Often, the reason visitors head to an author’s website is simple: They want to get to know the writer better. If what readers care about were limited to what’s on the page, then there would be no reason for people to visit author websites.
But the fact is, writer websites get a lot of traction. Not only do they help writers connect with established readers, they can also help create new fans.
The trick is walking the fine line between telling readers about your life—who you are, what you enjoy, etc.—and maintaining a level of privacy protection on your website that you’re comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to share your personality with your readers!
Whether your visitor is a new fan, a literary agent, or an editor, we guarantee that said person is visiting YOUR site because he or she is interested in YOU.
5 Tips For Showing Off Your Personality On Your Author Website
Have fun with your bio. Should you put a formal bio on your website? Absolutely. But you can also include a “dear reader” letter or short essay that gives people a little insight. You can talk about anything—a particular moment that inspired you recently, the reason you became a writer, what you hope people will “get” from your work.
You might also want to touch on your daily life: Do you keep busy taking care of your three dogs, your herb garden? Are you rock climbing on the weekends? People are at your website because they want to learn about you!
Include a slide show. If you’re comfortable, include some of your favorite pictures of yourself (but, of course, avoid anything that might allow anyone to find you or your house, etc.), your favorite black-and-white photo from your childhood, your pictures from your hike through snow-covered mountains, etc. Choose interesting shots, and your readers will feel that instant lift that comes from engaging visuals that offer a glimpse into a person’s life.
Choose a design that emphasizes your personal interests. For writers, our interests and our writing are often inseparable. So when you’re considering your header image and your design motifs, consider how your unique interests might tie in. One example: Mary Diane Hausman incorporated her love of the countryside and horses into her author website design.
Show off your talents. We’ve found the many of the writers who come to Web Design Relief for help with their author websites have multiple talents. If you have a hidden talent beyond writing, use your website to show off! Here’s one example: Author Dwight Hilson incorporated his photography into the homepage of his author website. This adds great visual interest as well as depth to his author site.
Incorporate social network feeds. If you’re already on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social network, you have a built-in engine for showing off your personality—and it’s live! Use a widget to make any updates you post on your social network automatically post to your author website. It’s a fun way to show off your interests, but it’s also a great way to give your visitors an opportunity to stay connected with you!
And The Most Important Thing…
When you’re thinking about how to share your personality with your Web visitors, the most important thing is to have FUN. Readers can feel when you’re enjoying the process of expressing yourself online. (Of course, that doesn’t mean your website has to feel like sunshine and flowers—the important thing is authenticity that represents who you are as a person and a writer).
QUESTION: Have you ever wanted to get to know a writer beyond his/her books?