If you’re like most authors, you’re probably wondering why you need a website. You’re a writer. You just want to write. While this may be true, there are a few things you undoubtedly haven’t considered that can boost the process.
Yes, writing is important and needs to be done to finish your book. But what if you could tap into your audience to get their feedback while you’re writing it?
You can with a website.
Your website is the essential hub of your author platform. It’s the place everything you publish in the world (books, audio, video, social media posts, etc.), leads back to. Unlike social media platforms, you own the list of names of the fans, followers or subscribers who have given you their details.
Through your website, you can:
- Connect with your tribe when and how you choose.
- Build and nurture your relationship with your fans.
- Ask for ideas and feedback about your book from the people who will buy it.
- Keep them updated on your book’s progress to generate excitement.
- Have an audience of fans ready to buy your book on launch day.
- Find beta readers to assess your book before you publish it.
Ideally, you would build your website first, then write your book because it will help you tweak it as you go. In reality, you’ve probably already started writing, maybe even finished. You could also have published your book.
That’s ok. It’s the route myself, and many other authors have taken. You don’t know what you don’t know.
When is the best time to set up a website?
I believe it’s during the time between your first draft and the first revision.
Take the time to focus on your getting all your words, thoughts and ideas on the page in a somewhat logical order. This will be your first draft. The next step is to go back and revise your first draft as part of the editing process. You’ll probably do a few revisions before you’re done.
Before you attempt any revisions, you need to allow a few weeks’ break to give yourself time to disconnect from it. You’re too attached to the words you’ve written when you just finish writing them. You lack the discernment needed to be ruthless in the revision process. That makes the time between the two perfect to set up your website and use your creativity differently.
Set up your website
Setting up your website doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A domain name, preferably your own, e.g. leoniehope.com. This will become part of your branding and how people will find you. Keep it simple, but put some thought into it. Aim for something memorable and easy to spell.
- A website. I use and recommend WordPress. This is the most popular website platform, and there’s lots of support available if you need help.
- A website host. I use Go Daddy because they’re available worldwide, charge in your local currency, have local support numbers, and have a click and connect option to set up your WordPress website easily. Another popular choice is Bluehost.
- A website template, or theme. There are free and paid options available. The free option is fine to start with as you only need the basics – home page, a blog, about me page, contact page, and an opt-in box (a way for your fans & followers to sign up to get info for your site). I use a paid theme called Divi.
Once you have your website, add your domain name to all your social media, Amazon Author page (check out my post to set one up), and the author bio in your book/s.
Aim to write and post on your blog at least once a month, preferably once a week. This will give you a break from your book while still keeping up the habit of writing and connecting with your readers.
Cheers to your writing success!