Many authors I speak to say they don’t need an author website: they already have a blog. And vice versa. But here’s why they’re wrong!
A blog by itself…
Well, it generally doesn’t sell any books. And why? Because the book doesn’t get the position that it should on the homepage. A blog will always feature the most recent entry in the most prominent spot. Which means that the first thing someone sees when they arrive on your site is your most recent blog post (and maybe the few before that). Those posts may be about the next book you’re working on, your opinion on a news story related to your book, or just a funny blurb about your trip to the supermarket yesterday. But that’s not selling your book! Every author website should have a static homepage that includes a large photo of the book cover, a tantalizing description of the book, and links to learn more, read an excerpt, read reviews, and/or buy the book. Without that, you’re missing your opportunity to get potential readers exposed to your book.
A website by itself…
Doesn’t really draw people back on a regular basis. It can work for an author whose goal is just selling one particular title. Once that book is sold, it doesn’t matter if the reader comes back again. But most websites are author websites, which means that it’s in the author’s best interest to have readers keep coming back, sign up for newsletters and/or RSS feeds, and stay in touch. This is invaluable in terms of getting reader feedback, interacting with readers, and making sure that people who like your writing will hear about your next book as soon as it’s available. Keeping a blog keeps your site new and fresh, and allows readers to post comments on your writing, which gives your author website two invaluable qualities: interactivity and frequency of updates. A website without a blog can often look … well … static.
When we build websites for authors, we always recommend a static homepage (often with one box that can be updated regularly with news/events) AND a blog that’s integrated into the site. This provides your site with the 1-2 punch it needs to sell your books — both current and future!
Ready to talk with us about building an author website and blog? Contact us today for a free consultation!