Let’s talk about a new way to think about your author website in order to reach your goals. The experts at Web Design Relief know that successful author websites have one clear, primary mission—whether it’s to sell books, develop a fan base, connect more personally with readers, or build a brand.
So…what is your author website’s mission? Find the answer by asking yourself these questions:
What is a mission?
A mission calls for something to be accomplished. As you build or maintain your author website, ask yourself: What is the most important objective for this site? Your overall mission may be to develop a fan base for your debut novel, or to consolidate all your nonfiction books in one place for easy shopping.
How is a mission different from a call to action?
A mission is a bigger goal than a call to action, which asks the visitor to take a specific action: Like my Facebook fan page! Enter my contest! Sign up for my newsletter! Click here! These are all effective calls to action.
How is a mission different from an author brand?
An author brand is an implied promise that the reader can count on consistency from the author. For example, fans of John le Carré can rest assured that his newest novel will be an espionage-type thriller, not a flowery, romantic read, and Alexander McCall Smith’s latest release isn’t going to be terrifying or nerve-racking.
How do you identify your author website’s mission?
Try drafting a mission statement that answers the following questions: What do I do? (I write nonfiction, self-help books.) How? (I write faith-based, easily accessible books with straightforward language.) What makes my work unique? (My writing is informed by my degrees in psychology and religion.) Who is my audience? (My audience is primarily Christian women.) What value do I provide? (I help people who are struggling with depression.)
In this example, your author website’s mission could be stated as “Attract a female Christian audience to my website to see my entire selection of self-help books.”
5 primary elements that support your website’s mission:
Call to Action. Whether you want visitors to sign up for your newsletter or “click here” for links to your book’s sales sites, make sure your CTA is clear and it’s easy for visitors to follow through.
Images. Many authors discount the importance of including images on their websites, but statistics show that visitors are drawn to them. Learn more: Posting Images on Facebook and Social Media Sites, and check out how to add textured images to your site for a little extra pop!
Author Bio. Intrigue your readers by offering more than just a dry listing of your high school achievements, accolades, and a catalog of your books. Express the core message behind your work, your inspiration, and anything else that will make the reader curious to learn more.
The Dear Reader Letter. Here you can speak directly to your website’s visitors. Showcase your voice, your style, and your mission in this personal welcome letter. Keep it warm, casual, and somewhat brief.
Blog. Blogging on a regular basis is yet another way to form a connection with your audience. You can share personal insights on writing, your process, the publishing industry, etc.; share information that relates to your work (like an interesting article about llamas that relates to your gentleman farmer how-to book); or link to other articles, websites, and images. (See Web Design Relief’s A Weary Writer’s Guide to Blogging for more tips.)
Other elements that will help showcase your author website’s core message—or mission—include:
- Your contact information
- A professional (posed or candid) headshot
- A list of your books
- Social media icons
- A “Buy Now” button
- Reviews and accolades
- Email or newsletter subscriber list
- Upcoming events / latest news
Designing an author website that clearly conveys a mission can be a bit overwhelming, so it’s important to find the right designer—one who understands the particular needs of an author. Our experts at Web Design Relief can help you create an author website that effectively incorporates your mission. Schedule a consultation today!