If you’re an author or an aspiring author, you’ve heard the phrase “platform is everything.” Everyone says you should have a blog or a website and be a part of a billion social media networks so that people will constantly see your name and you’ll start getting that brand recognition. Do you really need to be a part of every single social network? No. But we’ll get to that in a later post. Today I want to talk about author websites.
Every author must have a website that has a blog incorporated in it. Content is king and having your blog incorporated with your official website makes sense. A website is usually a static entity and static websites don’t get boosted in web rankings. But by having your blog with your static website, you have the best of both worlds. For one, if you post regularly (once a week or once every two weeks is my suggestion) you’re constantly adding new content to your website and unknowingly adding “keywords” that might lead searchers to your website. And you want people to be drawn to your blog so that they read the post, hopefully like it and hopefully they’ll poke around, find out you’re an author and maybe even buy your book. Back during the April A-Z Challenge, I wrote a post on X-Men. It was a simple post about me liking X-Men and reminiscing on the 90’s cartoon. And guess what? It’s my most popular post! Most people discover my website by searching for X-Men related things. It baffles my mind, too.This just shows you that you never know what blog post will help you get discovered. It’s not like I sat down that day and decided, “What’s going to help me get discovered? I know! X-Men!” Hardly. I just needed a post to write about that started with X and they were the first things that popped into my head. (I swear, x-ray was a close second).
Now trust me, blogging isn’t exactly easy. You have a lot of people telling you that you need to write a niche blog. You’re a writer, therefore you must have a writing blog! But then you hear people saying, “But there’s so many writing blogs out there, how are you going to set yourself apart?” And it’s true. How are you going to set yourself apart from the other how-to-write advice blogs? Honestly, when I became a debut author, I felt awkward handing out writing advice even though I’ve been writing for who knows how long. But it was the first time I was asking people for money for my writing and I didn’t have any reviews so who would want advice from me? And I think a lot of debut authors feel the same way. But you know what? I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a niche blog. Just write about whatever pops into your head. Like me.
The blog that I have is the kind of blog that I would enjoy reading and having this blog showcases my “voice”, so to speak. You learn more about me as a person and each and every blog post is a little snippet of my writing abilities. And that’s exactly what I think a true blog should be: It should showcase you as a person and at the same time, as an author. If you have advice or a niche topic that you want to write about, by all means, write away! But personally, I’d feel constricted if my blog were a niche blog. There’s no way I could come up with various blog posts on the same topic every week.
But once you get a person to land on your blog, how do you prevent that person from clicking on the looming, big, red X at the corner? Well… for one: it helps if you they like your voice. If they like your voice, they’ll be sure to stick around and check out your other posts and they might even decide they want to learn about your books. In which case, that brings me to the other prevention measure you can do to stop a visitor from going away. And that, my friend, is all in your web design which will be covered on Saturday’s blog post.