As a self-published author, you may think that writing new manuscripts is the most important thing you could focus your attention on. While creating new content for your readers is vital to your success, working on the marketing side of your business is just as important for you to go from barely known to a prominent name in your literary niche.
Along with doing blog tours and email marketing, one of the most effective ways to connect with new readers and keep loyal fans up-to-date is to have your very own author website.
You can think of your author website as your calling card, home base or storefront that gives your prospects a direct way to find out more about you and your work. And the best part is that it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
Already have an author website? Don’t sit back and relax just yet.
The only thing better than having a good author website is having a great one that’s fully optimized and designed to take advantage of all the essential features that go into a compelling book promotion website. One that pulls your reader further down the rabbit hole that is your brand and online domain.
Here are tips on how to achieve this in seven practical ways.
- Create an Interesting About Me Page
The average person who lands on an author page keeps on reading for one specific reason. They want to know more about the man or woman behind the manuscript. It’s for this reason that every fully optimized author website must have an interesting about me page.
Your about page gives you the chance to share a bit about yourself with a curious prospect or someone who is already a fan of your work but wants to know more about what makes you tick.
If you think your about page is where you should list all your credentials and any awards you’ve won, you’d be somewhat correct. While you can include your accolades, it’s more important to connect with your reader by showing them that you’re a real person just like them. Postach.io shares six important elements for your about page here.
Feel free to let your guard down and reveal something about yourself you’re your prospects may find interesting, surprising or just plain funny about who you really are.
- Add a List of All Your Book Titles
An author website isn’t complete without a page where visitors can find out more about every book you’ve penned.
One marketing truth that has stood the test of time is that it’s much easier to keep a customer than it is to acquire a new one. Based on this fact, setting up a page featuring all of your book titles is a no brainer.
The simplest way to go about this is to list each book and make each title a clickable link that directs your visitor to the sales page related to the specific book.
An even better option is to create a page that features the cover art of each book along with a short blurb describing the contents of each one.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so an eye-catching cover along with a tantalizing tidbit about what lies within the pages of each book is sure to pique the interest of the vast majority of those who stumble upon this vital page.
- Add an Email List Sign Up Page
Email marketing is perhaps the most effective marketing tool of modern times. In fact studies show that, for every dollar spent on email marketing, the average return is close to 400%.
This alone makes building a list of prospect emails immensely important. But the benefits don’t end there.
If like many other self-published authors you put your work up for sale on book selling platforms like Nook, Kobo and Kindle you always run the risk of losing potential buyers if your account gets suspended or the platform shuts down for some reason.
By having your own email list, you are free to send marketing messages to your prospects and promote your new and older book releases without worrying about being inconvenienced due to reasons beyond your control.
- Include Several Book Reviews
One of the easiest ways to provide a boost of interest in your books and increase sales is by posting what previous readers have to say about your work.
Known as ‘social proof’, book reviews allow potential buyers to read the opinions of unbiased third parties to find out if your titles would be something they would actually be interested in reading.
This is a powerful sales tool that can quickly tip the scales in your favor if a prospect is on the fence about buying one of your books. To make this optimization tactic even more effective, include the name and picture of the reviewer whenever possible.
- Post Social Media Share Buttons
Social media sharing is a key factor that facilitates the viral effect that’s responsible for launching much of the works written by self-published authors into the stratosphere.
If you are serious about building a thriving career based on publishing and selling books, creating a presence on social media channels is imperative.
An easy way do this is by putting social sharing buttons in a prominent location on your author website. Do this and you’ll have your fans spreading the word about your book and website in short order.
In addition to having social sharing buttons, make sure that you also have prominent links pointing to your official social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and where ever else your target audience gathers online.
- Add and Regularly Update Your Blog
Along with email marketing, blogging has become known as one of the highest return on investment activities that can be done to promote an offering online, and that includes self-published books!
Blogs are like the daily, weekly or monthly news feed of an otherwise static website.
Along with allowing you to update your fans on new information about your book titles, upcoming events and other important matters related to your brand, your blog works to attract more attention from major search engines like Google.
Blogging on a regular basis helps to gradually increase traffic to your website, which in turn increases traffic to your email lists and book sales pages, which increases your odds of snagging new readers and increasing your bottom line.
The key to making a blog work to improve your traffic and subsequent book sales is to focus on educating, inspiring and entertaining your readers and prospects instead of trying to hard sell them on your books.
By posting regularly and about topics of interest to your audience (that relate to your writing niche) you warm them up to the point where they want to know more about and read everything you have to offer.
- Have a Mobile Optimized Website Format
Nowadays more people are viewing web pages on their phones and tablets than on full-sized laptops or desktop screens.
This trend makes it imperative to create your author website using a format that makes viewing your pages on a handheld device as pleasant an experience as viewing it with a much larger screen. This mobile optimization is also known as responsive web design.
By creating your author website with a template optimized for mobile devices, you increase the chances that your page will attract potential readers to your site as well as boost your search rankings in Google and other major search engines.
Use these tips to create a fully-optimized author website. It’s the key to creating a lasting and visible brand by serving as a marketing hub and gathering place for you current and future fan base.