Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, internet traffic increased across all devices worldwide. Reports state that from 2020 to 2021 traffic went up anywhere from 30-70%. So what does this mean for authors toying with the idea of creating an author website? Is it even worth it considering the sheer number of authors (not to mention websites) that exist in the world? The short answer is yes. You absolutely need an author website. Here’s why:
Reason 1: A website builds credibility with your audience.
Think about it. Have you ever clicked on an ad for something you wanted to purchase only to discover that the website appears outdated or possibly even abandoned? When your website presents you and your work in a professional manner, people are more likely to buy your products or services and engage with you as an author. A professional website also assures visitors that you aren’t trying to rip them off. (A great professional website says, “Hello, I am a real human author and here is my very real book for you to learn about and purchase.”)
But what, exactly, does a professional website look like? We recommend including the following components for your author website:
- Professional headshots and professional book images
- Consistent brand fonts and colors
- Clear messaging (Do you have other goods or services that you offer alongside your book? What action do you want your audience to take upon entering your site?))
- Lots of “Call To Actions” (CTAs) for potential customers
- Email capture to build your list and grow your reach
Reason 2: A website builds visibility online through SEO
How many times have you clicked past the first page of a Google search when you’re looking for goods or services? Probably not very often, right? SEO or Search Engine Optimization is important because it uses keywords associated with your website to increase the visibility of your site by moving it higher up on the search page. Building a robust SEO strategy, with the help of your website designer and marketing team, can increase site visibility which, in turn, grows your audience and sales. Without a solid SEO strategy, traffic to your site will decrease over time.
Reason 3: A website allows you to connect and engage directly with your audience.
How does it feel to experience top notch customer service? It makes you want to come back for more, right? Consider that your author website is a place for your audience to get to know the human behind the book. In a world where automation and algorithms rule, a human touch can provide comfort and a sense of accessibility to you that audiences crave. Let your people get to know you! (As we’ve written about before, your readers are your people.) The more you engage directly with your audience, the more traffic will come to your site, which again has the potential to increase sales.
Reason 4: A website provides direct links to purchase options.
Obviously, you want to sell books. (And/or drive traffic to your podcast, youtube channel or other service). An author website is the perfect place to create direct links to purchase. Instead of having your audience waste unnecessary time and energy hunting down your Amazon page or scrolling aimlessly through Youtube to find your most recent video, direct links cut out the middleman and allow your customers to have an easy, efficient experience.
Reason 5: A website creates an online hub for you and your business to grow.
It’s true, while social media channels are great tools to help spread the word about you and your book, it’s best not to build your brand on someone else’s land. What do we mean by that? Well, ask yourself, if Facebook went away tomorrow, how would my audience find me? Scary, right? Having a hub of your own creates a stable foundation where you can build your audience and grow your brand. Social media tools are great supporting cast members in the broadway show of your book launch. However, your website is a perfect (and stable) place for you to begin to build and grow your audience. And the best part is, you control the hub.
Am I ready?
The following checklist will help you determine whether or not you’re ready to begin the website creation process. Ask yourself:
- Do you have a profession or passion to promote that is related to your book?
- Do you want media professionals to find you so you can be invited to speak to their outlet (podcast, radio, TV, interviews for articles)?
- Do you want a place where readers can engage with you, ask questions, comment on your book?
- Do you want readers to find you so you can sell books? (More than a million books are written each year in the US alone!)
- Do you want to offer your book for sale through different channels, like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookshop.org, etc?
Ultimately, an author website provides ample space and opportunity for you, your brand and your book, to thrive. Use it as a primary hub for all the services and products you offer and watch your reach grow!
Did you know that we build websites for writers? Here are a few examples. If you are thinking that it might be time for you to have a website to promote yourself and your book, please feel free to get in touch with us! We’d love to help.