Guest Post: How to Create an Engaging Author Website That People Will Actually Visit

By Mariah T.

The key to being a successful author is exposure. You have to get your book out there. You can thank the internet because the PR game is now in your hands. The architecture of a solid website is enough to get readers curious about what you wrote. But getting started creating a site with good SEO, aesthetic design, memorable branding, and more is a work of art.

A website gives you the perfect opportunity to launch a platform for yourself and your book(s). But creating that site is only the beginning. You must use it as a portal to connect you and your work to your audience. This can come about in a lot of different ways, but first and foremost you need to make sure it has a solid foundation. Once the basics are in place and you have a website that works in browser and on mobile, then you can worry about SEO, branding, and everything else.

Let’s look at a few ways to generate traffic to your author website and to better understand the rules of making it attractive with attractive content.

Write Killer Headlines

You may not be writing for a newspaper, but just think about how often you’ve been on a webpage without knowing how you got there. The internet is designed as a sort of rope or string that’s pinned down along the way with at certain points. Each blog or article should in some way entice the reader to go to another article or video, or listicle. The main way they do that is with attractive headlines.

Headlines have the ability to say what you and your book are about without actually saying it, and this is something you want as an online marketer (Grammarly.com). Getting a site created and hosted online is relatively easy. Mastering the principle of changing simple blocks of texts into something people want to read, is usually the hard part.

Think about headlines like your first and second chapter, or the first five pages of your book. If you can get people to read those, then it’s a lot easier to ask them to read your manuscript. In that same way, if you can get people to read the headline and the first paragraph, then they’ll almost certainly read the whole thing. Make your headlines unique, short, and immediately urgent.

Leave Them Wanting More

If you aren’t actively on social media, that’s going to have to change. Creating your social presence is a necessity for the book publishing industry. Picking up on some basic online marketing skills is also probably a good idea. If you feel lost on what sort of content to create, or how to make yourself stand out, look at what other people are doing. Find what people like, find what people don’t want. See what’s popular, and what markets aren’t being tapped.

Do some research on copywriting and what goes into making enticing copy script. Copywriters know how to sell everything about a concept while making the consumer want more. This will be the first step to maximizing the potential of your mobile website. You want to build a content creation strategy that makes people want to come back and read more (NeilPatel.com). Build this strategy around the notion that the content you share is only a sample to the rest of what you have to offer, meaning your book.

Sending out spam messages isn’t a great idea for getting traction though. If you want to send information to people to try to get more attention, you should curate your selections carefully. Not only that, but you should make sure you have something worth linking to when you message people. If you generate good, worthwhile, and highly readable content, then people will come.

Make a Responsive Mobile Site

You may have a URL, but what happens when someone goes to your site on a mobile device? It may have issues rendering your content. Thankfully this is becoming less of a concern as it becomes more important for SEO, but there are still many free websites or hosting platforms that don’t have responsive design. Why is this important? Because the people who run search engines know that more than half of users now browse with their phone (Goshly.com). So they make sites with good mobile design show up higher on search results. Having a responsive website isn’t just a nice feature to have, it’s now necessary.

Reading takes time. Knowing if a cell phone can access your site, however, happens in a split second. You don’t want to lose potential readers because they went to your site and then left it immediately out of frustration. Don’t just opt in for a singular web service, make sure it’ll work the same across a whole host of devices.

Backlink for Success

When you first launch your website, you probably won’t see a lot of traffic. Don’t worry about it. This is pretty normal since right now there’s nothing pulling them to the site. That’s why investing in SEO, or other link building services is vital. Search engines recognize your site and reward it when it’s linked to others.

This doesn’t have to be too complicated. Other sites could be as simple as a Facebook page; it could even be your own. You could have links to blogs, Twitter, reviews, and more. Essentially it needs to be anything that has URLs that point back to yours (Moz.com). This is the concept of backlinking, and you want to use it in a way that your book appears everywhere within your niche and within online platforms.

It’s a digital society we live in, and these steps are what you need for making your author site successful. Have fun, and good luck promoting your book.

Now that your website and social media are taken care of, get that book published! For information how to get started, check out this course on How to Create Beautiful Ebooks.

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