Whatever you’re writing, published author or not, fiction or non-fiction, book or blog, you’ll eventually want to set up a website. It doesn’t have to take a long time. Here’s why it’s important.
Do I need an author website?
Creating an author website is the foundation of your platform.
Whatever you’re writing, published author or not, fiction or non-fiction, book or blog, you’ll eventually want to set up a website. But exactly what does it mean? Your author platform is the central hub, the middle of your writer’s universe, where everything comes together, making it easy for you to be found.
Having your own website is still important in this social media age we live in.
Reasons to create your own website:
- You’re in control of your website so you can tweak and adjust for the best results.
- Grow your newsletter.
- Sell more books or courses or services.
- Credibility. Present a professional presence, good for public relations opportunities or if you’re seeking an agent for traditional publishing.
- You’ll be findable. If the worst happens and you lose a social media channel, you won’t disappear, your audience will be able to find you again.
Building Your Author Platform
Creating an author platform is something everyone talks about. But exactly what does it mean? Your author platform is the central hub, the middle of your writer’s universe, where everything comes together, making it easy for you to be found.
Opinions differ on what exactly makes up your platform but I think it all starts with your website:
- A Memorable Domain Name
- Website software aka a content management system
- Hosting for your website
- An email service provider for your newsletter
- Your social media of choice be it Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Your website is a key part of your platform. With it, you can build your own email list, have a home for your books, and even a blog if you choose to communicate that way. Your website is the central hub for all of your online activity.
But I have a Facebook page and an Amazon Author page. Isn’t that enough? Maybe not.
A social media profile or page is essentially digital sharecropping. You don’t own the space. You don’t own your platform on social media. You are at the whim of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube or whatever platform you participate in. They’re in control, you just rent the space you have there and they can take it all away from you in an instant.
And if that happens, you disappear.
Having your own website gives you a space that you control. You have complete control over the content your website includes and how it is presented.
Having your own website is how you can ensure you’ll be findable. Absolutely build your audience on whatever social media you like but also have your website to tie it all together. Make sure you don’t lose your hard earned audience.
Grow your newsletter
Your website is a place to grow your newsletter. Having a mailing list gives you the opportunity to stay in touch with readers, to keep them up to date on what you’re up to, what you’re writing, events and plans for new books. This is important because your list is yours, no matter what happens on social media. You can talk to your audience on your terms instead of whatever the algorithm serves up on Facebook. Social media algorithms are fickle and depending on their mood, your post may not even be seen but your newsletter goes out on your terms.
Sell more books
What author doesn’t want to sell more books? Your website can help you sell more books. Your own website is perfect for maintaining a catalog of your work. You don’t have to do e-commerce yourself, but you should have your work represented with links to where they can be purchased.
Be findable in the search engines
Search engine optimization is another reason for having your own website. Having your books and series listed on your website is another way for people to find you. SEO helps make your work findable online by the people using search engines like Google or Bing. Ideally when someone searches for your name, in the search results you’ll want to see your own website, your amazon author page and your social media platforms shown in the results. SEO is a key piece to showing up there. Your website can be optimized and it’s easier than you think to get the basics down. Plus you control your website, so you can tweak and adjust for the best results.