There’s lots of advice out there telling authors they should be blogging. ‘You should build your platform‘ and this is true. I encourage authors to have an author website as their ‘home base‘.
But let’s be clear, this is after you’ve determined who your target audience is. Who is your ideal reader?
What many authors do is stick up a free blog, that’s not optimised, with no branding consideration, no idea who their ideal visitor is and looks very unprofessional. If an author doesn’t appear to have any credibility, who looks like they don’t even take themselves seriously, why should anyone else?
They throw hope to the wind, only to later wonder why they didn’t get floods of traffic. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they’ll come.
Unfortunately, the majority of the time this happens. Three months later the author wonders why no one is visiting the website or blog, has become disenchanted with blogging and stops. The website is now a home for tumbleweeds.
There’s millions of blogs out there, all alone, populated by tumbleweeds.
But the answer is quite straight forward.
Don’t just build an author website or blog, build a ‘destination’ that you would want to visit as an avid reader of your genre or topic. Start by setting up your author website with website hosting, a premium WordPress theme, a proper email address and a professional photo.
Then don’t forget to promote it. Use social media, guest blogging, joint ventures or events with other authors. Provide value to others and they will come back and seek you out. Yes, this means you have to take action and make this happen.
Take a look around, there’s millions of readers for almost every genre. Whether you write non-fiction or fiction, ask yourself these questions.
What type of author website or blog would your readers love to visit?
What content would they keep coming back for?
Here’s a hint. What would you like to see, but are disappointed not to see on other blogs and websites about your genre or topic?
That’s the author website you want to create! That’s the website that’s going to be easier to promote, because it’s different and offers value for others. It’s not just about you, it’s about providing value for your readers. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers covers this well.
Have a children’s picture book?
Have extra learning material for teachers on your website. Provide worksheets or games for parents to do with the kids. Give them a reason to come back and share with others. Children’s author Robin Adolphs has great success with this.
Got a fantasy novel on mythology?
Create a resource of mythological characters, short stories and free material surrounding this topic. Being a fan of mythology, what would you like to see?
Personally, I love mythology. Percy Jackson, Clash of Titans, I love this stuff. If I read a book on my Kindle and visited the author’s website to discover a treasure trove of material and goodies that support or compliment the book and this topic, I’m in!
Don’t just create a website … create a destination for fans of your genre or topic to return to again and again.
What are all the other websites not doing? DO THAT!
A website that proves great value for readers takes work, there’s no getting around it. Anything worth doing requires effort, but if you do it and create something worthy of word of mouth, then you’ll be leaps and bounds above all those who won’t. You’ll be building a strong platform and your ability to sell books will increase.
Have people coming back again. Provide value and entertain. Build your email list of super fans like best selling independent author John Locke and they’ll be eagerly waiting for your next book.
Make it happen!