The Author Website Plague and What to Do About It

The Author Website Plague and What to Do About It

I’m going to share with you the biggest problem I see with author websites.

Actually it happens so frequently, I’ll go so far as to say it’s more of a plague.

Every week I spend time helping tomorrow’s best selling authors with creating optimal author websites. What to do, and what not to do. During this process I’m able to guide authors with website best practices.

Unfortunately many author websites haven’t had the consideration they’ve needed to become effective and avoid this plague.

So how does this plague infect author websites?

Firstly, I’m not talking about a software or internet viruses in common terms.

This particular plague is caused from authors doing what THEY THINK is the right thing to do, the things THEY think are cool.

But these things don’t work.

Common reasons this plague infects their websites:

  • Writers are creative’s at heart, but publishing and marketing a book requires a business hat as well. Most emerging authors haven’t developed this hat, so they don’t know any better
  • They haven’t spent any time educating themselves

This is the big reason why writers and authors cry out…

  • “Nobody stays on my website!”
  • “No body clicks my links!”
  • “How do I get more subscribers?”
  • “No one is clicking my buy book button!”

What I’m referring to is this…

Authors are having to learn this website and marketing stuff, and for most, it’s new territory.

Unfortunately, they get so caught up in what their website can have, they don’t stop to consider what the focus of their website needs to be. It’s true purpose.

They do things which THEY THINK are great things to have, then becoming precious about the site thinking that more is better.

It’s their website they can do whatever they like right?

What they do wrong is crowd their website with every piece of information THEY think is important.

They add every single widget to their sidebar imaginable from tag clouds, badges, photos of their dog, links to other websites, drop down menus, multiple social media widgets and statistics counters when they have no traffic to begin with.

The list goes on!

Are you one of these authors? (Come on, be honest :-))

The problem with packing your website with junk is that you remove all focus and any chance people will click the one thing you want them to click!

There’s so much noise their eyes and subsequently their attention is divided and fizzes out.

Consequently the visitor “bounces” away from your website never to return again. Website effectiveness = zero.

I see this EVERYWHERE, like a plague.

Keeping people’s attention starts with understanding exactly what you want them to do when landing at your website. What do you want them to click on?

Then, using thoughtful design elements like text, colour and images, you subliminally direct your visitors attention to the main things you want them to do.

  • Become an email subscriber?
  • Discover more about your book, then perhaps even buy?

Here’s one more thing…

Let me tell you the single most important thing you’ll ever read when it comes to creating your author website.

Your website is NOT JUST ABOUT YOU! Your visitors don’t care about you, how awesome you think you are, what sandwich you ate for lunch or how many twitter followers you have.

They only care about WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM! What are you offering THEM!

I’ll wait a moment and let you read that sentence again, it’s that important.

Here’s how you can start improving your author website today

First start by deciding what the most important thing for your website needs to do. Then decide on the second most important thing.

  • This could be building your email list of subscribers
  • Discovering and buying your books
  • Buying your products

Once you’ve decided what should get the attention of your visitors, make sure you give it the focus it needs.

If your first priority is to build your email list of fans, then provide some fabulous free content for them when subscribing. You’ll also want to have a big, clear subscriber box on your website.

Your website design, content and promotional efforts should be planned with your priority attention grabbers in mind. Be intentional.

Thus making for a much more effective website.

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