Every 21st century indie author must have a web presence which includes a website. Having social media accounts is ok. But having
a website gives you a centralized place where your readers and the media can catch you. An author website also makes you look professional and fully invested in your writing career.
Website traffic is the lifeblood of any website. For many authors, getting potential readers to visit their site is a complex job that’s best reserved for professional SEOs and other online gurus. However, it isn’t as hard as some people might make it sound. A few hours each week is what you will need in order to implement the following 7 website traffic generation tactics.
1. Link your author related social media accounts to your website
You probably have an author account with several leading platforms. So why not drive your social media followers to your website? Here are two ways
to do this.
– Create a link to your indie author websites homepage or special landing page on every social media profile. This link can be a source
of a steady stream of social media traffic to your site.
– Add a teaser introduction to every blog post you publish on your social media feed with a link to the complete post. This is one of the
most effective ways to constantly get huge traffic to your site every once in a while. This tactic will require you do some research on the time majority of your followers are active on social media.
2. Do not forget SEO
Search Engine Optimization is focused on getting your web pages to rank high on search engine results. Your author website might probably
be focused on your book or you as an author. So with regards to SEO, you’ll probably want to focus on getting potential readers to easily find you when
they search your author name or book title.
The most important aspect of SEO for indie authors is that your blog is essential to drive traffic. Make sure your blog posts are SEO ready and use tools like google keyword planner to find relevant long tail keywords for your blog posts.
3. Publish a free highly informative resource on your website
Have insider secrets that your readers are dying to learn? Are you an expert in a specific writing related topic that no one in the industry
has thoroughly covered? If you know something that your readers are searching for, why not create a highly informative resource and publish it on your website?
Free and highly informative resources have two main advantages.
– People love to share and link to them. Quality backlinks and shares are good for SEO.
– Readers consider you an authority on the topic. People trust experts and are more willing to work with them.
The great thing about creating resources is that once created, they’re set to bring in new traffic for years. Good examples of resources are infographics, FAQs, tutorials and courses. It could even be a list of your top books on a specific writing related topic.
4. Build an email list and create and email newsletter
As an author, you can never wholly rely on search engines or social media to constantly drive traffic to your site. They have control over
traffic. A single search engine algorithm change or a social media platform deciding to deactivate your account can cut traffic flow to your site.
Always build an email list from the day your website goes live.
There are many email hosting service providers. Mailchimp is one of the leading companies since you can store up to 2000 emails for free
with the service.
Creating an email newsletter allows you to keep in touch with members of your list. It also allows you to build trust and easily turn subscribers into your loyal readers and advocates.
How often you publish your newsletter will depend on how much time you can dedicate to preparing it and the members on your list. It’s always
a good thing to inform new list members of the frequency with which you’ll publish. This way, they’ll at least expect a new email from you after a
specific amount of time.
If your readers don’t have time to read a blog post, why not package your message into a podcast that they can listen to or download and
listen to later? Podcasting might still be new and intimidating for many indie authors. However, its growing popularity among bloggers is an indicator that it works. For authors, podcasting provides a great opportunity to host recorded interviews where participants share their expertise. It also works as a good marketing tool especially if you want to get new subscribers or even buyers for your work.
6. Market your website offline
Word of mouth and other forms of online marketing are still effective today. If you get the opportunity to meet up with potential readers or
even fellow authors, make sure to spread the word about your website. This means that you must include a link to your website and maybe one or two social media accounts on all print materials you use for marketing.
A good way to entice potential visitors to find your website is to use a brief explanation about what they should expect when they visit
your site. For example you could write “visit my website using this special link to gain instant access to the first two chapters of my new book.” Of course you should include the book title.
7. Guest blogging or being interviewed
Offering your expertise to the audience of a different blog through a guest post or interview is an easy way of attracting new traffic. Most
authors limit themselves to websites that are fully dedicated to writing. This in turn limits their chances of reaching readers who are in no way interested in becoming writers themselves.
A good strategy would therefore involve identifying websites with a huge audience that mainly comprises readers. If your guest post is
published or, you’re interviewed, play your part by promoting the post or interview to your social media followers and website readers.
Striking a balance between writing and driving traffic to your author website might seem like an impossible task. However, being an author,
both tasks can actually go hand in hand. Writing and publishing regularly is one of the best ways to drive traffic to any website. Offering your expertise
on specific topics through podcasts, interviews, newsletters, courses and other resources is yet another effective way of building website traffic. If you look at traffic generation as part of your daily routine, it’s very unlikely that it will conflict with your writing career.
These are just a few of the effective traffic generation tactics indie authors can use today. Which is your favorite tactic? Please share
in the comments below.