Welcome to the first installment of my series for self publishers – How to Improve the Professional Appearance of Your Author Website for FREE.
Before we dive into the introductory lesson, I thought I would share a little bit about my background, at least, the part that qualifies me to share information related to self-publishing. I’ve been building websites and helping people with web related problems for years. Even longer, I have been a voiceover talent and have narrated numerous audio books, documentaries, and radio and TV commercials. So, producing and voicing my book trailers and building my author website came easily.
However, I don’t know everything about self-publishing which has required me to reach out to others who could help fill in the gaps. It is amazing when you think about how many people who are willing to share their knowledge online and, in many cases, that expertise comes free of charge. Yeah, I’m well aware of those others who are out to access your bank account with pie in the sky promises of fame and fortune. Just to be clear, I’m not one of them. My motives should be your motives as a writer. I just want to share some of my knowledge and help others in the same boat as me. And hopefully, they will return the favor by buying my novels and/or telling others about my books.
Once you get passed the initial excitement of publishing your first printed novel and eBook then you are faced with the monumental task of MARKETING your work. “Hey, I did all this work. Doesn’t anybody want to read this. Am I the only one who thinks it’s a great story? Hello. Anybody?”
And then, somebody tells you that you must have a website. “Build it and they will come.” But they don’t.
Another well meaning soul suggests that you need to drive traffic to your website. “How do I do that? Oh, no. Did I hear that correctly? Pay for advertising? With what?”
Which brings me to this. Nobody cares that you wrote a book and nobody cares that you have a website. Ouch. That hurts…but it’s true. So let’s change the emphasis on that thought to something considerably more positive. “Nobody cares about your book or your website until you care about them.”
It has taken far too long for me to get that principle hammered into my mind. Light bulb. What is the primary reason that we go to the websites of other authors? Well, maybe because we are fans, but not so much. We go to the websites of other authors for information. Help. Guidance. Encouragement.
Most likely, you lack the financial resources to hire some overpriced advertising firm to get the word out about your book. That’s not a dig on you…such is the predicament of artistic endeavors (and yours truly). Those who draw or apply paint to a canvas are not the only “starving artists.”
Call it “giving back,” if you will, or “paying it forward.” That’s what these self-publishing demonstrations are all about. I share because I care. I sincerely hope that you realize your dream.
So, let’s get started.
How to Improve the Professional Appearance of Your Author Website for FREE. Lesson #1 – Select the Right Domain Name & Web Host
- Make your choice at Namecheap, Godaddy, Hostgator, etc. (about $10 per year)
- First choice for URL (webname) is your pen name
- If not available add author, writer, books, novels, novelist
- This is the beginning of building your brand
- Secure a webhost
- Select a host that is reliable
- For simplicity keep your domain and host with the same service provider
- Follow the instructions sent from your webhost to lay the foundation for your website
- Keep good notes on web addresses including sign-in usernames and passwords
- Get familiar with C-panel
- Set up WordPress from which you will build your free pro site