-on-one support through the listserv.

BUY NOW:  Create and Build Your Author-Writer Online Platform : Website Creation to Beyond Book/Product Sales by Karen Cioffi (6 weeks, starting 11/3/2014) Limit: 10 students. Early registration is recommended.

This class is now closed. Please check here for our current schedule.

For Class Session Starting 11/3/2014


Notes:  Upon successful completion of payment, your name, email address, and contact info will be submitted to your instructor. She will contact you via email with detailed instructions and assignments.

Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:

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