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:
Is a “Blog” still relevant in 2020?
If you think the term “Blog” is so 2012, think again. The fact that you are reading this article may be proof enough (this is a Blog post). If you’re still on the fence about starting a blog in 2020, please watch this youtube video. It explains very clearly how blogging has absolutely changed, but if done with a 2020 mind set, is very relevant.
Chapter 3: Building Your Author Platform in Person.
Chapter 4: Exploring Your Publishing Options.
Chapter 5: Treating Your Book Like a Business.