As an author, you know that your website is one of the most important tools to help sell books. It is often your first impression with readers. It’s the one place they can go to find out more about you, and it’s also where they’ll buy your books. It gives you credibility, helps build an audience for your books, and lets people know what you’re about. So it’s important that you make yours stand out from all the rest!
But what if you don’t have a designer or developer to create your site for you nor the bankroll to pay for them? What’s a self-published author supposed to do?
Fortunately, you only need three things in order to make your own book marketing website these days: Time, WordPress and some basic knowledge on how websites work. If this sounds like something you’re interested in learning more about then read on!
In this blog post, I’ll cover 3 simple ways to make sure that your author website stands out from the crowd of boring websites that most authors have. These tips are easy to implement and will help you get more readers onto your email list and reading your books. It’s time to stand out from the crowd with your website.
1. Communicate Your Brand with Clarity
Your brand is a promise you make to your readers about what they will experience when they read your books, take your courses, and interact with your business in any way. It is an expression of your values, your vision, and your mission.
Your website needs to communicate your brand clearly so that your ideal readers understand that they have reached the right virtual destination. That means that your brand and the way that you express it needs to resonate with your ideal readers while also being in alignment with who you are and the work you produce.
A pretty tall order, true, however easily achievable if you’ve done the branding work first. Yes, you can do the branding work after the fact, but then you will have to clean up any flotsam that doesn’t fit with your brand. And that can get messy.
A clearly communicated brand helps your website stand out because it grabs your ideal reader’s attention at an emotional, gut level. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware of why they find your website so compelling.
2. Make Your Website Pretty and Functional
The number of visitors who will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive — That’s more than one-third. Can you afford to lose a third of your potential readers?
The number of people who said that a website’s design is the No. 1 factor in determining a business’s credibility — That’s nearly one half. Can you afford to half half the people visiting your website doubt your credibility?
The number of people who would rather read beautifully designed content over plain content given 15 minutes to consume it. This means that many of these individuals will not finish reading your content and will leave your website if it is not beautifully designed. Can you afford to lose two-third of your audience?
It takes only half a second for a visitor to your website to form an opinion of it, which is why design has become so important. I know we’ve all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, however we all do it anyway — and people especially do it with websites. So it has become critical that your author website has a design that delights the eye, that it is easy to navigate, and that it creates a positive user experience, regardless of the device the visitor is using when they visit.
Thankfully, creating a website that meets these standards has become easier and more affordable with time. So you really don’t have any excuse not to have a pretty and functional author website. And, when your author website is pretty, functional, and communicates your brand clearly, it will really stand out.
3. Speak Their Language
Let’s say that you’ve implemented the first two points I’ve just discussed, and your website is on brand, beautifully designed, and is easy to use across most if not all devices. What else can you do to stand out and attract your ideal audience?
Focus on your fans with fan-focused language and content. When your ideal readers arrive at your website, they should feel like they’ve found a home away from home. the language you use should make them feel understood, almost like you crawled into their head and read their minds (in relation to your topic, of course).
Your content should pull in your ideal readers, while pushing away those who would not enjoy your content. For example, if you write for an audience that likes a lot of sex and violence in their fiction, you’re going to turn away those folks who don’t want to read that stuff. And you want it that way. You don’t want people who you know will hate your work reading it and giving it a bad review, right? Therefore, the imagery you use on your site, and how you describe your stories should let potential readers know what’s in store for them (without getting too explicit) so that those who like that stuff will buy, and those that don’t will know to move on.
Your Author Website Deserves to Stand Out
At the end of the day, your website is an extension of your brand. No matter what kind of business you run, it’s important for your brand to resonate with the people who buy from you. This means a clearly communicated brand that resonates with your ideal readers and design that delights the eye, is easy to navigate, and creates a positive user experience, including on mobile devices.
Readers are drawn into your website when it’s content aligns with their interests or beliefs. Powerful, fan-focused language will help you connect on an emotional level with potential readers, and when used across all platforms (such as email and social media) creates a cohesive message.
If you’re ready to create a website that will help generate more sales for your books, check out the Author Website in a Weekend program.