BK Magazine Marketing Mojo
Posted by Kat Engh.
Kat used to work for Berrett Koehler as a Social Media Strategist & Communications Manager. Now she works in the fashion industry.
A good author website doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles – in fact, I’d argue against creating something overly fancy or complicated. Here’s a crash course to doing it right.
If you much prefer to build something yourself, the good news is, there are plenty of simple DIY website platforms out there. I’m particularly fond of Squarespace*, because they have created beautiful, professional-looking website templates that make it easy to drop your content into immediately. You don’t have to learn to code, you don’t have to register your domain to a different site and then figure out how to connect it to your new website’s dashboard, you don’t have to buying hosting from yet another source, and you don’t have multiple logins to manage. Did any of that sound confusing? If yes, just get a Squarespace account. Your lack of headaches will thank me later. Have you ever created a Powerpoint presentation before? This is going to be much easier than that.
Ask most developers how they learned how to build websites, and they’ll almost all tell you that they learned by just tinkering around. I used to find this answer annoying because I just wanted to have one go-to resource for holding my hand through the process, and those do exist, but that’s not really how most people get started. Once you’ve set up an account, spend some time exploring the dashboard of your new website. What can you change? What can’t you change? Squarespace makes it pretty clear.
A lot of authors ask me about building a Wordpress site, and I myself have built and maintained several Wordpress sites over the past five years. I think Wordpress sites are great if you have a knack for understanding code, but they can be quite cumbersome to build and maintain if you don’t. I’ll just leave it at that.
OK, I Have a Site. Now What?
First, share the site with friends, colleagues, your publisher, etc. and ask them for feedback. If most agree that it looks like it’s ready to go, then you’re ready to brag about it! Add your new website URL to your social media profiles (especially Linkedin!). Make sure that your publisher adds it to all marketing and publicity materials for your book. Add it to your Amazon Author Central Profile. Think of all of the fun ways you might get to show off your shiny new site, and enjoy it! Just make sure that you make it worth your time by keeping it up to date. Remember, the whole reason you’re putting yourself through this is so that you can bring more attention to your book(s) and your esteem as an author.
*Full disclosure: I know a cool girl who works at Squarespace, but that has not influenced my choice to highlight their business, promise!