Why is an author website necessary you ask? Let me tell you exactly why. 🙂
I was blogging for 8 years, the last two being really focused and was getting nowhere. In December 2016, I participated in a Christmas blog tour where authors raised money for the Edmonton Food Bank. Out of the eleven participating authors, only two didn’t have a website.I was one of them. Most of these authors had just two or three publications to their name and some weren’t even novels. As the blog tour went on, I realized how out of sync I looked to the many readers visiting my blog. I had huge traffic from the tour with zero conversion.
That clinched it. At the start of the year, I collected the earnings from the sale of “Joseon Fringe” and promptly invested it in a self-hosted website. It’s only five-months old. I’m not doing anything expensive, no expensive skins or apps, just a simple website, but I’m already seeing the benefits.
Having a website makes you authentic. It tells editors that you’re serious about being an author. It tells readers that you’re interested in giving them as much information about yourself as you can. People trust you. What do most of us do if we like a product or website, we check out their website. If the website has a blog, then wonderful. An author website is a one stop shop about you. It tells the world that you have arrived as an author.
Leads to Opportunities
As an extension of authenticity, a website also gives you publishing credibility, not just in publishing but as a person. People were far more willing to trust me with the website than a blog. Whether it was agreeing to record a podcast with me or accepting my pitches. It opened doors that didn’t happen with having a blog. In fact, in the last two months, I’ve sold two novellas and two short stories, which may partially be due to the website. It means I’m building an author platform. Editors were willing to give me a chance and that’s fantastic.
We all know how important it is to build an author platform even before you can publish your book. An author website gives you the opportunity to build your brand and that all-important email list. It helps you differentiate yourself from the pack. It identifies, consolidates, and defines who YOU are. If you’re not sold on building an author platform, check out these this post for why you should have a platform.
A home for all things you
Most authors are proactive about social media, often using them as tools for increased exposure, marketing, and sales. But what ties it all together? A website is the home, where your Facebook posts, Twitter smarts, Instagram pictures, Youtube trailers, Pinterest boards and all other social shares comes together. And you have total control over it. With a blog, you cannot analyze the traffic, use SEO or identify your audience coming from these sources in micro detail. But with a website these social media tools will bring in an audience you can keep track of.
The mother of all reasons. Money. Lots of blogs are monetized, but we know the ones; crammed with pop up ads and clickbait, crowded with affiliate links and meager earnings. While I haven’t started monetizing mine, a well-planned author website can be a great source of revenue. Given the introduction of a huge mobile market over the next five years, we’ll be looking at far more revenue coming through websites if you strategize correctly. These could be in the form of affiliate links, advertisements, book promotions and direct sales. Since you have total control over your website, there’s no limit on monetization.
What’s holding you back from creating your own website? If you’re like me, and it’s money fear not, it’s not very expensive to have a simple no-frills website. At the end of the year, you’ll find the investment worth it.
Need help about starting a website? Ask me anything.