You made the right decision and created an author website. Excellent! Now when readers, editors, or literary agents google you, your author website will act as your online business card. But the experts at Web Design Relief have a warning: Don’t let your author website just sit there like a static, online poster with your name and headshot. Savvy writers use their author websites as powerful networking tools to elevate their author platform.
Unlike writers’ conferences or conventions that happen only a few times a year, an author website can help you build professional connections anytime, anywhere. Check out these easy-to-implement ways to boost your author website’s networking capabilities.
Turn Your Author Website Into A Networking Machine
Social media integration is a simple way to turn your website into a networking tool, especially if frequently updating your website seems like a daunting task. When you put social media icons or widgets in a prime location on your website (like your header or sidebar), you can connect readers and book buyers to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., where you can post effective marketing calls to action. Need new ideas to post on your social media accounts? Here is how to break the dry spell.
Contact forms are a must-have on any professional website, but especially for writers. Fans, readers, book buyers, agents, editors, publishers—they all may want to reach out to you! And you want to make it easy for them to do so while still keeping yourself safe online. Listing your personal email address on your website puts you at the mercy of trolls and hackers. A contact form gives you an extra layer of protection while still allowing visitors to message you privately about your writing.
Website hyperlinks are a powerful way to network. By simply placing a hyperlink to your author website beneath your signature on your emails, you make it easy for others to visit your site with just one click. This can be especially helpful when you are connecting with literary agents online, so they can have direct access and learn more about your writing.
A mailing list is a great way to build long-lasting connections with your audience. Social media platforms don’t belong to you, and you’re at the whim of ever-changing algorithms. But a mailing list gives you a captive audience and lets you keep in touch with fans and followers so that they never miss an announcement, update, or new release.
Build a blog and post often. When you regularly post to your website blog, it gives visitors a reason to keep coming back. You’re a writer—this should be second nature! Write creative, compelling blog posts and interact with readers via comments so that your website becomes a lively resource for fans and the writing community in general (which includes those always-important editors and agents). Want to double up on your networking power? Share your blog posts on your social media pages to draw more people to your author website!
LinkedIn has become the apex platform for professionals on social media. While other platforms like Facebook and Twitter have a personal touch, your LinkedIn account is all about your career as a writer and networking. You should have a dedicated icon on your author website for your LinkedIn account so you can connect with people who can help further your career. Find out how else authors can utilize LinkedIn.
Your author website shouldn’t sit there like a forgotten business card stuffed in your pocket. Use its technical capabilities to make faster, smarter, better connections and take your networking power to the next level. And if you’d like more tips on how to build a professional author platform, learn more here.
Question: Which way do you prefer to network with your fans and publishing industry insiders?