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Bridport course

Bridport course: developing an online presence

How to develop a writer’s presence online

Last Sunday, I attended a full-day workshop.

The class comprised novel writers, short story writers, a poet, and several bloggers – a truly mixed bunch of writers, all keen to come to grips with the technology of websites, social media opportunities and the mysteries of the Internet.

Why did I drive a round trip of 167 miles?

I already have a website, and a presence on Facebook and Twitter, so you may well ask: Didn’t I have anything better to do on a Sunday?

Why did I trek all the way from Salcombe to Bridport – a two-hour journey each way – to hear what I might already know?

The fact is, while you can discover a lot by Googling, by watching what others do and copying them, the fast track to grasping essentials is always to learn from those who know enough already to be in a position to teach you what they have mastered.

Why go as far as Bridport to learn how to develop an online presence?

It’s simple: I admire what’s available at Bridport Arts Centre.

The BAC programme offers lots of courses and my experience to date is that they understand the needs of writers. The programme organisers work hard to steer writers towards publication, whether it be in print, on the screen or on the stage.

I attended the recent Playwriting course led by Paul Dodgson and am now very much looking forward to my third play ‘When I Have Fears’ being performed on the stage there on 6 July.

Who was teaching me on Sunday?

Jane Rayner: tutor - developing an online presenceThe workshop on Sunday was led by Jane Rayner of Lulu Consulting, an environmental and communications specialist with over 10 years experience in the environment sector and over 20 years in journalism, PR and event management.

Jane’s focus was on the importance of developing a communications strategy in order to create an online presence. She stressed the need for planning: deciding what needs to be done online, rather than rushing in and then regretting later when you realise you’ve not joined the dots in a sensible way.

The day was well structured with a mix of presentation, online demonstrations and group discussion work.

Jane challenged us to identify our audience, recognising where they might be – and how we might engage with them. She asked us to think about where we wanted to be in one year’s time and in five. Where are we going with our writer’s life?

The group work was particularly helpful. It meant we had to articulate our thoughts and share them with others who were on the same wavelength. Together, we teased out our personal goals, and then focused on how we might present ourselves to our potential readers.

In short, by the end of the day, we knew what we wanted to achieve via our website and the essential components of that site. We were also better able to decide what to blog about …

Which is why I’m sharing this with you, today!

What’s my ‘mission’ as a blogger?

My mission is to encourage you – as a writer – to aim high, to achieve whatever you desire in your writer’s life. For some, but not all, of you that means publication.

To get published, you’ll need to think about branding – developing your online presence – and marketing …  (Oh no, not marketing – yes, marketing!)

So, I advocate you spend some of your time, not writing. Invest time – not necessarily money – in your own training.

Come training with me!

Every week, I allocate time to personal training. I am midway through a series of three videos on copywriting with Ray Edwards, and, as well as celebrating – with my husband, artist Stephen Thomas –  our 8th wedding anniversary, next week, I’ll be attending two summits:

Click on any of the links to join me. It’s free. Nothing to pay, and no need to drive 167 miles!

Did I enjoy last Sunday’s workshop?

Absolutely. I met eight writers and we are committed to keeping in touch and checking each other’s progress online. It was a long day, and we were blessed with rain and rainbows on the way home.

I am planning to deliver face-to-face workshops, explaining my RedPen Editing system, later this year and during 2018.
If you would like to attend a workshop near where you live, let me know. I’ll see what I can arrange!


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  • Donna DeGuglielmo

    9 March 2017 at 15:15

    this sounds like a very interesting endeavors and experience you have thank you for sharing. Do you offer your courses other times of the year.
    Any ongoing coaching?

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