As authors, what do we want to include on our website? It can get a bit messy, especially if we write in more than one genre. My own site is a good example of just how messy it can get. I write in the genre of Tarot and divination, in the self-help genre, I am developing books in the mystery/cozy mystery genre. I also have blogs for my reviews, and for music. I am going to probably leave my current site as is, and purchase another one for my mystery writing. That is the plan, anyway.
Now we get to decide what to put on our site. We need to realize that our sites are part of our brand as authors, and that a website is the best way to build the very necessary e-mail list (so that we can keep our name out there, and sell our books!). If we depend on social media sites to build our e-mail list, we leave ourselves open to the crash and burn scenario, as these sites can change how they do things in a New York minute! We have control over our own sites, and we can present ourselves as we best see fit.
The first step to building a website is choosing a host. I use Word Press, because it is very easy to use. I choose to use the paid for version, through Blue Host. This has worked well for me, because I am not a tech savvy person, and their tech services have saved me a lot of headaches!
My domain name is registered, so that no one else can claim it. Why would they, you ask, since I am using my own name? Believe it or not, there is another Bonnie Cehovet! She is in South America. By registering my domain, I am saving myself from any future complications.
Develop an About page that represents you as a writer. Only talk about the things that you want people to know - which for me would be my cats, my love of reading, and my love of writing. My favorite author sites are those where the author shares a bit of themselves, so this is what I modeled my site after. It is also a good idea to put a good photo of yourself on your About page. I am a bit behind with this. My goal is to get a professional photo done - one that I can use on my site, my book covers, and other promotional material.
Make sure that the image on your header represents who you are. I chose an image that focuses on a desk, because that is where I spend most of my time.
Include a sign-up form for your newsletter (yes, you should be doing a newsletter!). Your newsletter allows you to keep in touch with your readers, and to promote your work.
Organize things in your menu so that the flow is easy to follow. Yes, you can do a single page, but I personally detest that type of site.
Include links to your social media sites, so that your readers can follow you. I have separate pages on FaceBook for my friends, and for my professional work. If you have a blog connected with your site, make sure that site visitors can find it easily. My blog is separate from my site - this is just how my work evolved.
Allow your site to evolve as you evolve as a writer!
(c) December 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.