Why Having A Great Website Is As Important As Being A Great Writer

author website tips

author website tipsby Victoria Greene, @vickyecommerce

You know your work is great, and you’ve nailed your social media strategy, so you might feel like spending time and money on developing a website is wasted effort….

Yet, no matter how great a writer you are, having a well-crafted website can significantly improve your sales and your business reputation.

Ultimately, however well you are doing without a website, you are still missing opportunities by not investing in this key asset. Your audience wants to know more about you and what you have to offer, and there is a good chance that they will search for your site in order to learn more about you, or decide whether they want to purchase your work.

If they find nothing, not only are they likely to feel disappointed, but it can also suggest that you and your work have less authority or value to the consumer. A well-rounded, well-designed website can add value to your work, drive sales, and help you engage more effectively with your audience. Here are a few of the key advantages to underpinning your marketing efforts with a first-class website.

Don’t forget about offline marketing though! Read here for tips on how to nail your next writers’ conference.

First Impressions

Creating an effective website does not need to be complicated. Focus on what you want to accomplish with your site, and with your marketing message, and make these elements the foundations of your web design.

  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate with a clear message.
  • Keep your audience in mind, and match the tone of your on-site copy to the voice that your readers already associate with your brand.
  • Consistency helps to build familiarity and trust, so make sure your website aesthetic matches that of your other content.

Keep in mind that, even when someone is tempted to purchase your work, they are likely to check out your website first to help them make up their mind.

Credibility

A professional website instantly lends credibility to your brand, as it reassures readers that not only do you know what you’re talking about, but that you are a genuine entity.

You can use your website to leverage your writing skills to further build your brand’s authority. One tactic is to produce well-researched e-books that your audience can purchase and download from your website. However, before they buy, many consumers will want to see a sample of your work.

By creating a blog, and filling it with authoritative, well-written content, you show off your writing skills, engage with your audience, and foster interest in the topics covered within your premium content.

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Benefit from SEO

Quality written content is one of the most important factors in developing a functional SEO strategy. Now, you already know that your writing is great, and applying SEO techniques is likely already something with which you are familiar.

On one hand, this helps your website to become more visible, and thus easier for your audience to find. At the same time, however, having a carefully-crafted website can improve the SEO of your other content, raise your social media authority, and help your brand as a whole develop a more influential online presence.

Always Online

You cannot be everywhere at once, nor can you be available at all hours to respond to queries, and market your content. However, by creating a website, you have somewhere that people can go to learn more about your work at any time of day, and at their own pace.

Furthermore, your website is the perfect way to keep all of your valuable content in one place, so you can continue to see returns from your writing, long after it is first published. Ultimately, your website is a means of helping your audience find your content, while the quality of your written content is what will sell your brand and the products you create.

It Can Make You Money

The biggest company in the ecommerce world is Amazon — and they started off their empire by selling books. While you might not be able to threaten Amazon, having a great book selling website can gives you the opportunity to make some extra money.

Building an online business is no longer a chore and you can design yours to work in the way that is best for you. You may, of course, decide that building your own site isn’t something you feel comfortable doing. This doesn’t need to hold you back, though, because you can buy an existing store and then tweak it to meet your needs.

If you’re an author you can use your website to sell your own books, or if you have ambitions of being the next Amazon, you could use it to sell books by other authors. The important thing to remember is that having a great website can also mean having a great online business, and the great thing about that is it can make you more money!

Going Global

If you plan to reach out to international audiences, then this is another reason a website can really work for your brand. No matter where in the world someone searches from, they have a chance of finding your website, particularly if you take the time to research keywords for that area, or put some work into localizing and transcreating some of your content.

You can even develop versions of your website in different languages, in order to cater more effectively to your international audiences. Depending on how much of your content you wish to translate, many web development platformshave inbuilt functionality that can help you translate elements of your website.

There are a range of free design tools, and apps for creating your own visual elements. Equally, once you know what you want from your site, you can also outsource the work to a design team, allowing you to reap the benefits while continuing to focus on your writing.

MORE WRITING TIPS

5 Types of Rough Drafts by Michelle Griep

Numbering Your Days with One Word by  Beth K. Vogt

It Only Takes A Spark. . . Or Does It? by Rachel Hauck


Victoria Greene is a freelance blogger and branding expert. On her blog, Victoria ecommerce she shares tips on building great websites (amongst other things). Big fan of email marketing and targeted social media.

