In the previous post, we talked about creating your Author Platform. One of the essential elements you will need is some kind of web presence. A home on the web. This can be a website or a blog. I prefer a blog because it is easy to add new content and manage yourself.
Creating an Author Website/Book Blog, Your Online Home
THE WHY: This is important because it gives you an author’s home online. It is the place to focus your marketing around. Your website/blog becomes one central hub around you and your books. Google also likes it. Much of my marketing efforts center on using the power of Google. Google indexes my content and brings readers to my books, which are highlighted on my websites and blogs.
I like an author blog over a book blog because it gives you the freedom to highlight different content. And you may write more books. I also like blogs because websites often need a web person to update and maintain. Hence some costs. Websites are more fixed content. But with a blog, you should be able to add new content yourself. Author/book sites don’t have to be extensive, all you need is a few pages.
You don’t have to have the technical experience to create a simple book blog/website online. A simple free online blogging platform, like Google Blogger, will work fine. I would recommend getting a URL for yourself, though. Register a simple web address like YourNameAuthor.com. Do this on a register site like Directnic.com or GoDaddy.com. If you are using a free website like Google Blogger, you can point the URL from your register to your blog. Free sites often keep the domain name in the URL. If you have a full-on WordPress site, you can set up a normal URL with your hosting.
There are many free blogs and website platforms available. WordPress has a free version. But, I like Google Blogger sites. They are free, very easy to set up, and you can have as many as you want. You are in the Google world; they take care of security, updates, and all that stuff. If you have a Gmail account, you have a Google Blogger account already. You can always grow to something bigger, https://draft.blogger.com/
There are also sites like Wix.com and Weebly.com. They have free and paid options. To create the site, drag elements around, using their plug-and-play software. Creating websites has become much easier. There is generally training available on their websites or YouTube. You can also work with a low-cost hosting site like Hostgator.com or Bluehost.com. All hosting sites have a WordPress plugin that you can use and very often provide templates ready to go. It is getting very easy these days.
The Essential Pages for Your Author Website
A Blog Page to Post Content
While you are writing your book, you can add regular progress posts related to the book you are writing. These can be storylines, sample sections, and descriptions of the process. Also, add images and related content. Take people on your book creation journey. These posts will build interest and Google search traffic. You can also build up your mailing list. If you have an email sign-up box on your site? You can give something away in exchange for signing up. Your email service provider can supply this little piece of code.
Be sure to follow the Kindle Select rules on duplicate content if you are going to use this Amazon program.
Your blog or website gives you the ability to place ads around your content for your own book. These ads should link to Amazon. Add sell lines at the bottom of every post with a link to Amazon. Google brings you an audience and you sell them your book. You market your own books with ads for your own books.
An Author Bio Page
Tell your story, add your credentials and your achievements. Include any other books you have written. Make this page interesting and have it support your latest book. Be sure to include a current picture and contact info, including your social media links. This doesn’t have to be very long to be very effective. This page along with the resource page will be the higher traffic pages on your site.
A Sales Page for Your Book with Links to Amazon or Other Places
Have a sales page for your book. You can model it on the same information that you put on Amazon. It should include a book cover image, basic specs, book, and author descriptions, and a big button to buy. How about a video interview of you talking about the book, or testimonials and quotes? Have a link to your media page for more information.
A Resource Page for More Info on Your Subject
The Resource Page is one of my key pages on my sites. Your resource page should include resources around your topic. List these items on a resource page with live web links. Add listings, graphics, videos, whatever you want. We do this because I have found that on my blogs, the resource page has some of the highest web traffic on my site. Google loves resources pages. Bring people in with your content and send them off to buy your book. This page can grow over time, with no rush.
A Media Page
Include content from your media kit on this page. Have the book cover, author and book descriptions, book specs, and more.
Any Other Pages as Needed, Speaker Page, FAQ Page, Events, etc.
Having a central online home makes it very easy for you to direct people to a place for them to learn more. I would also set up other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Build those audiences as well. Don’t go crazy and get distracted with all the online options, but you need to build this world. The online presence is where you will announce your new book and drive sales.
Live Links From Your Books to Amazon
One of the key elements on your blog or website is a simple way for people to buy your book. These can be images or ads of your book with a button underneath that links to Amazon. Also on your site, there should be an additional book or catalog page with links to Amazon. Add images or references to your book in each blog post. Be sure to include your book information in the footer area of your website. Google brings readers in and you send them off to buy your book. Make it easy to buy.
Email Sign-up Box
The primary goal is to build your platform. One of the key elements of a platform is your email list. One of the easiest ways to build your list is to give something away for free in exchange for the reader signing up. We call this a lead magnet. It could be a sample chapter of your book, a checklist on your topic, or some video training. Sometimes it is the entire book. Give away to get. Build that relationship. Fans need to touch and feel your content. Like they do in a bookstore. I usually deliver chapters or the entire book as a PDF by email or download.
Once someone has signed up and is on your email list, you can use an auto-responder to send them a series of emails. Auto-responders give you the ability to have many touchpoints over time with your readers. You don’t have to send emails every day. When it comes time to launch a new book, you have an audience to promote to.
Manage your email list through an email service provider. Popular ones are AWeber.com, MailChimp.com, MyEmma.com, or ConvertKit.com, there are many others. Service providers let you schedule bulk emails, have auto-responders. Most have templates, you can customize. With most providers, you can now add attachments, such as PDFs or other files. Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo are email companies. But they are not service providers and aren’t designed to manage a large list of subscribers. MailChimp and ConvertKit have free packages to get you started.
All these companies have tools so you can create an email sign-up box and add it to your blog/website.
Your Book and the Hidden Power of Google Analytics
Using your blog and your content, you can have insights into your book’s appeal.
More to Come…
Excerpt from How to Sell Your Book, How I Made $322,650 and Sold 34,605 Books on Amazon, The Inside Secrets, by J. Bruce Jones. Bruce is the author of over 50 books on music, geography, children’s, coloring, and publishing. His latest book is available at Amazon and as a Downloadable PDF with bonus videos.
Available as a Downloadable PDF with bonus videos
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