A writer website helps authors like you increase book sales during the promotional stage before and after publishing your books. Building a website sounds simple enough: You create a three or four page website containing an author's biography, products page, contact page, and if you are lucky a page full of great reviews from your lucky readers.
A publishing company does just that! They put together a small all in one website on their servers so they can fulfill their part of the obligation. But are they really doing you or your book a service?
You want complete control over your websites so you can add to them and change them, but most importantly, capture your visitor's name and email address.
Sure, a writer website is a place to send people to find your book. But if you don't personally send anyone there, is anyone actually going to find you or your book if they are doing a broad search on a search engine? If you have a name like Stephen King, you'd probably get a lot of people to find you and your books that way. But let's face it, you are just starting out and nobody knows your name.
The purpose of an author website is not to sell your books directly from the site. That doesn't mean that it isn't an intricate part of your marketing plan.
Your writer website is a place to develop and build a relationship with your fans. Other artists such as actors and actresses do it; why can't you as an author have a following.
You will use your email list built from your fans to sell books, but it will be used differently than a list of people who are interested in a specific genre and topic of book you write. People who become your fan have either already read a book of yours and really liked it, or they know you personally.
These fans of yours will probably be your most loyal and eager customers, and your fan email list will be your most valuable asset. But your author website is not a book website which is designed strictly to entice and sell people within your target market or book category.
Your author website can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. You can advertise your books on it using a portfolio area. You can build your relationship with visitors and fans through your emails and content on your website.
I recommend naming the website for you as an author your actual name. If you use a pseudonym (a fictitious name for authors when they don't want their name associated with a title), your website should be named by your pseudonym's name.
A great platform for your writer website is Wordpress where you can interact with your visitors in a blog type format, letting your readers know what you are doing. Postings samples of your writing, telling them when you expect to publisher your next book, and interacting with visitors who can post comments is a great way to build fans. Here's some great information on how to build a writer's website and explains a lot about managing your website.
Of course you need a capture page and other forms throughout your website so you can build an email list and people can easily become your fan to get continuous updates of your books and what you are doing.
An autobiography page is a must - your readers want to know all about you. Tell your story in your autobiography, especially how you got started as a writer and share with them why you continue to write.
As mentioned earlier, you must have your portfolio on your site including all of the books you have authored and published. Link to your book website's landing page for that book to get them into your book sales funnel.
Lastly, you need an email Autoresponder system to interact with your list often. This is discussed more with your email list.
This is what sets your writer website apart from a standard 3 or 4 page website that your publisher will throw together. Pay attention and you will grow your site and your fan base exponentially.
Write in your blog every day. Create a new post about what you are doing, what you've learned, the mistakes you made, information you want to pass on to your visitors about your upcoming books. You name it, you can make a post about it.
Do this every night before you go to bed sort of like a writing journal. This will continuously add new content to your website to help people find your site when the search engines index it.
Your paid for advertising is never going to go toward your writer website, only free informal advertising. And we don't do it in an advertising manner.
The best way to drive people to your writing website is by adding all of your posts (or partial posts with links back to your website) to your social media networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, MeWe, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and any other social sites you have accounts with.
As an author, you should have a separate Facebook Page associated with your author name so you can congruently build it at the same time. Many of your friends in your social networking sites may not want to hear every post you make, so having an associated page helps filter them from the ones that do want to hear your updates.
The Facebook author page is just like your list of fans, just like your email list. You are conversing directly with them, though email is more direct and they are less likely to miss it.
Sending updates to all of your social accounts every time you update your writer website consistently will give you amazing results.
You can also send messages to author and book promotion groups on Facebook to get free visitors to your website as well. This is less effective, but will help grow your fan base beyond your own personal networks.
If you have any questions regarding how to build an author website or getting visitors to that site, please contact me and I'll help out the best I can.