The most important element in your platform is your author website. This is your home in cyberspace. It’s where readers, agents, publishers, fans, the media, and clients find you. It’s the place where you send people from all your social networks and from your books and media appearances. Without an author website, all the work you do to build platform has no real power.
You can build and author website easily with blog software. I recommend a WordPress.org site. This gives you control and the ability to totally customize the site so it brands you and your books. It also allows all your traffic to go to your address on the Internet, not to the address of a larger organization, such as WordPress.com. It also give you a place to create a mailing list so you never have to worry about losing your followers or the ability to contact them, which could happen on Facebook or Twitter.
And, of course, you get a blog with an author website created with WordPress! A blog provides the center point for all your social networking activity. It gives you a dynamic website where you can interact with visitors as well as one where you can easily update content, which is important for discoverability.
It’s possible that you have already created an author website. If so, super! If not, now is the time….
Nonfiction Writing Prompt #27: Create an Author Website
To complete this prompt, create an author website using blog technology.
If you are technologically inclined, this will be a fun and easy prompt. If you are not, you may feel worried about this prompt. If you know you need help to accomplish this and you are low on funds, you also may feel stressed.
To overcome the money issue, check out WordPress.com. It’s not my first choice for you, but it’s better than the other choices on the market and allows you to later upgrade fairly easily to WordPress.org. The site does have an upgrade option, but I don’t recommend it. If that is your only way to move to WordPress.org, fine; do that.
Otherwise, please start with WordPress.org, hire a developer, and create a site that reflects you, your books and where you are going (not just where you are at this moment). Consider how you want to be known and allow your site to reflect that. You can also find developers at www.elance.com or www.odesk.com. You can get banners for your site and other logos and artwork done at www.fiverr.com.
You will need to pay for website hosting if you choose this”self-hosted” option. (I use A2 Hosting. You also need a URL for your site. There are a variety of places to purchase inexpensive URLs. I use www.godaddy.com (but I don’t use their hosting services).
Here are a few things to be sure you include on your site:
- an author bio page
- an about this blog page
- a mailing list sign up (I recommend www.Aweber.com as an email provider service)
- social share buttons (so visitors can both find you on social networks and share your posts)
- a blog
- information on your books and where to purchase them
- information on your services and products
- a contact page
- a media kit
- a search tool
- an archive of old posts
- post categories
There’s much more, but a good developer will help you with this. Or you can contact me about coaching at Your-Author-Coach.com.
Have fun with this prompt! Your author website doesn’t have to be something set in stone, especially if created with blog technology. It’s easily changed as you change and grow.
Do you have an author website? Did you get started on creating one due to this prompt? Tell me about it.
For more information on how to create nonfiction book ideas that are marketable and that support your writing goals, join the NFWU. When you do, you’ll receive this month’s Nonfiction Writers’ University (NFWU) homework assignment, which contains more exercises and information on this topic. Plus, you’ll have access to the growing archive of past homework assignments and NFWU event recordings as well as some introductory gifts worth more than the membership! Members also get additional bonuses during the year. Next NFWU event: Webinar on 6/12 at 1 pm PT: How To Use Scrivener To Write, Organize, & Publish Your Book with Joseph Michael (The Scrivener Coach) Join the NFWU here at the low introductory rate!
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