The internet is a fascinating place. We can shop online and receive our items in as little as two days. We can complete book research easier than ever, explore new places without buying a plane ticket. And thanks to social media, we can even meet new people and build entire communities of support. If you ask me, the internet can be a pretty great place—especially for writers.
Credibility is king these days, and anyone who doesn’t have a website is in direct competition with those who do. Case in point, I'll often try a new restaurant that has a website with their menu posted on it. I'm far less likely to take a chance on a restaurant that doesn't have either. The internet is no different for authors. So, why exactly do authors need a website?
4 Reasons Why Writers Need a Website
- Having a website allows writers to create one content hub to house all their materials in an online space. Social media and email lists drive traffic back to the website, providing ample information for readers.
- Whether a writer wants to seek a literary agent in the future or not, a website allows writers to establish their brand online. More importantly, if a writer wants to delve into the world of traditional publishing, they'll need to show their marketability. A well-built website, with an aesthetically pleasing design, shows agents and publishers that a writer is capable of marketing themselves.
- I briefly hinted at this, but professionals in any industry—especially authors—can not afford to lack an online presence in a world when almost everyone exists online. Building a website and posting regularly gives authors a professional edge above other authors who don’t have an online presence. It also helps greatly with maintaining your brand and brand relatability.
- Not only is having a website important but also having a page of that website dedicated to a blog and posting to it regularly is vital to building and maintain searchability. By publishing short articles on your blog on a regular basis and linking back to them via social media accounts, writers can increase their discoverability through search engines, such as Google, to gain more website traffic. The value of a website lies solely in how actively engaged you are, and blog posts increase that engagement.
Writers may think the most important part of being a writer is the actual book writing process. In reality, audience building is right up there in importance. By having a website and publishing blog posts consistently, writers can actively build their following before or during the writing process and have a group of people waiting to buy their book upon release. How does one go about publishing content that will keep future readers engaged up until publication date and beyond? Blogging is the answer. But, what should writers blog about?
5 Topics Writers Should Blog About
- Behind the scenes—Whether you share your writing routine, a peek at your future cover, excerpts from the chapter you’re currently writing, or your favorite writing spot, publish posts that give a behind the scenes look into your creative journey. This type of transparency goes a long way in establishing a community online.
- Book inspiration—What does your main character look like? Where is your book's setting? Do you listen to a specific playlist every time you sit down to write? Find images online to show your followers what characters look like and where your book is set. Share your playlist in a blog post and build comradery around the music that inspires your work.
- Books you’re reading—The quickest way into any book lover’s heart is a great book recommendation. Share books you loved or create a list of all the books you’ve ever read and use it to start a dialogue with your followers. Book lovers will always connect over books.
- Topics that display your expertise—Maybe you are a dietitian and your future book is all about ways we can incorporate healthy foods and exercise into our routines—publish blog posts surrounding this same topic to build your credibility and display your expertise. Does it fit your brand message? Blog about it.
- Regional exploration—Do you live in a really fun city and love to play tour guide when friends and family come to visit? Is your book set in a cool town that you know well? Share your favorite restaurants, activities, and events in blog posts to capture readers attention and pull them into the world of your book long before they have the chance to read it.
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