Category Archives: Author Websites

Author Website Tips For Writers Who Don’t Want To Deal With Having An Author Website | Web Design Relief

Sure, having a well-maintained, active author website is a vital element in your author platform and social media support—but who has the time to deal with that? You have your day job, appointments to keep, groceries to buy, children to drop off and pick up, and your writing time to squeeze in. You may wonder why you should worry about building an author website if you haven’t even written a book yet!

Fortunately, the experts at Web Design Relief have a trick or two up their sleeves for hassle-free author website prep.

Tips For Planning An Author Website With A Minimum Of Cost And Fuss

Claim your domain name for your author website. Author websites aren’t created in a day. There are multiple steps before you actually build the site itself. And the most important step is to claim your domain name, i.e., your “URL.”

If you have a relatively common name (like John Doe), you may find that a simple domain URL using your name, such as www.JohnDoe.com, or even a more elaborate one like www.JohnDoeBooks.com or www.AuthorJohnDoe.com, may already be taken. That means you’ll have to think up some creative domain names so your future fans can find you—a job best done when you’re not under pressure.

Decide on your web hosting company. After you’ve registered your domain name, you need to decide which company will “host” your website. Web hosting companies allow your site to be stored on their servers as they provide the technology that allows it to be viewed on the Internet. Check prices and fees carefully to make sure you find the best hosting company for your website. Remember, a bargain isn’t always a bargain: Make sure the hosting company offers the best security and regularly scheduled backups. For the most hassle-free, dependable hosting, talk to Web Design Relief!

Prepare your content. Sooner or later, you’ll have to write an author bio. You may also have to write a back-of-the-book blurb about your story or nonfiction project. You certainly will need an author-dedicated email address. An author photo wouldn’t hurt, either. When it comes to these marketing and promotion basics, you might as well start now.

Build an author website, or have one built for you. Even if you don’t have plans for a book, or it won’t be released for over a year, people interested in you and your writing will be searching for you on the Internet. What will they find?

A single page with info about your project, yourself, and your contact information is all you need to make yourself “searchable” on Google and other search engines. You don’t want to miss out on any opportunities!

Some authors build their own websites using drag-and-drop builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and Jimdo. Tech-savvy authors may use WordPress. But if you want to avoid handling all the technical complexities yourself, consider hiring someone to build your author website for you. You may be surprised at how stress-free and inexpensive it can be to have Web Design Relief do all the work for you.

While your author website is the hub of all marketing and promotion efforts and the best first step to creating a platform, you should also act now to claim your social media profiles as well. By having all your foundation elements in place, you’ll be ready to market and promote your writing when the moment arrives.

 

Question: When you go to an author website, what’s the first thing you look for? A bio? Book list? Contact information? Upcoming events? Breaking news?

How To Monetize Your Author Website (Without Annoying People) | Web Design Relief

By the time you factor in expenses like Web hosting, site design, updates, headshots, registration fees, etc.—maintaining an author website can take a big bite out of your budget. But with a little creative thinking, you might be able to get some of that money back by turning your author website into a source of income with smart website monetization. The trick is to not turn your website into an advertising three-ring circus in the process!

Web Design Relief Explains How To Appropriately Monetize Your Author Website

Build a book-selling website. If your books are selling well, capitalize on that by creating an author website that has been designed from the cyber ground up to generate book sales. With emphasis on your books and a simple/easy buying experience, your author website can help put extra money in your pocket. But there are right ways and not-so-right ways to make the most of your online retail space: Be sure you’re working with a website designer that has experience in the publishing business. (Wherever will you find one? Um…see our banner above.)

Blog to a big audience. Bloggers can make money by offering vital information to voracious audiences. Consider starting a book fan blog and promoting it with lots of giveaways for avid bookworms. Once your audience has grown, you can charge for advertising and guest blogging. Or try blogging about your hobbies with posts that are jam-packed with clever, useful tips. If your blog gains popularity, you may be able to muster the power of your fan base to create affiliate link relationships, accept sponsorships, or even parlay your blogging into a book deal.

Create and sell an eBook. Offer your readers how-to information in an eBook format, and make it available through your website. A successful indie author can write an eBook on self-publishing. A writer who pens short stories could write an eBook about how to get short stories published. Short books and novellas might not make you rich, but every little bit helps!

Sell ad space. Partner with a third-party company like Google AdSense that will place pay-per-click targeted ads on your author website. But you may not have control over the content being shown to your visitors.

Accept sponsored blog posts. Some bloggers have such a great audience that other bloggers/writers will pay for the privilege of publishing a guest post. If your readership is already vibrant, you could make this opportunity available to other writers who want to guest blog on your site.

Take donations. Seriously. You don’t have to be pushy about asking for donations on your author website—but a respectful “donate” button on your site will probably not hurt anyone’s feelings. And you may be surprised by reader support!

Add a “hire me” page. Are you willing to consult with other writers on their projects? Or do you have other skills to offer? Visitors who want to work with you will be glad to know that the opportunity is there. They might not ask otherwise!

Remember To Keep Your Priorities In Sight

You don’t want to send out conflicting messages to your audience about your author brand. Some visitors might not take too kindly to “hard sell” tactics if what they’re looking for is more information about your creative writing. Also, if you spread your moneymaking efforts too thin, you run the risk of not succeeding at any of them. Monetizing your website can work; you just may need to experiment to find your visitors’ comfort zone.

 

Question: Would you consider monetizing your author website?

What Is Your Author Website’s Primary Mission? | Web Design Relief

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!

6 New Ways To Get People To Visit Your Author Website | Web Design Relief

Ideally, you’ve designed your author website to project your unique author brand. You’ve maximized your bio, included a list of books with blurbs and reviews, started a blog or newsletter, and provided the necessary contact information. Since your author website was launched, you’ve been driving as much Web traffic as possible to this hub of… Continue Reading

Strategies To Keep Your Author Website Safe (For Yourself And Your Visitors) | Web Design Relief

When building your author website, you’ll carefully select your theme, typeface, and color scheme. As a writer, you’ll agonize over every sentence. But, while the creative elements of a website may be well in hand, many writers are not as savvy about the technical security aspects of smart web design. If your author website isn’t… Continue Reading

The Surprising Things You Need To Know To Launch Your First Author Website | Web Design Relief

Creating an author website might initially strike you as a pretty straightforward process: 1) Find an author Web design company, 2) fork over some money, 3) get your website. But there are a few “hidden” facts about the specialized website design elements required for an author website that you should definitely keep in mind before… Continue Reading


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