Nathan Hangen—Building Digital Empires

Welcome to the third episode of Author Platform Construction 101. In an earlier post I mentioned the modern author’s need to find ways to create an audience for their work. Preferably, before publishing their books. In the writing context, creating connections with potential readers is called building an author’s “platform.”

Blogging can be an effective way of creating these connections. However, there’s more than one kind of blogging. Some blogging styles are more effective at building an audience than others. There’s the casual, pure hobby style of blogging that is done without any forethought. And then there’s strategic blogging that is designed to encourage specific responses from readers. The hoped for responses can be any number of things, such as: consider a new idea, rethink an old idea, buy a particular product, engage in social activism, spread the word about something, or any combination of the above.

Nathan Hangen’s blog is an excellent resource for writers looking to blog with a winning strategy.


I learned some important tips about a key strategy called personal branding while reading the 3 Steps to Being Remarkable post at his blog. Mr. Hangen also offers several free resources.


Thankfully, several eminent psychologists have seen the error of having a field that is solely focused on mental disease and dysfunction. One of them, former American Psychological Association president Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., has done a significant amount of work in the emerging field of positive psychology. He’s the author of the book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. In his book, Dr. Seligman talks about what he calls the individual mix of “signature” strengths that everybody has.

With my future projects, I want to make sure to play to my strengths. To help me decide which personal traits to amplify for my personal brand (as suggested by the 3 Steps to Being Remarkable post), I took the VIA Survey of Character Strengths. Dr. Seligman developed this survey with another researcher. The VIA Survey of Character Strengths is used to assess and rank positive characteristics. This is in contrast to the traditional measures such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which measures mental illness and deficits. You can find out more here.

All of this has helped me with my future mainstream projects. Check it out.

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5 Responses to “Nathan Hangen—Building Digital Empires”

  1. Oshun/Aphrodite says:

    Thank you again Khadija! I am very interested in the VIA survey. You are right there are few psych resources that teach people to play to their strengths. The only one I knew about was the Myers/Briggs personality. This adds another layer…and the interpretive test even offers a student discount! Thanks!

  2. Very good link regarding personal branding on a blog. We all have to figure out what our particular strengths are and amplify them. I’ve seen a lot of blogs trying to emulate others, seek middle ground and come off as wishy-washy. I’m constantly trying to refine my writer’s voice, and use humor to soften the blow of hard truth. I hope in time people will respond to the message.

  3. Oshun/Aphrodite,

    You’re welcome!


    Yes, that was an excellent post about personal branding. As with most things, there are techniques for successful platform-building.

    Expect Success!

  4. Truth P says:

    Thank you Khadija for posting the “3 steps to being remarkable” link.That guy had alot of stuff on his webpage that any of us could use to help market or promote ourselves and/or our businesses.I like that he asked us to write down our traits/who we are.I can defitnetly use that.As you know i’d been doing daycare and dogwalking.Well I have starting house sitting and I love it.As I told you I’m trying to get more money so I can go to school.Since i’ve been doing HS I not only make money but I save money on my own gas electric utilities.They pay for my food also.I’d like to branch out to do this for people outside of friends and family.My family and friends know me well but others dont.I think other people would want to know who I really am so they can get a good idea of who will be living in their home.I can use what he wrote to help make myself look real good then they will defitnetly (prefer) someone like me doing their house sitting.

  5. I like the idea of amplifying your personal traits! His advice just confirms my decision to explore a different path in my own blogging/writing/living. I really appreciate the links and information for creating different income streams. I am in the processing of putting the information to great use!!!