It seems self-evident that all writers should have a website but then comes the problem of deciding what type or category of website should we choose.
A single static page can do the job, or a collection of static pages, or my favorite nowadays. a blog. Blogs are easy to administer and often free. Both Blogger and WordPress have an ever-expanding choice of free themes that are easy to customize. Both allow great flexibility and a mix of static and blog pages–useful if you wish to direct readers to a static home page, or special offer page, rather than the latest blog post.
According to Wikipedia, websites can be categorized in almost fifty ways. So it’s worth planning before diving in immediately to set up your website.
What Do You Want It To Do?
- Do you simply want to list your books or books in progress?
- Do you want to give away free reports, courses, short stories to your email list?
- Do you want to sell goods directly?
- Do you want to run an affiliate site–make money by selling recommended products?
- Do you simply want to journal your thoughts and feelings?
Think very carefully before limit your options. Check that the website or blog format you use can adapt easily to your requirements. Check that you can set it up and manage it easily yourself. You do not want to have to pay for expert help whenever you need to change a page or special offer.
Before You Make a Decision:
Follow as many blogs as you can–take notes on what you consider to be their best features and their worst. Those of us on the A-Z Challenge have a wonderful learning opportunity with the chance to visit so many high quality blogs.
Visit and assess all the free website offers you can find.
Think carefully about the domain name you want. You may be stuck with it for some time.
www cube from Stuart Miles at Free Digital Photos
Use every chance you have to promote yourself and your writing. One way of networking is to make full use of your signature capability at the foot of each email you send.
Your signature should include your name or pen name, your current website or blog, and the title of your book with an easy buy link. You can attach a graphic of your book cover if you wish but many
email providers do not show images for fear they may be infected with malicious code.
Standard Signature Delimiter
One problem with signatures is that they repeat at the bottom of every message. So if you have an extended email correspondence, your signature could be repeated three or four times at the end of
the whole sequence rather than at the end of your most recent message.
Try using what is known as the standard signature delimiter. This consists of typing two hyphens and a blank white space on a new line before your signature like this:
author and editor
ShriekWeek, a cozy mystery with heart: out now from The Wild Rose Press
You can also add a favorite quotation. Mine tonight is:
“Reading is equivalent to thinking with someone else’s head instead of with one’s own.”
photo by Marcolm, image by digitalart, both thanks to Free Digital Photos.
And find another great post on signatures here, posted by A Tarkabarka Hölgy for the A-Z Challenge.
Are you writing in multiple genres? Do you use a pen name or pseudonym for novels of different genres? Many famous authors use pen names–but they often have support teams with whom they can share the load.
Before you decide to go for a pseudonym for your books, think carefully about the extra work involved using social media, blogs, newsletters for each name you choose. As a new author, and if you are self-publishing, you will have enough work to do keeping up with marketing initiatives. Much easier to promote one name well rather than several haphazardly.
Are you writing under more than one name? under a pen name? How do you cope with the additional work involved in marketing? I’d love to know.
Free photo editors are useful not only to enhance and crop your photos but also to reduce the size to enable your web pages to load quickly and easily.
Try PicMonkey which has detailed video tutorials to help you increase your expertise.
And take a look at Pixlr–another free photo editor with over thirty helpful tutorials.
Don’t underestimate the power of pictures/illustrations in your marketing.
Photo from pickupimage