It’s Never Too Early 3

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Hello there… hope you’re having a great day. We’re about in the middle of our course with Day 3 of our 5-Day Visibility Challenge. I trust this has been productive for you so far.

This challenge is entitled “It’s Never Too Early to Promote Your Book.” Today’s session is Early Bird 3 — Open a Window to the World. You’ll learn how to easily do this with your author website. 

In our last session we talked about the wisdom in taking baby steps in building your author platform. You’re getting a bit of a bonus today because we’ve listed 12 reasons to build a website in this session!

Your Window to the World

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 5.08.59 PMYour website can be your window to the world, and like all windows, you can see out and others can see in. A website says that you have a center of operation and that you’re serious about your publishing business. It’s a stationery place to welcome guests and also showcase any other products or services you have to offer.

You’ll want to purchase your name as your url, then select a domain host that meets your need. I’ve had great success with Bluehost. You can check them out from the Resource Links. Next, look for a web designer. You can get a WordPress site developed for next to nothing. You’ll also want to brand you site with your theme colors, fonts, logo and other design elements.

If You Build It Will They Come? 
There’s no guarantee that a website will perform magic for you. You still need a great book and some other features. However, it’s a good bet that without a website, you’ll fare much worse. It’s highly recommended by authors, publishers and book coaches that you have a “hub” where you can be found. And it you have your blog on your website, that’s often a bonus. People can read what you write, as well as the comments that accompany your posts. It provides an overview and insight into who you are and what you do, with very little effort on their part.

Website Wisdom

Here are 12 tribe-building reasons why authors need a website:

  1. A website is a single place where your readers can learn more about you.
  2. Your website is the place where you build your brand and keep your content alive in real time.
  3. You can promote exclusive content on your website.
  4. It’s a place where YOUR audience can come to find out the latest book development.
  5. It’s the hub for your community.
  6. It also allows you to promote yourself as a stable writing instead of merely a hobbyist.
  7. You can promote other authors that you read.
  8. It’s the place where you can promote your speaking calendar.
  9. When you have a website, you’ll find it easy to keep the important information about you and your publishing career in one place.
  10. You can post content on your website to help increase the number of visitors to your site (especially if you use SEO).
  11. Your website is a substitute “you” until another type of connection can be made.
  12. It’s the place where you can sell your books and related products or services.

And here’s a tip that wasn’t on the original list: your website makes you searchable, which equals visible. People you meet can search for you; speakers can look for you. Agents and publishers can search and find you. If people can remember your name but not the title of your book, having a website serves them well.

Whew!! That’s quite a mouth full!!

What Should Be On Your Site?

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I’m often asked by other authors if this or that feature should be on their website. I have a list of what’s considered “Must Haves” for an author’s website. However, be aware that the final decision is always up to you, the author.

There are any number of elements that might or might not work for you. Some features will be dictated by your sites design, while other features will simply be decided based on a trial and error strategy. This feature can be quite time-consuming. For best results it’s much better if you start with some ideas of what you’d like your site to look like.

There are pros and cons regarding the benefits of a website. Here is a random list of some current opinions (taken from my book, Jumpstart Your Author Platform:”

  • Most sites are used for the visibility and credibility factors
  • Note that even if you add a link to your book sales page it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a sale
  • In some rare cases, your site will drive traffic to the home base (retailer) of your book, but this is the exception and not always the rule
  • You don’t generate conversations on your site (unless you have an active blog), so it may be better (or equally valuable) to have a blog
  • A traditional publisher values your social media clout over a site (Note: this is insignificant if you self-publish)
  • You can direct traffic from your own site, which is better than relying on social media, where you can’t control your contacts
  • You’ll want to look competent to booksellers, librarians, reviewers and media contacts; this can easily be done through your website

I have a few notable suggestions regarding your author websiteu. You’ll find them in today’s worksheet.Remember that your website is a worthy investment and a great tool to build your publishing empire. Take care and we’ll talk again tomorrow. BTW, don’t forget to check out the worksheets posted with todays’ session.

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Graphic (Toolbox) — Pixabay CC0 Public Domain