Any author these days is going to need a website in order to maintain an online presence that is more than just social media based, it also shows that you have invested (and therefore believe) a little more in yourself as a writer and professional author.
But many look at starting a website with a sense of trepidation, don’t you need to understand coding to do that? Or maybe it’s the layout and the design aspect which is putting you off, it could be the prices too (you can spend thousands in getting a website up and running).
Okay, don’t panic, as with services which will allow you to build your own apps without any prior knowledge of coding, there are a great many website services which will also allow you to build a complete website without any in-depth computer skills.
Most of these use templates which allow you to simply add images, graphics, text and video to be able to build a professional looking website which will impress any reader which clicks onto it.
So here are three of the most popular website building services currently being used (and in no particular order).
Their prices start from $4 and move up to $25 for their top of the line service, with many templates they also provide lots of gadgets to enrich your site and a great mobile building option (which keeps things looking good for Google). Wix also gives the option of having an online store (sell copies of your own book and other merchandise here). It’s an easy to use interface which has lots of features to keep most authors happy.
They do start off with a free option but this does have the Weebly branding and ads, from here they have three other price points which are $8, $12 and $25 per month, again, there are plenty of themes to choose from and an interface which is easy to navigate and use. It also gives you more data with regards to your site’s statistic and even allows you to download your source code (should you want to). It also boasts an online store and the ability to use apps upon the site (free and charged).
Prices start from $5 for their entry level service and rise to $70 for their full on business account (maybe not quite what you’re after) however, they do have an option at $12 which gives you a 20 page beautiful looking website with a whole host of features to help promote yourself as an author. A great service for e-commerce their shop also enables selling digital downloads.
There are of course many other website building platforms, but once you have your site up and running the real work begins.
SEO (or search engine optimization) is somewhat of a mystery to most people who don’t work in an I.T. related job, but it is vital to the success of your website. Ensuring that your site is friendly to the search engines will enable your readers to actually find you when looking on Google.
What does this mean? It means creating great content for your site which is actually relevant and of interest to your subject (and more importantly) reader, it also means labeling everything correcting, using keywords throughout your text, submitting your site details to Google, Bing and the countless other directories. You’ll also need to keep on top of creating regular new content for your site, writing a blog once to twice a week will really help, also refreshing the content upon the sites landing/front page makes a difference too.
Running a website does involve a lot of work (and you will lose track of the hours – believe me) but the rewards are well worth it, you’ll have a platform to interact with your audience and readers, a way to self-promote without limitations or restrictions, it also shows that you’re serious about your craft as a writer and professional author.