Visitors to your author website make instant judgments about you—who you are, what you write, and whether they are interested in reading it. You only have a few seconds to snare their attention and convince them to stay awhile. Improve the odds by making sure your writer website creates an immediate, distinct impression.
Web Design Relief Asks: Does Your Author Website Send A Strong, Clear Message?
When was the last time you updated your website? If the front page of your author website announces that your book is “coming soon in 2003,” it may be time to refresh your website. A strong author platform is vibrant, relevant, and current. Plus, regularly updating your text encourages visitors to look you up more often—and that can increase your search engine rankings. Fresh text says: I’m here, I’m meaningful, let’s connect!
Is your text designed for online reading? Writing copy that’s going to appear online is different than writing for a literary journal or future book. Why? People expect a different kind of reading experience when web browsing than they do when sitting down with a book or literary magazine. Here’s an important primer on writing for the web .
Is your text error free? We shouldn’t have to point out the value of proofreading your website! Send the message that you’re an expert wordsmith with clean copywriting.
Does your author website work in tandem with your larger author brand? When your website works in conjunction with the other elements of your author platform (cover art, social media feeds, marketing materials), you send readers a consistent, memorable message about who you are. But when your website design conjures one mood and your cover art another, readers will receive mixed messages. Learn more about how your brand is supported by your platform.
Is your author headshot clear and unique? While you don’t necessarily need a professional portrait session to create a nice headshot, it is important that the image you use supports the same message as your website. For example: Are you going for “funny and lighthearted” or “moody and thoughtful”? Also, be sure that your image is appropriate for the Internet (fast-loading and not pixelated, etc.). Here’s how to create a great author headshot on a budget.
Does your website design encourage a single, powerful call to action? A call to action is, essentially, a directive to visitors to perform a task of your choosing (buy a book, join a mailing list, etc.). Too many calls to action and your visitor will be confused and take no action at all. Send a clear message about the BEST thing your author website is offering them (and learn more about creating a call to action here).
And The Most Important Message Your Author Website Can Send Is…
The story you tell about who you are as a writer might just be the lynchpin on which the rest of your author platform hangs—after all, everything about your writing career stems from you. Who you are as a writer—your interests, hobbies, passions, and goals—informs every choice you make, from font style to website layout to supportive text. So before you begin tinkering with text and images, zero in on the core story that makes you the writer you are! That’s the foundation you’ll need to send a strong, consistent, memorable, unique message across your entire author platform.