Chapter 2: Platform Building – Create Your Author Web-site.

As an author, your web-site can be the center hub of your on-line platform. Everything else links back to it. It’s also the one place that you can clearly communicate your brand to the world.

The most important part of your website will be the content. The content is the good stuff that will set you apart from everyone else. It’s what makes you the brand. If your content is unique, genuine and interesting to people, it will make you stand out. If people are engaged by what you have to say, they will buy your book.

The good news is that creating a web-site is easy and can be done for free. We’ll create one together by video tutorial in this Chapter.

Blog vs. web-site

The term blog and web-site are often used to mean the same thing. Technically a blog has content that’s updated regularly by creating a blog post. A web-site can be a series of static pages (the info is set once and stays the same), but it can also have a “blog” page in the menu. We’ll be creating an author web-site that has several static pages as well as a blog page.

WordPress or SquareSpace?

You can create your website on any platform you choose. The two I would recommend for your short list are WordPress and SquareSpace. I have built sites with both and they are both great. If cost is one of your deciding factors then a free WordPress.com site is just the thing for you. If you are OK paying $13 each month for your website then I would suggest a SquareSpace site. Generally speaking, the SquareSpace site will be a more modern looking site with an easier learning curve but at a cost ($13/month). The WordPress.com site will be a slightly less visually attractive site with a steeper learning curve but a great price (free).

For the sake of simplicity, the remainder of this post will make the assumption that WordPress is your choice.

WordPress yes, but which one?

One of the first things to understand is that WordPress has 2 versions. WordPress.com (commonly called the free version) and WordPress.org (commonly called the self-hosted version). We will be using WordPress.com (the free version). The main difference is that WordPress.com is just a nice simple scaled down, ready to use version of WordPress.org. WordPress.org requires you to have a self-hosting account, install the WordPress software, and maintain your site yourself. WordPress.com is already set up and maintained for you.

Share your blog posts with the world

Now it’s time to add some content and share it with the world. The content will be in the form of regular blog posts that allow you to connect with people and clearly communicate your brand to the world.Your blog post “link” can be shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. When someone “clicks a link” in a Facebook post or a Tweet, they will be taken directly to your website to read your full post. If your post is interesting and valuable to them, they will become fans, and hopefully sign-up to receive your new posts by e-mail. Anyone who makes that type of connection will now be part of your reach.

Reach your “first readers”

One of the goals of building your author platform has been to expand your reach. Everyone with-in your reach will be a potential “first reader”. “First reader” is a term used for the critical first layer of people that read your book. They will tell others to buy your book if your book is a great one.

Chapter 2 Video Tutorial: Create your Author Web-site.

Upcoming Chapters:

Chapter 3: Building Your Author Platform in Person.

Chapter 4: Exploring Your Publishing Options.

Chapter 5: Treating Your Book Like a Business.

Chapter 1: Build the Foundation of Your Author Platform

Your platform is what helps you reach your “first readers”. “First reader” is a term used for the critical first layer of people that read your book. They are most likely the people who are in the reach of your platform. They will tell others to buy your book if your book is a great one.

We’ll focus on the on-line side of your platform today. Now keep in mind that the off-line or in-person side of your platform is just as important, but we’ll examine that in future chapters.

The foundation of your platform should include some on-line presence.That can be in the form of a basic author website and some common social media tools. They all help in creating real connections with real people. These connections make it possible to reach your critical “first readers”.

Depending on your comfort level with technology and your own book sales goals, you may choose to use one or several tools in your on-line platform. A common mistake some authors make is to try to be everywhere all at once. My recommendation is to simply pick one on-line tool to start and give it some time. Once you see how your reach is expanded with the first tool, you will be able to make a better decision about what your second tool might be.

The key to success in any on-line tool is to commit to using it and being present with your followers. If you set up several tools and ignore them all you will not find success.

The important thing to know about building a platform is that it takes time, so the best time to start is today.

Upcoming Chapters:

Chapter 2: Creating Your Author Web Site.

Chapter 3: Building Your Author Platform in Person.

Chapter 4: Exploring Your Publishing Options.

Chapter 5: Treating Your Book Like a Business.

From Fearful to Fabulous – Just Released

Just Released: From Fearful to Fabulous and Everywhere in Between, Journeys in Poetry and Prose by Sandra Jean (Sandy) Buck.

From Fearful to Fabulous

From Fearful to Fabulous is Sandy’s first published book. It reflects not only her own experiences, ideas and concepts, but also reaches deep into the hearts of others to reawaken the slumbering spirit residing there. Allow the rich imagery woven into each piece to take you on a very personal journey of your own. No matter your culture, gender, background or spiritual path, you will find bits of yourself within these carefully scripted pages.