Tips For Designing Your Author Website


The first thing any #author needs is a #website. It's literally your home on the #internet. It's the place where everything else, all your #marketing, all your effort and hard work will #lead your #readers to. As an #author, you will find that there are times when you might be #promoting a specific book, i.e. a #new #release but at other times you will want to #promote your #author #brand.


After all, you're not just #selling one #book but all the other #books that will come after that one #book. Other than when you are obviously trying to #direct #readers to #buy a specific #book, you will want to #direct them towards your #website. So that means everything on #social #media, the #back #matter of your books, your physical #swag, everything should #actively #lead your #readers towards your #website.


1. Getting Found

The first thing to remember is that your #website needs to be easy to find. There are several ways to do this. First, sounds obvious but make sure you are #actively #directing #traffic to your #website. The busier it is, the more views, the better it will do in #search #engines.


You'll also want to choose a super easy title for your site. So, most #authors choose their name. If you can, you literally want, your first name followed by your surname and ideally a dot com address. Example: www.hanleighbradley.com


The other important thing about "getting found" is your #website's #SEO. SEO literally means "#Search #Engine #Optimisation". Don't skip this stuff. It is pretty key. SEO #keywords are our way of telling the #internet, #google and whoever else what our site is about. The more #relevant our #keywords, the higher our #websites will show up in #search #results.


2. Brand Identity

You'll want a #logo or #author #signature and perhaps a #tagline. You'll probably want to put it in the #header and have it on every page. As well as that you'll want a consistent #theme throughout the #website.


3. About The Author

You'll want an #about page. Personally, I use the #home page for this so this is the first thing #visitors see when they #click onto my author site. You might want to add a head shot but you'll definitely want a #bio. I also have the #covers of all the #books I am #releasing this year and if they are available to #buy or #preorder, there are #links too. I think this is quite cool because it tells new #readers what they can look forward to. #Anticipation is a #reader's best friend. I also have a cheeky countdown widget that counts down until my next release.


4. Your Book Information

Obviously, you'll need a page or set of pages for your #books. Every time you #release a #new #book you will want to update these pages with the new information. You'll want to include #covers, #blurbs, #buy #links and anything else you want to include.


I use the #Goodreads #Widget to show reviews and I also have a #widget for #relevant #blog #posts. I have over twenty books so I don't do a page for every book but rather a page per #series. However, you can still link to each book in your #navigation #menu if you use #anchors to mark where on the page information is for a specific #book.


5. Your Newsletter

You'll want multiple ways for #visitors to #sign #up to your #newsletter. You can have sign up #forms on each page, but I also have a link to an external form in my #navigation #menu. As well as that, you can use #pop #ups or whatever else you like.


The best thing I'd recommend is a #freebie on your #home page. So, on my very first page there is a #graphic/ #banner that says "Read Your First Book For FREE!" They click that it takes them to a #landing #page for my first book. They can get it for #free if they sign up to my mailing list.


You don't have to pay to set up these landing pages either, if its out of your #budget. Story Origin is a great free option. Or if you don't mind paying, I'd suggest #bookfunnel. I actually use bookfunnel for pretty much everything but I still use Story Origin for my Home Page #Giveaway.


6. Your Author Blog

You might hate it but #blogging is kind of important. Obviously, it's brilliant for #interacting with #readers and using it to #direct #visitors to your #site, but its also really helpful for your #SEO. #Blog about whatever's #relevant and it will definitely boost your #traffic.


7. Exclusive Content

It's worth adding #exclusive #content. I read somewhere that #Google loves it. Not sure how accurate that is so don't quote me on it. You can create a site #membership where only members can see certain #excerpts, #short #stories and whatever else you might have. It's about making your readers feel as special and important as they actually are to you.


8. A Store

It's not necessary but it might be worth considering selling your #ebooks #directly from your #website. You can also #sell #signed #paperbacks and #swag. This is a really nice way to save a few pennies, as you knock out the middle man and don't have to share your #royalties. Obviously, you'll still want to #distribute on the bigger #stores but why not #direct your #core #readers to your own #store?


I have a store on my site. It's pretty new. I've actually cheated. I've used #PayHip so that I can avoid the website #store #fees that most #website #host sites charge. It means #visitors have to leave the #website to visit it but I have it set to open in a new window so they don't actually leave.


I really hope these little tips help you to set up your #website. Don't forget if you need some more advice, you can drop us a message. Or if you'd like us to create your website, that's possible too. Just drop us an email at afwbinfo@gmail.com

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