Cookie-cutter author website templates with little functionality might be cheap—but “cheap” is still a waste of money if your author website doesn’t actually grow your writing career. At Web Design Relief, we know that self-published authors need a website that acts as a hub of connectivity and works as a powerful sales driver.
The Best Website Design Tips for Self-Published Authors
Define your mission. What specific goal must your author website accomplish? Are you hoping to sell books? Do you want to grow an email list? Do you want to point readers toward your social media profiles and build your following there? Although your website may offer visitors various opportunities, you as an author should have a clear mission of your top, primary goal.
Send out the call. Once you know your website’s essential goal, you can design the layout of your individual webpages to support that goal. Every page of your website—especially your author homepage—should offer a clear call to action that makes it easy for visitors to do what you want them to, whether it’s sign up for your newsletter or buy your book.
Choose a great domain name. The URL of your author website could be your name, your book title, or something else entirely. Here’s how to pick a domain name that’s right for your writing career.
Build your branding. From your author headshot to your website’s footers, every element of your author website should support your author brand. Each component should embrace the same mood, tone, and color schemes so that all elements of your website tell the story of who you are and the types of books you offer.
Make a mailing list. Although much emphasis is placed on the power of social media for generating word-of-mouth sales, the fact remains that your email list essentially belongs to you—but your social media platform does not. For that reason, building a private mailing list—that you own and control—is an important long-term strategy for advancing your writing career. Learn more about how to entice people to join your email list.
Socialize. Integrate your social media feeds into your author website so all of your posts and pictures will automatically appear on your site as you share them. It’s a great way to ensure that your author website remains fresh, lively, and up to date.
Tell your own story. The story of who you are and how you came to be a writer may be one of your most powerful marketing tools. Learn more about how to tell your personal story on your author website.
Cater to the media. Make it easy for bloggers and reporters to download a media kit that includes all your basic information, as well as free press releases and your author headshot.
Use your cover art. If you have fabulous cover art that stirs up strong emotional reactions, be sure to feature it on your website! The bigger a reader’s emotional reaction to what they find on your website, the better.
Create a website that sells. If you’re hoping to sell books directly from your author website, check out this article: Nine Author Website Tips To Increase Your Book Sales.
At Web Design Relief, we specialize in creating affordable websites that suit writers and their unique needs. Schedule a free consultation call today to find out how we can help you!
Keep yourself safe. Most visitors who come to your website will be avid readers searching for a great new book to buy. But not everyone who types your URL into a browser is harmless. Here’s what you need to know to protect your website, yourself, and your visitors from hackers, spammers, and thieves.
Question: Which of the elements on our list do you think is most important for writers who are building an author website?