Building an Author Website: How to Create an Online Presence
If you're a freelance writer or an entrepreneur (or both!), an author website is a must. This guide will walk you through building your professional and well-designed author website. From design to SEO and everything in between, it's all covered in this in-depth tutorial.
Decide what you need
Before you start building, there are two major things to consider: what purpose your site will serve and how much money you want to spend on it.
No matter what type of website you choose, you should be able to provide some basic information about yourself, your book, and how readers can get in touch with you. This could include a bio, a summary of your book's plot, links to relevant articles or interviews, and contact information (email address, phone number).
Depending on the platform you choose for your site, there may be other important features for author website instead of these basics. For example, if you're using WordPress as your content management system (CMS), plugins allow users to sign up for an email list directly from the site.
The first step is deciding what kind of site will work best for your needs — whether it's something simple like Tumblr or Squarespace or something more complex like Blogger or Joomla!
Choose a platform
Once you've decided what kind of site you want, it's time to decide which platform will best suit your needs. Many options are available today: WordPress and Blogger are two popular choices because they're free (although if money is no object and you want extra features, there are paid options as well). You can also go with Squarespace or Wix, which offer attractive templates and tools for building websites quickly without any coding knowledge needed! A top company can also help you to choose an appropriate platform for your author website.
Choose a domain name
The domain name is the address of your website on the internet, like www.example.com or www.example.org. In general, it's best to pick a domain for your company related to your business name and brand. Many people buy domain names at GoDaddy or Namecheap, but you can also get one from Google Domains if you plan on using it for personal use (this is what I did).
Set up your website
Once you pick a domain name, you'll need to set up hosting for your site to be accessible online and shareable with others through URLs and links. There are two main types of hosting services — shared and dedicated — but they offer similar features at different price points depending on how much traffic your site will receive (and how many resources it needs).
Choose a design that suits your needs and brand identity
A website can be simple or complex, depending on how involved you want to get with designing it yourself. You can use free templates or hire a professional designer to create your website. The choice is yours, but whatever fits your company's branding and image.
A website template is the foundation of your website, so it's important to choose a design that works for you. If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of companies out there that offer custom author website templates. For example, BookBaby offers seven pre-made templates and free one-page book site templates.
Add your content and images to the website
Once you've chosen a template and customized it with images and text, make sure all of your links work correctly and don't break any formatting rules by using CSS code or HTML tags if necessary. This will make it easier for people to navigate your site without issues with broken links or missing content.
Find sources of information on topics relevant to your business and add them to different site pages. Put up photos of employees and clients if they're available. Remember that people want to know who they're doing business with!
Optimize for SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and ensures that your website appears in search results by the help of organic seo services when people search for something related to your business. This can be done through various methods, including keyword research and using appropriate metadata tags on your site.
Make sure you can be found on social media
Ensure you can be found on social media, especially Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and that they link back to your website and vice versa (and set up all other relevant social media accounts).
Social media is an important part of any author website; not only are there millions of users on these platforms, but they're also where many readers go to get recommendations or discover new books or authors. You'll want to ensure you have accounts on all major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, so you can engage with readers who find you through those channels (or vice versa).
Make sure there's a clear call-to-action (CTA)
The most important part of an author website is the content. However, if you want readers to take action, you need to make it easy for them to do so. A call-to-action (CTA) tells visitors what they can do next on your page. It could be an email subscription form, a link to download your book for free or purchase it at a discount, or any other action that helps you reach your goals as an author.
If you want people to buy your book, it makes sense that you should put a big button on every page with the word "Buy now!" or "Get my book!" The message should be clear and straightforward so people can't miss it when visiting your site.
Most authors or people who create content for an audience don't have a robust online presence. It's not that they're bad at promoting their content. It's just that they normally focus on creating interesting, valuable content for their audience instead. But what if you could combine these two priorities? Would you still be effective with your online presence without promoting your content?
Whether you're new to publishing or have constantly been writing for over ten years, the benefits of having an author website far outweigh not having one.