on Non Fiction Authors Association:
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know by now that an effective website is a key part of your author platform. Having your own piece of online real estate, where you control your brand, your content, and your credibility, is vital.
But, unless you love technology, knowing how to create and maintain an attractive, professional website – or how to manage someone who’ll do this for you – can quickly feel overwhelming.
If you don’t yet have a website, it can be daunting to know where to begin. Even worse is the scenario where you already have a site, but you feel ashamed to send people there. You might worry your technology is dated. Maybe you sense your design lacks flair.
I’ve analyzed dozens of author websites, and many of them are neither pleasing, nor persuasive. Often, the underlying cause is a paradox: Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.
Words Are Not King
You’re an author. I’m guessing this means you love to write… or you at least consider it one of your core competencies.
And, you figure, since your website aims to showcase your books and your writing, words must be important. Aside from a few token images, it’s just another exercise in putting text on a page, correct? Surely, you can create your website as a serious of informative essays? You can approach this like any other writing assignment, right?
Website visitors today are in a hurry. Unless you’ve already hit the bestseller lists multiple times, and you’ve cultivated an audience of eager fans, most people coming to your site have barely heard of you. They want to know what’s in it for them. Will your work solve their problem? Should they trust you? What can they glean that’s fast and free, before they invest more time (and money) in digging deeper?