Friday, April 11, 2014

Twila's Tips for Building Your Platform (Part 2 of 8)

Another simple thing we can do is to create an email alert. (See or

Alerts help us monitor the Web for interesting content. They make us aware of what’s being said about us or our product. They can keep us up to date on a particular topic or news item, and we can use them to get the latest scoop on a favorite author or celebrity.

When we set up an alert, we enter a search query (a name, title, topic, etc.), how often we want to receive the alert, and our email address.

For example, I set up an alert for Cec so I could keep up on the buzz about him. I put in a search query for Cecil Murphey, and I entered another one for Cecil Murphy (without the “e”) because his name is often misspelled. Many days I receive several alerts. Some I delete immediately because they don’t relate to Cec, but others point me to a blog article or newsworthy piece that refers to him. When I find that someone has mentioned Cec in an article or blog post, I’ll forward that info to him. He follows up by commenting on the blog or sending a nice thank you note. That makes people like Cec. (And I get to keep my job.)

When I worked on a special project for a young adult author, I entered a topic in the search query that pertained to both the author and to the protagonist in his book. I had to weed through a lot of irrelevant alert messages that came in, but I found a few that paid off. Because of one that talked about an upcoming movie on that topic, and because of the similarities in the storyline between the movie’s main character and the young adult author, I connected the two in a news release with a catchy headline. That resulted in interviews and publicity for the author. We were also able to connect the subject of the movie and the author on Facebook, and a relationship developed that led to new speaking opportunities for the author.

Email alerts help us gain new friends and increase our opportunities.

* * * * *

Twila Belk, aka The Gotta Tell Somebody Gal, is a writer and speaker who loves braggin’ on God. She works full time with best-selling author Cecil Murphey and enjoys teaching at writers conferences across the nation. Twila has written or co-written five books and contributed to several others. For more info, visit


  1. I'm glad it was helpful, Cheryl. Creating email alerts is a simple thing to do, but they can lead to new doors of opportunity for us.


What are your thoughts?