Your author website is up and running, your headshot looks like it could be on the cover of People Magazine, and now you’re ready to lounge poolside while reaping the benefits of worldwide exposure on the World Wide Web. But not so fast—put down that margarita and step away from the pool—your work is just getting started. (Addendum: As long as you can still perform the following tasks with a glass in your hand, you can hold onto the margarita.)
There are three elements of your website that must be maintained daily to ensure everything’s working optimally and running glitch-free. Then you can gleefully revert back to your belly-up, straw-in-mouth, sunglass-adorned vacation.
1. Mailing List/“Contact Me” Page
Your mailing list is your opportunity to create meaningful, long-lasting relationships with your visitors. If you offer your subscribers something valuable in every email, you will earn their loyalty and, ultimately, free publicity through their positive word-of-mouth. Having a strong relationship with your audience is the first brick in building a solid writer platform.
Now, it’s entirely up to you what you include in your mailings, but make sure you heed our warnings on what NOT to do with your mailing lists.
Maintaining communication with your readers is critical to your success, and your “Contact Me” page is another important way to connect with fans. Respond to messages promptly. You don’t want to come off as reticent, nor do you want visitors to think you aren’t updating your own site. After all, if you’re not interested, why should your fans be?
So make sure you set time aside every day—or every other day—to sit down and respond to your fans. And for you introverts—is there anything better than being able to stay home and use a computer to interact with your fans?
You may still be wearing parachute pants and bedazzled jean jackets, and watching taped episodes of Miami Vice, but at least do yourself a favor and keep your plugins up-to-date.
Keeping your plugins updated will ensure that your site runs at top proficiency and will bolster security. Many times, sites get breached because the installed plugins are out of date. The older your plugins are, the longer they are available to the general public—which creates a larger window of opportunity for hackers and malicious software to break them down. Keeping your plugins up-to-date will combat security issues.
3. Social Media Buttons
These cute icons may seem like little accessories to your homepage, but they’re so much more. Social media buttons grab your visitors’ attention as soon as they open your site and also act as cross-promotion tools to pull in a larger potential audience.
With social media buttons, it’s easier for your readers to connect with you through your various networks. They can visit your Facebook page to learn about your interests and your writing process. By checking your Twitter page, visitors can stay updated on any new acceptances you received, learn about public readings you’ve scheduled, and read your comments on the news of the world as it breaks. And a simple click of your LinkedIn button can bring visitors straight to your professional platform—a plus for you and for them, as both of you can network through one another.
It’s no secret that social media is the new hub of business promotion and cultural relevance, so showing your visitors—especially agents and editors—that you are connected is an important step in branding yourself as marketing-savvy in the publishing industry and beyond.
Keeping your social media relevant and up-to-the-minute can be time consuming. Learn how our Virtual Assistant Packages can do all the work for you so you can spend your spare time writing instead of posting.
Once you’ve confirmed that your author website is functioning optimally, you can sip your beverage of choice and soak in some rays. But be ready to do it all again tomorrow!
QUESTION: Which of the above three chores are hardest for you to keep up with?