Author Website 101: What You Need to Know as a Self-Publisher

If you’re trying to establish yourself as a self-published author, you might create an author website. A solid author website aids in your overall book marketing strategy. If done correctly, it can increase your overall sales. You might have questions about how to begin establishing a professional website. After all, you don’t want to put the time and effort into creating a website and get a low return on investment.

 

Here are some general tips to help you get started!

Think about your goals

A mistake many self-publishing authors make is jumping into a website without careful planning. They end up with a domain name that doesn’t fit their content or end up with poorly written content. Or, even worse, they decide to create a website for each book they have published and end up overwhelming themselves trying to keep them all updated.

 

You only need one website. Think about what you want on that website. Are you primarily using the site to sell books or are you using it to communicate information to your readers? This will determine the type of content that you need. For example, if you want to sell books, your landing page will generally be created using software to create a sales funnel. But if you’re simply looking to connect with your readers, you might want your landing page to have information about your social media or mailing list.

Choose your platform carefully

If you’re planning on maintaining your own website, consider using an easy-to-update platform such as WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. Depending on your knowledge of coding, you might want to consider hiring a website developer to help you create the initial website. Website developers can also help answer any IT related questions that come up. And while you’re thinking about the platform, don’t forget to come up with a good domain name! Most authors prefer to use their own name so that their website can be easily found when fans search for them.

Give each book a page

As mentioned above, some authors think that they need to create a separate website for each book. This isn’t a good practice because it makes it harder for fans to find all of your books and because multiple websites are hard to manage. Instead, create a page for each book on your website.

 

You can then add a detailed description of the book on the page, an image of the book, and any relevant bonus material such as a video or an excerpt. And, the most important part, you can link to the retailers that are selling your book. Remember to utilize relevant keywords on each book page to help increase your SEO.

Add your social media buttons

If you’re already on social media, make sure to share your buttons! You can also add widgets that will display your social media feed right on your website, so that your fans can see what you’re posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Promoting your social media can help drive traffic to your different feeds.

Create a blog

Blogs are a great way to increase traffic on your site. Whenever you write a new blog post, you can share it on your social media, which then will lead fans to your website. You can also use keywords within your posts to help with your SEO.

 

You’ll want to keep your blog active by posting at least once or twice a week. Choose topics that are relevant to your books or topics that you are knowledgeable about. For example, if you’re a pro at writing dialogue, you might want to write a series of blog posts about making written dialogue sound more natural.

Use a mailing list

Finally, mailing lists are a great way to stay in contact with your fans. Create a section on your website where fans can submit their email addresses. You can then create a newsletter that helps promote your next book. For example, you might send your fans excerpts from the book, the cover art, information on where they can buy the book, and more. Keeping in contact with your fans via email can get them hyped and can increase your sells. You can also use your newsletter for book giveaways.

Final thoughts

As a self-published author, much of your marketing is going to fall directly on you. If done correctly, an author website can be a valuable marketing tool that increases the sale of your books. To look for inspiration, google the names of your favorite authors and check out their sites!

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