How To Be a More Productive and Successful Author

by Victoria Greene, @vickyecommerce

You’ve made up your mind; the ideas are there and so is the drive, but just how difficult is it to become a successful author? After all, so many people set their hearts on writing a book, yet only a fraction of those who begin ever make it to the end. The problem is, writing is all too easily put aside for other things, delayed one more day, or excused due to writer’s block.

Maintaining your productivity levels after an initial burst of enthusiasm is often the biggest challenge. Once your momentum declines, and progress begins to slow, it can be extremely discouraging. Meanwhile, productivity mantras urging you to write every day can quickly begin to feel more like criticisms than encouragement.

Yet there will be other days when writing feels like second nature, and the words will flow readily onto the page. So what can you do to ensure you have more of those days than the other kind? Fortunately, this is easier than it sounds. By identifying the things that are slowing you down, and developing positive working habits, you can dramatically increase your productive potential.

Planning the Path To Success

As with every creative pursuit, if you wish to succeed as an author, you need to approach your work with the same commitment and conviction as you would any other long-term goal. Plan ahead, know your limits, and be prepared for the days when it simply isn’t fun.

Set clear goals for each month, and break those down into manageable weekly targets. This means you always know what you’re working towards, and you can quickly identify where your sticking points are. If there is one project that always holds you back, it may be time to reevaluate how you approach it.

  • Decide how much time you can spare for writing each week, and schedule accordingly
  • Set daily priorities and aim to get the most important tasks out of the way first
  • Schedule time for breaks. Insufficient rest will eventually wear you down, which will ultimately decrease the quality of your writing
  • Reward yourself. Productivity is hugely influenced by your state of mind, so you can reinforce good habits by rewarding yourself for successfully reaching your goals
  • Take some time away from your workspace. When you take breaks, try to leave your work area, even if you just go into the next room
  • Where possible, get some fresh air and exercise. Writing is a sedentary pursuit and it is too easy to find yourself stuck indoors for days at a time, barely leaving your desk

Know What You Want

To give yourself the best shot at becoming a successful author, you need to have a clear picture of what you hope to achieve and why. Think about what you are willing to give up in order to be able to give your writing the time and commitment necessary.

To maximize your productivity, you will need to identify the things that distract you or slow you down. This may mean using web-blocking apps such as Freedom or SelfControl, or even turning off the internet altogether.

Identifying bad habits is also part of this process. Are you the sort of person who can spend an hour worrying about a single sentence? Learn to recognize that your writing does not need to be perfect on the first runthrough. Set yourself a maximum time for dwelling on an individual issue, and when that time is up, you need to leave it and continue writing. You can return to it with a fresh mind at a later date.

Failure Is Part of the Process

Not every day will go according to plan, not every manuscript will be perfect, and not every idea will turn out to be as great as it first seemed. These apparent failures can often be demoralizing, yet they are a natural part of your development as an author.

For every finished work, think how many drafts have been discarded, and for every 1,000 words you have written, how many have you deleted along the way? Yet it is far easier to perceive these alterations as contributing to the creative process.

That is not to suggest you should dismiss your failures, any more than you would ignore a typographical error. The trick is to recognize when things aren’t working, and figure out how to fix them.

Promoting Your Work

Of course, completing a written work is not the end of the journey. To be able to sell your work and raise your profile as an author, you need to ensure that people can find you. Websites such as Goodreads enable you to host Q&A sessions, and even offer physical or digital copies of your book in their giveaways, which can be a great way to get some early publicity. Meanwhile, in addition to turnkey self-publishing platforms like Amazon’s Kindle, you could consider selling your work directly through your own website.

Ecommerce CMS platforms such as Shopify can facilitate this process by handling many of the time-consuming aspects of creating a functional and coherent ecommerce website. This then frees you up to focus your marketing efforts elsewhere, and, of course, to begin working on your next project.

Here’s how to market your book from the inside out.

Be Your Own Boss

Whether you are just starting out, or a developing author looking for ways to refine your approach, the most important thing to remember is to do what works for you. Like every endeavor, writing takes time, energy, and dedication, so you need to make sure that you plan accordingly.

Everyone works differently, and only you can determine how often and how much you are prepared to write. Even so, while it may take some trial and error to find your groove, if you keep these techniques in mind along the way, you will arrive fully equipped to be the focused, prolific, and successful author you already knew you could become.


Victoria Greene is a brand marketing consultant and freelance writer. She has her own blog at VictoriaEcommerce, as well as writing for other websites. Victoria is a big advocate of maintaining good writerly habits and using tech to help stay productive.