Nowadays, having a successful author website is imperative. They give you credibility and they act as a node on the web where readers have the possibility to buy your books, connect with you on social networks or through a simple contact form.
If you are thinking about having an author website or you already have one, and you want to improve it, then you should read the following tips:
1. Above all things, make sure the design is clean.
Do not fill your home page with thousands of items that are unnecessary. Make sure there are negative space, pleasing to the human eye. Always keep your website appealing.
If you are hiring an author website designer, it is good advice to provide examples of clean websites to make it easier for them to come up with the perfect design.
2. Many options for buying links.
Promoting your book is the main objective of any author website, and more than anything to get your readership click on the buying links. Make sure the buttons are visible and encourage people to click. Do not hide them, and try not to use only text links. Call to action buttons are a must. Offer your books on the most important platforms like amazon, itunes, kobo, and do not be afraid to fill your author website with these links.
3. Mobile Ready Author websites
It is no secret that in today’s world people use smartphones practically most of the day. As soon as they get up, when they are working and when they go to sleep. It would be terrible if your author website looks perfect on desktop screens or laptops without regard to mobile phones.
If your author website is not responsive yet, you should think about getting a design that fits perfectly on the screens of all device types in order to give users a great experience on your website and avoid high bounce rate. (A metric that google closely observes when it comes to ranking your author website in search engines)
4. Update your author website consistently.
The best thing you can do if you still do not have an author website, is to make sure it is built with WordPress: The most used and respected content management system (CMS) on the internet. The main reason is because wordpress allows authors to be able to update content easily from a dashboard without the need of technical knowledge. It is as easy as writing an email or formatting a document in microsoft word.
Make sure the content is fresh so that the search engines index your pages and get more traffic.
5. Connect your social networks with your author website.
The worst thing you can do when building your author website is to minimize the power of social networks. The most important are facebook, twitter, instagram and pinterest. But you can also consider goodreads and linkedin, especially if you are a non-fiction author.
An author website is a point where all your social networks converge. People love to interact and be active in social media is a must if you want to connect with your audience.
There are numerous plugins that can be very useful when connecting your profiles with your author website. You can use jetpack and connect your facebook page, you can embed your Twitter feed in your side bar and you can even showcase your instagram photos too.
Also consider including icons and show them prominently!
6. Keep in mind your audience
Deciding who is your audience is key, specially as soon as you decide to write a book. Consider writing a book marketing plan right away if you haven’t yet.
The colors, style, the way you offer your book and the type of blog posts will depend greatly on your audience.
A romance author website is not the same as a non-fiction author website that offers self-help books.
Do not underestimate the power of a good design that captures the spirit of your book. Well designed author websites let you connect with your audience more effectively!
7. Give importance to email marketing
A newsletter sign up box should be the first item that your author website should have. If you are not already collecting emails be sure to create an account with mailchimp.
Ideally you should offer some incentive like a free chapter of your next book, or an ebook with short stories in pdf format. People love downloading free content and you will see how easy it is to collect many email addresses using this technique.
It is better to go with a service like mailchimp to create more effective campaigns.
8. Trust those who know
In certain cases, where your technical skill is limited or you simply do not have time, it is important to delegate the work to those who do have the expertise.
Hiring a developer with author website design expertise can be very beneficial. Fausga has created hundreds of author websites and can give you great advice and suggestions.