Last week, I strongly encouraged you to put up a website to showcase your writing talent and services and outlined steps focused on do-it-yourself development. I cannot overstress the importance of having an online presence. This week, I want to look at different types of writer’s websites so you can decide which one is right for you. Here is a quick list of the five most typical writer websites:
The author-centered website puts you front and center. Your books or other writing are secondary. If you have an established fan base that aches to know more about you, your life, your writing process, your upcoming books and book signings, the author-centered website is for you.
A book-centered website has a single goal: to sell your book. You need to convince visitors that they want to read your book by using teaser content, unanswered questions, or a free sample chapter that hooks the reader. Book-centered websites work well for authors who understand and use marketing efforts to identify an audience, figure out how to reach them, and send them to the site to learn more about the book.
If you specialize in writing for a specific topic or industry, this type of website will show-and-tell others about your expertise. Make sure the home page clearly identifies your topic, and include links to a bank of articles or set up a blog to show off your knowledge. At the end of each article or post, make sure you tell readers what you want from them, i.e., “contact me to write your next brochure copy,” or “hire me to speak at your next industry function.”
For writers who rely on paying clients to help get the rent paid, a service-center site is your online brochure and a “must have” in your marketing arsenal. If you set up a service-centered website, avoid using too many “I” statements that focus on what you can do. Use “you” statements that focus on what you can do for your potential clients and customers.
Many writers have multiple talents they want to showcase. You might be both an author promoting a book and a copywriter looking for work. You might want to sell your books directly from the site as well as offer topic-specific speaking services. Multi-purposed websites can quickly get messy when you don’t have a clear message to place on your home page. However, one way to diminish the confusion is to place distinct ‘gateway’ buttons on the home page. By clicking one button, the visitor is directed to the page about your copywriting services. By clicking another button, the visitor is directed to the page touting your new book.
Whatever type of website is a good fit for you, take action to define it, build it, and publish it—as soon as possible.