Want to market your writing on your website? Every writer could do a better job of their website (me too), if only we had unlimited time and money. Sadly, we need to be strict with ourselves, and realize that our writing has first priority.
Before you market your writing…
- Aim to answer your visitors’ most basic questions: who are you, and for whom is your website? what do you do, how do you operate — what do they need to do, in order to buy your services/ products , when are you available?
- Make it easy for visitors to contact you, and to buy. Too many writers are apologetic about selling what they do. There’s no need for that — make sure your visitors see your Contact and Buy buttons. These buttons are the reason your website exists. 🙂
1. Pretty is as pretty does: keep it simple
Keep it simple because… your website will break. Guaranteed. No website survives changes that you make, and that your web host makes, unscathed. Things break.
Imagine yourself a year from today, or even a week from today. You’ve just set up an expensive advertising push. Then you realize that your Buy buttons aren’t working, or that your site isn’t up. (Sigh…)
It happens. For this reason, I recommend that you buy a hosted solution; if it breaks, they fix it.
2. Be able to describe the benefits of what you do in 25 words
You’re a writer.
No one cares. Sincerely, I promise you clients and readers don’t care. They’re only interested in what you can do for them. When they get to your website, they need to see immediately how what you do benefits them.
Work out what you do for clients and/ or readers, and boil it down to a sentence or two.
3. Serve your audience: divide your audience into groups
Your website’s visitors fall into many different groups. You’re interested in those who may buy from you:
- People who’ve never heard of you, but who need what you provide;
- Past clients who may have a gig for you;
- Anyone who’s seen one of your promotions and wants to know more.
You need to have at least one introductory page on your website for each of those three groups.
Take a few moments, right now, and write down the groups which make up your audience.
4. Contact essentials: make it easy to contact you, on every page
How often have you visited a website, and for reasons unknown, discovered that finding contact information takes minutes, rather than one second?
Of course, corporations do this deliberately. They want you to dive into their Help system, which is mostly an abandon hope all ye who enter here adventure.
Other companies and individuals who truly want people to get in touch, forget their contact information too. This happens because their web development company didn’t think that their amazingly glitzy, and outrageously expensive, website actually had to work.
I beg you: put your contact details on every page.
5. Local is best when you’re starting out — the competition is less
Are you a new writer? I’ve always suggested that you target your local area — state, or in some cases, country, when you sell your writing services. Become a big fish in a tiny pond; it’s easier.
On the other hand, if you’re an established writer, how long is it since you targeted local businesses? No matter where you live, your environment changes constantly. Keep abreast of what’s happening.
If you’re self-publishing, think “local” too. It’s easier to get name recognition and publicity locally.
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You're a busy author -- you don't have time to market your books, because you're busy writing.
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