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The Key to a Successful Nonfiction Author Website? Content, Content, Content

I must start this post with a confession: I come from a web content background. I was working on website content development and content strategy back in the 1990s. A lot has changed since then, but one thing hasn’t: content still is the staple of the internet.

I’ve told my nonfiction authors time and time again that blogging can make or break their website. And it’s true. A blog is one of the best ways to keep a website fresh, informative, and yes, full of fresh content.

Why am I bringing this up now? Well, I just read an article in my trusted Internet & Marketing Report which cited a case of a lighting company that discovered the importance of content on their site. Here are a few excerpts from the article, written by Larry Lauck, of AmericanLightingAssoc.com, which sells lighting equipment:

Things are changing rapidly in our industry, and customers were having a hard time keeping up. … So we made a huge leap: We scrapped our website and created a new one. … this time, we put the industry news our customers were thirsty for front and center. … We put links to articles on our main navigation bar so visitors could spot them easily … then we added short weekly webinars on the changes in the industry … Focusing on providing the info our visitors needed has paid off immensely. Traffic to our site has increased significantly, and we’re getting incredible feedback from visitors.

See? Content made all the difference. Not only did it increase traffic to the website, but it also helped build a stronger, more trusting relationship between the company and its customers.

There’s no doubt that creating content takes a lot of work on your part. But that’s the point: it’s by putting in that effort — and offering your followers valuable information for free — that your relationships are built.

Nonfiction authors should take note. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to create that blog. Write regularly about issues in the news related to the subject matter of your book. If you have some expertise in the field, all the better. Offer news, opinions, analysis, etc…

By using your website as a source of content for your readers, you’re helping to form a relationship beyond just seller/sellee. You’re building a trust, a follower, and (hopefully) a life-long reader of your work.

What can be more valuable than that?

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