Once an author, always an author! The tag will never leave you forever, and there are certain dos and don’ts that one has to take care of, and one such is the author website.
What’s about the author website? It’s so simple – Just a simple website with my details, my books and links to buy, contact details, Media mentions. Yes, I heard your mind, but, there are things to handle and take care of.
SEO – an ocean to talk about, but, in short, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to ensure that when anything related to you or your books are searched, Google search result should list your website in the first page.
1. Ensure that there’s something for the readers.
It’s not just enough to have a site that lists your books, but, have something that you’re reader would be interested in. It can be book recommendations, your opinions on current issues, etc.. Don’t use your website like a board with details but giveaway something, induce interaction.
2. Optimize professionally
If you’re not tech savvy, you can simply hire a freelance professional to optimise your website with required sitemap enabling, keywords, metadata, etc.
3. Be a guest – guest blogging!
Guest blogging is pretty interesting; you get to share your followers. You find new folks who might be interested to read what you’ve written, in a way you get discovered. Likewise, you help the fellow blogger who made space in their website lending a few followers in your list. This is particularly helpful for authors who are building their readership.
4. Homepage is not the only important page in your site
Keywords and links won’t usually hit your homepage, we don’t right? We go deep to a page, except when we use the exact web address. So, don’t just work around your home page but other pages which have more content that any search would land to. Those who visit your website would look at your about page, and details only ONCE. It is the other pages which give more details that matters.
5. Post something ‘search-friendly’
Post details across the web, use proper hashtags, key words, etc.. For example: I have the habit of posting “Micro Mini Stories” on my blogs and other post worthy places, so when any wants to try their hands at micro stories and want samples, their search would lead to images from my blogs. This has helped me a lot in curating followers who love reading write-ups/stories that I pen.
In the digital era, where social media is extensively used, Indian authors are in a state where they are precisely an author only if the web says so. Unless Google throws the author prefix, you’re not one. Play the rules; understand the power and importance of an author website or a blog when you get serious about writing.
Establish yourself in the right front, be noticed for your writing and enjoy the limelight. Audit your website frequently, use SEO checkers and tools, and keep an eye on your website rank.
So how do you go about it ?
There are really just two options,
- You DIY (Do it yourself) or take help from your friend or acquaintance. You can look for WORDRESS TEMPLATES that suits the colour scheme of your book cover. This is almost like opening a pandora’s box. But do go through as many templates as you can, as it will surely help you to finally zero down a perfect layout for your website. Click a couple of high resolution profile images of yours. And start working on it. For a wordpress website, you need to book a domain name. But if ok to use a domain name like this : www.youname.wordpress.com, you could also simply use a wordpress blog . The main advantage of using a wordpress blog or a wordpress website, is that it is extremely easy if you also want to blog very regularly and keep updating your website.
- Second of course is the easier option, you can hire a creative agency which can help you set up a completely customised website. This will cost you anywhere above INR 40,000 even if you do the ideation & supply most of the content for the website. But it is definitely a must do for professionals, full time and you will see ver few best selling authors without a website of their own. To my surprise, I googled and found out the very famous author Jhumpa Lahiri , doesn’t have a personal website ! So yes, don’t fret over it too much. If your writing is great, readers will find a way to find you & your books.
Here are some screenshots of a few author websites that look very interesting. These are of course some of the best known authors. But the good thing is they all have very interesting resources on the website, that their readers can enjoy. Several videos, sample chapters to download, social profiles etc.
Do let us know what do you think about these websites & if you come across a author website that is equally interesting !