If you want readers, editors, and literary agents to take you seriously as a professional writer, you must have an author website. And when your writer website incorporates smart marketing strategies, you reap the double bonus of also proving that you’re committed to building your reputation through enthusiastic outreach. If you want to boost your reputation and your marketing power, Web Design Relief shows you how with tips hacked from the author website strategies of successful writers.
Author Website Content Strategies That Show Publishing Professionalism
Professional author website domain name (URL). Your author URL is your professional address; it should be relevant and memorable (with no extensions that indicate that your website was built using free software). Here’s how to decide which author website domain name is right for you.
Custom, ad-free layout. Cheap or free websites often seem like a good deal—except that many of them contain advertisements. Visitors to your author website shouldn’t be distracted by spammy ads that give off the wrong vibe. Your website should also be personalized as much as your budget allows; after all, your unique voice is your best selling point in your writing career.
Integrated social media feeds. Regularly updating your social media feeds is a great way to grow your audience. But did you know that you can also set your social media updates to appear automatically and instantly on your author website? Not only does this tactic demonstrate to agents and editors that you are committed to marketing, but also keeps your author website fresh and interesting with very little extra effort on your part.
Links to your published works. Whether your published works are poems in literary magazines or full-length books, make it easy for visitors to read your writing. Linking to your published materials demonstrates pride in your work.
Opportunities to sign up for your mailing list. By creating incentives that tempt visitors to sign up for your mailing list, you send a message to industry professionals that you are happy to embrace smart marketing strategies—and you are also setting the stage to support a wide readership. Learn more about which tactics can get people to sign up for your writer mailing list.
Easy-to-use “contact me” page. Make it easy for a literary agent or editor to reach out to you with career-building opportunities by creating a simple “contact me” page. You don’t have to give away your personal information in order to be easy to reach (and it isn’t recommended to do so online). Instead, you can use a plugin to hide your private info, minimize spammers, and facilitate easy outreach for website visitors.
Good headshot. You don’t need to fork over a ton of money to have a great author portrait taken. While a professional photographer can help ensure good lighting, focus, and flattering retouching, you may be able to create an author headshot using nothing more than a simple point-and-shoot or one of the amazing phone photo apps available now. Learn more about how to create a professional-looking DIY author portrait.
And The Best News Is…
Having an author website—even if it’s very basic—is a huge indicator of a writer’s dedication to building a reputation in the publishing industry. So even if you have a very simple author website, you’re already ahead of the game.
If you don’t have an author website, there’s never been a better time to get one! Web Design Relief offers a range of author website design options for writers of all genres and budgets. And our publishing experts can advise you on the strategies that readers, literary agents, and editors love to see.
Question: What has been most helpful to you in building your reputation as a committed writer?