Writers and authors need websites. We need these for a variety of reasons. First, we need to promote ourselves as writers. We want a place to place a media kit and to send the media. We want a place to feature our writing, as in links to our published work, and a blog. Second, we want to feature, promote, and sell our published works–our books. We may have other products as well, such as CDs, mp3s, coaching services, study-at-home courses, teleseminars and webinars, etc. For all of these things, we need a website…or more than one website.
You have many choices about how you set up your website to feature you–writer/author–and your work or book. My websites have gone through many different gyrations as I’ve tried to discover what works for me. Because I have two sites (Pure Spirit Creations and CopyWright Communications) and a variety of blogs and columns on different topics, recently I created a third website to pull everything together. This one seems to fit into the description of what my guest blogger, Shel Horowitz, describes below as a “triage webpage.” Shel is the award-winning author of Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers and Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. (I don’t have the sales copy he discusses; my click throughs just take you to a different website or blog, but it’s the same basic idea, I think, as a triage webpage.)
If you are anything like me and have many interests or products, this post might interest you. If you don’t, you’ll still want to read it to get your mind thinking about what type of website will work best for you.
By Shel Horowitz
A lot of marketers think the one-page salesletter website is the one solution for all kinds of businesses. Other marketers believe every website should be a full-blown info-portal, with lots of links and menus. But I’m not in either camp.
I believe firmly that different products, offers, and audiences lend themselves to different approaches. In fact, in my seventh book, Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, I describe seven different types of websites and suggest good situations for each.
One of those seven that you probably haven’t come across elsewhere is the “triage website”: a concept I’m pretty sure I invented and that’s very helpful selling the same product to different audiences (something that fits many books), or sells different products. Ironically enough, if you’re using a one-page salesletter site and driving traffic through anything other than extremely specific campaigns such as pay-per-click, it might be the perfect front end to show visitors before they get to your salesletter.
A triage website uses the home page to identify and separate different categories of visitors, and to present content that resonates with those specific people.
So, for instance, if you visit http://www.grassrootsmarketingforauthors.com/, you’ll see some introductory text about the book industry overall, and then these choices:
- Click here if you’ve already written and published your book
- Click here if you’re a publisher of more than one author
- Click here if you have written or mostly written your book and you’re trying to figure out how to get it published and marketed
- Click here if you have an idea for a book but haven’t written it yet
- Click here to read what Dan Poynter, John Kremer, Fern Reiss, and other experts say about Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers
- Click here if you love facts and statistics and want sources for all the numbers cited in this report
- Click here if you’re ready to order
Each leads to a slightly different page, tweaked to provide maximum impact to those particular visitors.
Note that it’s helpful if the categories are at least somewhat related. I noticed that publishing guru Dan Poynter has actually moved away from a triage homepage at parapublishing.com. Previously, his home page offered four widely disparate choices: book publishing/marketing, expert witness, cat lovers, and of course, parachuting. (You can see an archived version at http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20020605224551/http://www.parapublishing.com/ ) Now, the home page is about publishing, and if you know where to look (bottom of the left column) you can find links to the other sites (subsections of the main site).
I’m guessing he changed because the four topics just had too little to do with each other, creating challenges for things like search engine optimization, not to mention possible confusion.
What’s the best kind of website to promote *your* book? You might just find the answer in Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers.
About the Author
Which would you rather read? “Electronic Privacy Expert Releases New Book” (snore!) or “It’s 10 O’Clock—Do You Know Where Your Credit History Is?” Press releases, book jackets, sellsheets, web pages from Shel Horowitz (award-winning author of Grassroots Marketing for Authors and Publishers, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green, and six other books) tell “the story behind the story.” Say goodbye to boring copy! Shel will write material so compelling that people thank you for letting them read it.
Shel is also available to speak on book publishing and marketing, green business/green marketing, and success with ethical business practices. He writes the monthly columns, Green And Profitable and Green And Practical.
All purchasers of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green are entitled to more than $2000 worth of bonuses, just by registering at http://www.guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com/resources-2/bonuses