If you’re a writer without a website, this is the post for you. With 84 percent of the American population online, your largest potential audience is waiting for you out there in cyberspace, and you can’t afford to not have one. Whether you don’t have the time, you don’t appreciate the internet as a medium, or you just don’t know how websites work, the fact is that if you want to succeed as a writer, you need a website. If you’re not sure why that is, here are three ways that websites will help you out and a few author sites to check out for some inspiration:
Creates a Professional Platform – Sure, you have a Facebook page and a Twitter account, but that’s not really where you want to send potential clients or sales reps, is it? If you’re trying to get a piece published, or if you’re looking for freelance work, you need a platform that shows off your talents, gives publishers a better idea of who you are, and provides another way for these people to contact you. A quality website not only gives people a place to go to find your work but it draws potential clients and readers in, ultimately creating more business and more money.
Provides Motivation – The great thing about writers’ websites is that they often include blogs. And there’s no better way to work on your writing than in your own blog. A blog you own is low stakes: you get to pick what you write; you can write any way you want; you can use it to develop voice, tone, or style; and best of all, it keeps you motivated when you’re between projects. It’s a good way to keep yourself in the writing habit without too much pressure.
Builds Your Email List – If you plan on doing any kind of marketing when you publish, an email list is easily one of your most important tools. A website can help you fill out that list with people who are excited about your work and can’t wait to read whatever you have coming next. If you have some writing samples you really like but don’t mind giving to fans, just put them up on your website as gated content. This means that to access those pieces, site viewers have to put in their email address. Your readers get new content from you, and you get another address to add to the email list. Then when it is time to market, you can send out an email to all of those people who you know love your writing.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out these great websites from a few of our more recent Ooligan authors:
Eliot Treichel seamlessly incorporated all of his social media accounts into his website. This is a really good way to get people talking about your writing, which builds your online presence. He also makes it super easy for readers to navigate to a site where they can buy his books, a major sales bonus.
Ruth Tenzer Feldman’s website is a perfect example of how to get your blog going. Hers is not only updated frequently, it’s posted front and center on the homepage of her website. This is a great way to bump your site’s rankings on Google, get new visitors, and keep your faithful readers coming back regularly.
Karelia Stetz-Waters’ site is another good place to get some web design inspiration. Her site puts a big emphasis on quality images, a great way to draw new site visitors in. Those attention-grabbing pictures feature her own titles, making it easy for viewers to see what she’s published and what she’s doing.