Custom Author Platform Websites
A website today for any business is an essential element of the overall plan. Think about any restaurant or retail store you have ever walked into. You walk in, and it’s dirty, perhaps everything is in a mess, maybe it’s not organized in an easy fashion to navigate. Your initial thoughts might be, “I am never coming here again”. I am sure that has happened to everyone one time or another. A website today should be modern, easy to navigate, your own domain name, responsive on any device, a blog, and contains lead generation tools. If you are starting out in the self-publishing world and writing ebooks on amazon, barnes and noble, apple, createspace, or any other channels, you need a platform in order to help you gain readers, and drive traffic to and from your book listings. If you are an established author, maybe it’s time to review the overall health of your website.
Elements of an Author Website
The following are important elements to have on an author website:
- Engaging and informative home page to act as a map – Very important to capture one’s attention right away, much like the cover of a book. Relevant, good lucking images, listing of blog posts, and links to other key areas of the website. Identifying the ideal reader is also key on the homepage.
- Email Opt-in – I know, I know, everywhere you look, the importance of an email list is always stressed. This is especially important for authors. Just think about the value of having hundreds, or thousands of names and emails of people that have either read your books, or expressed interest! There are strategic places that are better than others to get maximum subscribers. If your blog has various categories, try to have separate “Opt-Ins” for separate categories, it will resonate more with that visitor. In your books, it is a must to also provide a link to your Opt-in or website, to increase traffic or readers.
- Listing of books with links (Online Library) – If you publish on Amazon, you are aware of Amazon Central and its importance for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Likewise, it is important to have a page on your website that lists all your books with great images and descriptions of each book. This page should also have “SHARE” buttons and links to wherever each book is linked. I am linking a great example of this right here by Sterling & Stone. I believe that a great online library such as that, gives a great first impression!
- About Page – In my opinion, the ever famous “About” page is very important when dealing with artists, authors, musicians, and other creatives. Many people buy from creatives based on the connection they make with commonalities or inspiring stories. Your About Page should also have a professional headshot image of you.
- SEO and Blogging – Websites can look as great as you want it to, but you need to be driving traffic to them through some of the following channels. Social media, blogging, ads, books, online forums, Amazon (and other book sites), book review sites and lists.
Tech Type Stuff (the domain)
Now we have some great ideas about what are website should look like and include, but how will we accomplish it?
The domain name should ideally be your name or as close as possible to your name. If your name is Jen Jones, then the domain name should be www.jenjones.com. If that domain name is taken, maybe you can try jenjonesauthor.com, authorjenjones, or jenjonesbooks.com, you get the idea. The reason for utilizing your name is that it will be easier for people to search for you and even if your focus on books change over time, your name most likely won’t change!
As an example, maybe you write books in the crime thriller space, so you get a domain name of CrimeBooksbyJen.com. This might look like a great domain name, but if Jen decides to change her genre to something else, or simply add other genres, now we have to decide how to market this. If you have an existing domain name, you can either keep it when constructing a new website, or simply get a new one and “redirect” your old domain name. It’s sort of like call forwarding.
Where to buy domain name and hosting
There are many websites that you can obtain your domain name and hosting plan. I personally like to use Hostgator, due to its simplicity of getting domain names and hosting together, and easy integration with WordPress. There will be other resources listed on 6th Ave’s blog soon to help anyone get started with HostGator.
Wordpress is easily installed once you obtain your domain name and hosting. Wordpress is the most popular website builder/blog platform today. Wordpress allows a lot of customization, and features through “plug ins”. There are many tutorials on the web regarding WordPress, since there is a learning curve to learn this platform. Many authors and creatives leave the website building to someone else and control the updating of their content and blogging.
visit www.6thavemarketing.com/author for more information on an author website
6th Ave Marketing is dedicated to helping individuals start or grow their business through online marketing. We help provide information in such a way that it is helpful, and actionable. If we can help you with any projects, in any way, please do contact us. www.6thavemarketing.com