Why Have a Website?
Every self-published author should understand the purpose of a website. Readers are likely to conclude that an author who doesn’t have a website hasn’t taken time to create a viable business in the real world. Your website serves as an information hub to promote your books. This hub connects to your social network with feeds from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your blog. Your website should also present a professional image, as it is a showcase for promoting your work. It should also expand your scope. You can sell books 24 hours day and connect your content to a global network. Your website will serve as a bridge between you and your target readers.
Website Strategies #1: Content
First up, every website needs a section about you. This section should tell something about your writing journey. It should also include your photo to give you professional caché. Next, your website should give a snapshot of what you are working on – covering basics, such as title, word count, genre and a short synopsis. Consider sharing chapters as they are done or to get feedback. There should also be a direct link to the book and some sample content. A key component of every website is the author contact information. An e-mail address is good. Better is to include links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and to your blog. It’s probably better to leave off your phone number and location other than perhaps the state you live in. Add pages to your website that enhance the content of your books: recipes, historical eras, causes, etc. Think-outside-the-box and add unique, entertaining content that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Website Strategies #2: Development
You have two options for website creation. You can do it yourself or you can hire someone to create a website for you. If you have time and the appropriate kind of talent, you can purchase software like Dreamweaver. This software costs several hundred dollars and it requires expert technical skill. A common choice for do-it-yourself authors is to use templates: GoDaddy and Yahoo! Small Business and most web hosting services offer a number of website templates to their clients for help in developing a website. Others choose a free option such as the blog/website provider Wordpress. Finally, some authors chose to hire designers to create websites.
Website Strategies #3: Management
A website should only be one piece of a bigger media plan. As stated above, your website is the center of your social media hub. It will have some so-called “evergreen content.” This content is static and doesn’t change much. It should feature your best writing. Your website, however, will also have content that will need to be updated regularly (every few days, weeks, or months). You will need to update your blog posts, appearance/event calendar and news sections. You can also add things that update automatically, like a twitter feed… which populates when you post to twitter. Planning will help you keep your website effective and dynamic, which, in turn, should expand the reach of your platform. Try Problogger for tips about how to manage dynamic content. Follow up by checking out Google Calendar, a free service that can help you manage the content of your website.
Good points... thanks.. I have much to think about in this arena..
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