Many first-time authors spend a lot of time and effort on their books – and understandably so! – yet neglect to provide enough thought towards what they’ll try to accomplish on the back end of things once their book has launched.
The first thing that readers will do once they’ve finished a book they enjoyed is try to find out more about the author behind it. If you haven’t planned ahead and created a personal website for yourself, chances are your readers are going to Google your name only to be brought to your Facebook page, a Twitter link or a LinkedIn profile. While there likely isn’t anything wrong with your social media platforms, they probably aren’t the ideal landing area for potential clients, partners or fans who don’t know much about you yet.
As an author with goods to sell or services to market, it’s imperative that you create an engaging, valuable platform for your readers to stumble across when they take it upon themselves to search for more information about Y-O-U! In other words – it’s high time to create a personal website.
I regularly speak to clients about the importance of their personal brand and website, only to have them tell me that they don’t feel as though they’ve accomplished enough to create an About Me page that will attract readers. They point out that they’ve only written one book, and wouldn’t know what else to talk about when it came to describing themselves.
This is where I tell them that there is SO much more to a personal website than an About Me page. In fact, your personal bio is just a small piece of your overarching brand puzzle. There is a number of factors you should focus on when building your site and working towards developing your personal brand. The goal here isn’t to direct people towards a short paragraph about your work, interests or life. Instead, think of your website as an ultimate one-stop shop to provide value, engage your readers, attract partnerships or press inquiries and create endless opportunities to gain business leads in order to sell, sell, sell!
Here are a few key areas to focus on when creating your author website.
A Marketing Strategy
If readers are visiting your site to learn more about you, they almost definitely enjoyed your book and are interested in similar content. Authors absolutely need to concoct a creative content marketing strategy for their websites in order to convert this interest into the potential for repeat business. Keep your readers coming back for more by producing regular blog posts, videos or podcasts. Providing a steady stream of audio, video or written content will help you build a loyal following that will come in handy once you write more books or use your website to advertise services such as coaching, paid courses and more.
A Book Landing Page
Let’s look at your personal brand from a different perspective. Visitors might have stumbled across your personal website from your social platforms or other channels and have no idea that you’ve written a book. Don’t miss the opportunity to advertise what you’ve created! Make sure that your book stands out loud and clear. Creating a landing page for it that includes pictures, the benefits of reading it, its Amazon link and testimonials from your fans. Take things to the next level by creating a book trailer or providing sample chapters.
A Products/Services Section
Many self published authors also double as entrepreneurs. If you offer coaching services, consulting packages, online courses, paid speaking gigs or more, you should create a page describing what you provide and how potential clients can connect with you to learn more. If you don’t offer any services, use this section as a means to promote your other books!
Your Contact Details
Now that you’ve written an awesome, members of the media or your industry peers will likely want to speak to you or reach out to collaborate. Your readers might even send fan mail! Add a contact form to your site so that people know how they can get in touch.
It’s important to think of how you can attract visitors to your site and convince them to provide their e-mail addresses in order to start building a mailing list – which will act as your most powerful marketing tool. The most straight forward strategy is to offer bonuses in line with your book’s topic. Hand over valuable check lists, cheat sheets or sample chapters in PDF format to your readers after inviting them to provide their contact details. The complimentary content you provide on a book bonus landing page will engage your audience while simultaneously growing your mailing list!
Be sure to maintain a consistent, professional level of branding across your site in order to come across as an authoritative figure that readers or visitors to your site can trust and turn to for insight. Strong branding tactics can do wonders in terms of inciting an audience to want to work with you or purchase from you again. First impressions and maintaining appearances are everything.
You might have written a great book, but visitors will quickly head for the door if your website features lackluster visuals or graphics. Don’t skimp! Invest the adequate time and money towards ensuring that your logo, design, graphics, images and infographics are well executed and visually engaging.
An About Me Page
Ah, so we’ve come full circle. The About Me page – source of even the most talented writers’ greatest anxieties. How to describe yourself within just one page? What to include and what to leave out? There’s no easy answer, but a more efficient way to look at it is to focus on not only who you are but what you can offer to visitors. If you’re a productivity coach and your readers spend a lot of time procrastinating, here’s how you can help. List why you’re qualified to assist or provide advice, and the past achievements you can show to prove it. Provide a main statement describing what visitors can gain from spending time on your site and how they can benefit from it.
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