“What domain name should I choose for my author website?” I get this question from authors all the time. So here are some guidelines and tips. You need to decide on your domain name before you launch your author website, and you should probably decide before you develop your website because it could impact the design if it becomes the title, or name, of your site.
Ok, so you were convinced that you must have an author website, you now have one, or will have one soon, and now people start mentioning SEO and how important it is. And maybe you start getting emails telling you how you are missing out on website traffic, that you must purchase their services or you will end up at the bottom of the Google barrel, never found by anyone. Then they mention the dreaded meta tags. The stress level rises. All you wanted to do was write a book.
Every author must have an author website, and you will need to engage in online activities to drive traffic to it. This may be by engaging on social media, guest blogging on other sites, sending out newsletters, advertising, or other methods of driving people to your site. So, how do you measure your success in a) driving traffic to your website, and b) having visitors stay on your website, view your content, and hopefully purchase your books?
Your author website is your primary online presence, your brand, your “home” and your author platform. This is where people will come to find out more about you and your books, which gives you an excellent opportunity to present yourself and your books in the best way and to brand yourself. You can do it somewhat on Facebook and other social media sites, but your website is the only place you have complete design and editorial control. Make the most of it.
I often get this question from authors and my standard response is, “Anything you want!” Your website is the only place you can put anything and everything, which you can’t do on Facebook, Amazon, or anywhere else. It’s one of the primary reasons for having an author website. You can share the basic information, but also content readers can't find anywhere else.
Many authors and publishers struggle with choosing the best website option for themselves and their companies. Few people have a technical background, so setting up a DIY author website seems like a daunting task, and many authors and publishers don’t feel confident talking or negotiating with a potential website developer. Some authors have told me that sometimes “it can feel like negotiating with a used car dealer.” It doesn’t have to be so difficult.
It's indisputable: all authors and small publishers must have their own mobile- friendly, professional looking author website. It is, by far, the most important element of your book marketing strategy. I have developed over 150 author and publisher websites in the last 20 years, and although a lot has changed when it comes to developing websites, some things remain fundamental. This blog covers the author website basics you should consider as you are getting started—or before you get started.