One of the things that I recommend for many of my clients on their author web site is a “welcome” message — with a great photo of them right next to it. And I find that many author sites built elsewhere don’t have such a message. Here’s why I think it’s important…
- As its name suggests, it’s welcoming! An author website is a personal thing. It’s a way to let readers experience you outside your books. So it’s important that someone feel welcomed when he or she ends up on an your site. This is your chance to let them get a sense of who you are and feel comfortable in your “space.”
- It provides an overview of the site. Someone might wind up on your author website because they searched for a keyword and simply clicked on one of the links in the results. When they arrive on your homepage, they may see your name and book cover, but is that enough to make them feel as if they’ve found what they’re looking for? The welcome message can essentially say, “Yes, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what the book and website are about, and here’s what we hope to help you accomplish with it.”
- It’s a chance to list the target audiences. Let’s say you wrote a book about learning disabilities in children. And let’s say that someone ends up on the website because they’re looking for such a book. But how do they know right off the bat if that particular book is for them? They could be a teacher, and wonder if the book is more geared towards parents. Or vice versa. That’s where it’s sooooo helpful to have a list in your welcome message of whom you’re speaking to. In this case, it could be “parents, teachers, special needs educators, etc…”
- It’s your chance to “sell” yourself and your site. Think of the welcome paragraph as an audition of sorts. It may be the only thing that someone reads on your site (it’s going to be the first thing they see when they arrive), so it’s your chance to introduce yourself, explain why you write, what you hope to accomplish with your book, and tout anything you want people to know right off the bat. For example, you could use it to mention writing awards you’ve won, or the fact that a percentage of your proceeds go to charity.
I don’t recommend welcome paragraphs for every site — sites focusing on a book, instead of an author, for instance — but I do recommend it for many author sites. After all, you only have one chance to grab a site visitor’s attention and entice them to click around. Based on my experience, a “welcome” paragraph accompanied by an author photo is the best way to do that.
Ready to talk with us about developing your author web site? Contact us today for a free consultation!