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?