Friday, April 10

Your Author Website: Five Tips That Generate Results by Patrice-Anne Rutledge

Your Author Website: Five Tips That Generate Results by Patrice-Anne Rutledge

If you're an author, you need a website. A website is the core and starting point of any online book promotion campaign. Despite the current popularity of blogs, podcasts, and ezines, your website is still your primary online "home" for information on your book. To create profitable site that generates results, you need to do several things:

1. Determine What Drives Your Site
When you plan the structure and content of your site, one of the first things to determine is what drives your website.

-- On a personality-driven site, the author is the draw. This is most common for fiction writers or authors of creative nonfiction in which who you are is more important to readers than the specific subject matter you cover.

-- A platform-driven site is most common with nonfiction authors who are experts in a particular niche and offer a book (or a series of books) on this topic in addition to related products and services such as consulting, speaking engagements, audio CDs, and special reports.

-- A book-driven site is appropriate for authors who have written a single book or multiple books on unrelated topics. In this case, the book itself is the draw. Determine what your driver is and then build your site around this focal point.

2. Focus on Your Audience
Any book website has at least two audiences: your readers and the media. A third potential audience includes editors and agents. For your main site content, develop a profile of your target reader, and focus your site on this profile. Are you targeting new parents, travelers to Italy, or fans of romantic suspense? Think about what your target audience is looking for and meet that need.

3. Establish Site Goals
Establishing site goals is important if you want to profit from your website. Are you primarily interested in selling books? Or do you want to sell other products and services as well? Are you hoping to garner major media coverage or establish yourself as a professional speaker? 
Write down specific goals and keep these in mind as you plan your site.

4. Remember That Content Is King
Now that you've determined what drives your site and have a clear idea of your target audience and the goals you want to achieve, it's time to start thinking about your content. The right content can make the difference between a high-traffic site that drives the sale of books, products, and services and a site that receives few visitors.

The following are several tips for creating quality web content:

-- Before even starting any site design, map out your page content.

-- Determine the goal for each page on your site and create content that supports that goal. For example, you may have pages that are informational and others there to generate sales for your books and products. Truly informational pages usually take on a more journalistic tone, but sales-oriented pages should have a call to action.

-- Remember that you're writing for the web, not another medium. If you're not an experienced web copywriter, consider learning more about writing web copy.

-- Keep in mind that the design supports the content; the content doesn't support the design.

5. Encourage Action
Before creating your site, decide what action you want your site visitors to take. Do you want them to buy your book? Purchase additional products? Sign up for your classes, coaching services, or ezine? Hire you as a speaker? For each specific action you'd like a visitor to take, you need to create a call to action, web copy that encourages a site visitor to take a desired action (such as purchase a product or sign up for an ezine).

By doing some upfront strategic planning, you can create a site that generates results--and profits. 

About the Author 
Patrice-Anne Rutledge is a business technology author and journalist specializing in social media, online applications, and small business technology. Her other books include Sams Teach Yourself LinkedIn in 10 Minutes, Using LinkedIn, Using Facebook, and The Truth About Profiting from Social Networking, all from Pearson. Through Rutledge Communications, she also offers writing and editing services to businesses and nonprofits worldwide. You can reach Patrice through her website at  Source

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