I devoured it back in 2015 and it changed some fundamental things about my thinking. Namely, how to weed out distracting and unproductive thoughts so that I can focus on making a lasting and meaningful contribution. I’ve applied this to various aspects of my life, including the work I do in creating author websites. Helping authors figure out what to include (and what, therefore, to leave out) on their author website is the first step in my process of working with an author for the very reason that if you don’t know what you’re going to build, and why, you can’t design something effective and know how to measure its success.
There are times to throw everything in your toolbox at something, and there are times that you’ll be just as (if not more) successful if you don’t. If you’re an author who also does speaking gigs (or aspires to), virtual book club meetings, appearances, educational content, journalism, or another aspect to their career that might not be directly related to their work as an author, it makes sense to really think strategically about how to integrate that into a single web presence that works best for you. But if you’re an author who has made it to the (exciting! monumental!) point of a book release and you just need a simple home base on the internet to point people to while you work on your future career, maybe you just need something simple that announces your book, tells people a bit about you, and points them to where they can find you on the internet.
It can be easy to look at the websites of established authors and think that because they have all kinds of bells and whistles, you need bells and whistles too. I’ll be the first to tell you that they didn’t start out that way, and many highly successful authors have terrible websites that no one should be aspiring to! Of course you want to be strategic to set yourself up for the most success, but that doesn’t mean overwhelming people with content on your site.
Essentially, (see what I did there?) your website is a single place on the internet, entirely in your control, that can be the hub of your online platform as you grow your fan base. So consider each piece of content you plan to add to it to ask yourself how it will work for you, and whether maintaining it might be more work than it’s worth.
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If you’re interested in diving into more details about this topic (and many others!), check out my Author Website Planning Kit which details out everything you need to know to build your own author website.
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