10 Ways To Build A Winning Author Website
I’m a branding girl. If there is one thing my clients know it is that I believe in building a brand, and a platform for your work.
Yeah, But you can’t brand a person!
Actually, you can and you should. It doesn’t matter that all your books fall under different genres. It’s about you, the author and the image that you are presenting to the world, to your readers. You are your company and the books are your product. So in terms of branding you need to think like a company and make your brand noticeable. Your brand may not be identifiable by a traditional logo, but your across the board consistency will. What is your mission and your vision. Figure those things out and you can start building.
One of the biggest issues related to branding I have found (besides the poorly designed book covers that I have discussed ad nauseam) are feebly constructed websites. Would Nike throw together a web page to highlight their products in a free site with no identifiable markers? Nope. And neither should you. Don’t know what I mean? Check out E.L James’ web page – now look at yours. Yeah she makes oodles of money off the sales of her books, but if you want to sell like a best-selling author, you need to act like a best-selling author.
Here are some tips when building your author website:
- Everything on your author website should be, at most, two clicks away. One is preferred. That means don’t hide your info in sub pages if don’t have to. You can have pull down lists in the menu, but don’t make people click link after link to find something, because they won’t. If you can add it to your menu… do so.
- You should have everything on the top. Don’t make people scroll to the bottom, because they won’t. If you want them to contact you, read your synopsis, find links to buy your book, or find your FAQ’s, make it visible on the landing stage (the viewable section when your page loads).
- People read in an F pattern. Menus should be arranged left to right, NOT top to bottom on the sidebar. See this F? People read across, then down on the left side, then across and then back down on the left again. Like an F.
- You should have a search bar, a clear way to contact you and DON’T load your page with tons of buttons and pictures. It should be simple, yet clear. You must include an “About” page, which makes it personal and a menu link to view your cover images (and read the synopsis).
- Don’t forget the links to purchase your books. I can’t tell you how many times I have perused author sites with zero links to buy their work. That is unacceptable.
- The font should not be fancy script… people won’t read it and your messages get lost. No smaller than 11 pt font and if you can use Helvetica, I recommend it.
- Fancy backgrounds must never detract from your information because you want people to click around, not get frustrated, distracted and bounce. Don’t put a sidebar on your landing page that will lead readers astray.
- Your header should be a recognizable design or keep it simple. Make sure that all sites that allow for a design have a similar header (color, style or image). Consistency is key to building a recognizable brand.
- Your bio information should also be the same everywhere you have one listed and don’t forget to highlight snippets from positive reviews.
- Integrate your social media with links, buttons and ways to connect. You want them to keep in touch… make it easy to do so.
Now, you have an idea on how to setup your author website – get to work. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always contact Gliterary Girl Media and we will walk you through it or do it ourselves.