March 1, 2011 by Sylvia Hubbard
The blog shouldn’t be separate from the website, but embedded into the website to keep the visitor on the site and continue to connect them to the author’s product.
On the blog, Our Little Books, Julia M Lindsey speaks on 6 Reasons Why Every Author Should have a website.
- Blogging Connects You to people who think like you do.
- You can begin communicating with readers and build an audience.
- You can market yourself as an author.
- You can sell your book on your blog.
- You can be found on the Internet.
- Blogging is great for practicing writing
To read more details into each reason, go to: http://bit.ly/c5Gz9q.
So let’s address the topic of this blog:
If you aren’t visiting your site, why should anyone else?
An author’s website should reflect the author, because that’s what readers want to see, but also the website should be like your home where you want people to come and stay for a while. You need to make sure there’s a candy dish in the living room, a nice meal for everyone placed out in the dining room and sweet treats in the kitchen.
A great header welcoming the guest into your site is always a great thing. (See above). I love to let my visitors know exactly who they’ve come to see and of course give them a picture of myself and my flower that flows throughout most of my other social networking sites. (Plus I’m such a fan of purple I can’t help myself).
The Navigational bar on your website should be a great map to how to get around the website (the house). Visitors should be aware of each (page and post) room and want to eagerly visit everywhere.
Your Navigation Bar should have at least the following tabs:
While the navigational bar provides direction, the sidebar keeps reminders to the visitors that you’re there and you would love to give them more treats IF they leave a name and email.
- Visit Your Site and Look at it from another perspective. Have people come and critique your site.
- Keep your Blogs interesting and challenging.
- Choose colors that are easy on the eyes.
- Don’t be scared to talk about the subjects that mean something to you and challenge yourself as a writer to connect what’s happening out in the world to your author’s platform.
- If you have a new book coming out, tease them with excerpts, do giveaways, give your readers a chance to check out your books and meet you for chats on posts to ask you questions, ponder with what ifs and more.
- Use Audio, Pictures and Visitors to make your posts more engaging.
- Tunnel traffic from your social networks into your site. Don’t put all your good stuff on Facebook or Twitter. Find a way to get them to click a link that comes to your site and gives them opportunities to read what’s going on and then check out your fabulous SIDE BAR.
SideBar Must Have’s:
A Subscription Widget – gathering emails is vital to the author, but also having this list attached to the blog whenever the author publishes is not only a time saver, but also a way for people to return to the blog.
You want your readers to get to you and sometimes they may not opt initially to leave their email, but that’s no reason to connect with you if they have an account on another social network.
The two major ones that are must haves for authors would be Facebook and Twitter. The next would be YouTube or LinkedIn. I also suggest GoodReads as well. Here is another bar with other connections that I have:
You want your readers to see what they’ve missed so I make sure my categories are right after they’ve subscribed. Afterwards, I have three of the recent posts. Sometimes I’ve been inclined to increase this to five if I know my posts are rocking for a while or I’m in the middle of a live story.
Most Authors forget this, but sometimes readers come to the site just to find a specific item or post. You want to make sure they can get to this easily. having a search bar lets them find things instead of leaving the site and going to Google to search for it. (Never give them a reason to leave the site.)
I like to break the monotony of the blog, but inserting pictures into the site. Of course that means posting the book covers and showing them off. Link these posts that consists of excerpts, longer descriptions and then of course pay sites (ebook and paperback links). Since I have so many books and some are even in series, I highlight those series in between other must have widgets as well.
Popular Books (ebooks & paperbacks)
stealing innocence Series
Heart of Detroit Series
Twitter RSS and Facebook Badge
Even thought you’ve posted your badges at the top, you also want to keep your visitors up to date instantly of what you’re doing now. The Twitter RSS gives yourself a live presence on the blog as well (right then and right now feeling). The Facebook Badge shows off a connection and exemplifies your FanPage to everyone.
Other Widgets to Have on Your Front Page
- RSS Feeds or Logos of other endeavors you want to bring attention to your viewers
- Feed options including sharing options for your viewers
- Recent Comments
- Archive List
Having your RSS feed of your blog connected to your Twitter and/or Facebook is vital. Feedburner provides the function for your Twitter to stream and NetworkedBlogs provides the Facebook connection. WordPress kills two birds with one stone and also does this as well plus connects to Yahoo.
Most importantly in all this, VISIT OTHER AUTHOR’S SITES. Find out what they are doing and seeing if this is something you can hone on your own to make your site more visited and great!