Authors need to have a professionally-looking and mobile-friendly website. This is considered to be one of the most crucial elements of your book marketing strategy. There are many things you should consider when you decide to build an author website, especially if you intend to self-publish your book.
One of them is to figure out what you want to appear on your home page. Remember that the appearance of your homepage tends to depend on the theme or template that you chose. But a simple homepage design can also include some elements. This article is a guide to help you to create the right author website’s homepage.
Website-building tools and services
Before you decide to build your site, you need to choose the building tools and the services you want to use. When it comes to your tools, you should think about the cost. It’s a good idea to opt for free options if you are not earning a lot of cash or are an unpublished author.
Another thing is the ease of use. If you are not a tech-savvy individual, then you should use a platform that makes it easier to create a website design. Take note that some easy-to-use platforms can have some drawbacks or even cost you a lot of cash.
You should also consider the portability and longevity of your website. Few platforms can last for long, particularly proprietary systems. The open-source platform can benefit you over time because you don’t have to use one hosting company or service provider.
If you want to use a free option, you should choose WordPress.com as it’s an open source that powers many websites. Later on, if you want to have more features, you can get a paid plan or even move to self-hosting.
Creating your homepage
As explained earlier, what appears on the homepage of your site can depend on the template or theme you want to use. In most cases, a simple homepage can have a clear header or identity. This comes to your tagline or name, and sometimes a headshot. The header can appear on each page of your author’s website, though this depends on your theme.
You want the visual to be related to the work you intend to publish, so you have to consider themes in your work, book cover designs, and any branding you use. If you have several types of audiences, there is a chance that you may experience some choices when it comes to what to focus on and the messaging to use.
The homepage can usually be more effective when you focus on attracting the audience that you intend to target or if you focus on the kind of work you want to be associated with. Other types of work can take a backseat when developing your homepage.
Your homepage should also have the cover of your recent book or all your books. This is because you want your visitors to be introduced to and see your most recent book on the homepage without requiring them to click or scroll around to find it. In most cases, visitors tend to click right on their popular retail website before they make a purchase.
Therefore, you can include several book covers on your homepage, though you should not expect your visitors to scroll down quite a long homepage. Therefore, you need to ensure that there is a books tab in the navigation or menu so that visitors can quickly get to or scan your titles without scrolling.
You should also offer some links to social media websites where you are active. For example, if you are active on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, then you can place clear icons in the footer, header, or even sidebar of your homepage where your visitors can find them quickly. You can also link to a single website, particularly if it’s a place where you want readers to engage with you. That said, you must avoid linking to any social media platforms where you have an account that you don’t actively engage in or post.
Your homepage should also offer an email newsletter signup. The crucial element of your sign-up should be the language you use when requesting your visitors to subscribe. You should note that a general call to action like signing up for free newsletters. Instead, create a copy that is unique, meaning writing that no other writer can use the same language. Ideally, it should be unique to you and the message you send.
Also, there should be social proof. This can include a simple quote from a great book review. Alternatively, your book can be one of the bestselling ones on the market, so you need to consider highlighting this. You can also include your brief description. For instance, you can show that you are the bestselling author of two books on leadership or culture and many more. Then you should tell your potential readers to follow you through an email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Keep in mind that homepage design can be quite subjective. The crucial thing is to know what type of writer you are as well as the type of writing you produce. In this way, your potential readers can recognize you quickly. After all, you don’t want the visitors to guess who you are. In most cases, you have a couple of seconds to convey this message before the visitors decide to leave your website.
You should also make the menu or navigation system clear. This means that you should have a clear path for your visitors to get more details about who you are. Therefore, you need to include how to contact you and the type of books you have published.
Sometimes, it makes sense to put a blog on your homepage. You need to have some links to your recent blog posts and they should be clear on the homepage. Your homepage should only focus on books, and make sure that you have updated blog posts so that your readers can know that you are an active author.