I had a conversation this week with an author about creating a website. They wanted the website up quickly. That’s fair enough, so I asked:
“What’s the main purpose for your website and what’s your unique value proposition?”
The reply was, “What do you mean?”
This is a common response, because most people don’t understand what the function of a website should be. Most people think they need a website, simply because everyone says they should have one.
Having a website for the sake of it, doesn’t mean the website will do anything for you. You could start by telling your family and pet dog about it, but after they leave, the tumbleweeds arrive because there’s no strategy or intent behind the website.
As my discussion with the author continued, touching on the obligatory points of what the process involves, how long it takes and how much it is, I made the point that there’s a real difference between a static website that may look “OK” and a website that is effective at driving traffic and generating leads in the form of subscribers or sales.
Here are two things I ask authors to consider when working with them on creating a new author website.
- What’s the “one” main purpose for your website?
- What’s your unique value proposition for visitors?
1. Main purpose
When people come to your website, what’s the one thing you would like them to do? For many authors and business owners, it’s building their email list. Building a list of fans that are always at arm’s reach is how you create a sustainable author platform, cultivate a community or engage new clients. From here you can help your audience “discover” your books, products or services.
2. Unique value proposition
What is it you offer to visitors when they arrive at your website? How does it showcase what’s unique and fresh about you?
With all the blogs and websites out there, finding your unique value proposition will help you differentiate from the crowd.
Often referred to as a “unique selling proposition” or USP, I prefer the term “value” over “selling” because building a fan base doesn’t have to involve a “selling point” in the traditional sense, but by providing value with your own unique voice in the form of free content.
This could either be; informative, actionable or entertaining, or preferably all of these aspects at once.
Best-selling author Tim Ferris of The 4-Hour Chef provides outstanding free content in the form of results from experiments he’s performed on himself and how the results will directly help you if you start taking action today. Now that’s a unique value proposition.
Take yourself as an example. Why do you keep coming back to Facebook? It’s probably because you want to:
- Find out the latest news
- Learn or discover something
- Keep up with what your friends are doing
- Simply feel connected
These are all “value propositions”, to keep you coming back again and again. You’ve probably never thought about Facebook like that have you?
Ask yourself, why would people keep coming back to your website? What’s your value proposition?
Understand this, and you’re halfway to creating a successful website and being leaps and bounds ahead of people who nurture tumbleweeds.
This is another aspect of shaping your platform so you become the cream that rises to the top.
(Note: if you’re wondering, the Book Cover Cafe website service page is currently being overhauled, hence why it’s not visible on the site at this time).
Be the captain of your own ship.
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