You Need an Author Website
Do you have an author website, and if so, does it work as hard as you do?
A website is your most powerful marketing tool, especially if it contains a blog. Blogging allows you to share fresh, compelling and useful information, which keeps your site from becoming stagnate. You want a dynamic site with loads of optimized content.
Optimized content is written with SEO strategies in mind. The trick is to formulate content for human audiences and the search engines—not an easy task. Have you ever spotted web pages and blog posts that look like they are written for a bot? You don’t want that. What you DO want is content that seems to flow naturally, but is optimized to attract traffic. Good web content can do both, and a trained SEO specialist (like me) can help.
Go with a Pro
A well designed website contains everything you need to market yourself and sell books. First, you need to decide what content management system (CMS) to use. I recommend WordPress because it’s flexible and easy to manage. There are millions of WordPress sites around the world—it’s that popular and effective.
Unless you are techy and familiar with HTML, CSS and PHP, I recommend having your site professionally developed. But WordPress is free, you might say. Yes, it is. But if you want to customize it, optimize it, and make it mobile friendly, then invest in a website developer who understands the needs of authors.
A good web developer can give you sliders, the latest themes, user-friendly navigation, browser compatibility, SEO tools, and licensed stock photography for use on your site. I’ve referred several authors to my own website developer, SuburbanBuzz — a boutique advertising, marketing and web development firm that also provides book publishing services.
Why Blogging Matters
So many authors ask, “Why should I blog?” There are so many good reasons.
- Writers write. You should write every day.
- Whether you work on a manuscript, make journal entries, or write blog posts, practice is essential to your career.
- Commercial blogging is an art form.
- It is not stream of conscience writing, but rather a technical way to merge editorial and SEO into one powerful bundle.
- It helps you sell books.
- Your blogging throws new information into cyberspace.
- If you blog consistently, Google will eventually consider you an authority.
- Your posts will begin to rank—you ultimately want them to appear top page.
- You’ll be a better researcher.
- Yes, blogging involves research—facts, figures, quotes and more.
- Be sure and cite your sources (no one want to infringe on the intellectual property of others).
- Sharing subject matter expertise helps others.
- If you specialize in a genre or have successfully been through the publishing process, then blogging is an opportunity to mentor and inspire others.
- Blogging helps you build and interact with an audience.
- If your comments are open, people can weigh in and ask questions.
- Blogging makes you a creative force.
- You’ll be wordsmithing like crazy.
- You’ll be selecting photography that aesthetically complement your posts.
- Be sure and subscribe to a low cost, no royalty image provider such as Graphicstock.
- Blogging can equate to good marketing and PR.
- You can blog about your back list, upcoming books, appearances and book signings.
- Someone may even contact you to speak at a writer’s guild or book club.
Read my blog post SEO for Your Author Blog and learn more about the specifics. You’ll find information about SEO and best practices to help ensure your blog generates traffic.
Questions? Comments? Weigh in or contact Melanie@melaniesaxtonmedia.com.