Five Mistakes To Avoid On Your Author Website

By on November 15, 2012

If you’re an author, it’s essential for you to have your own website. Your author website should be a place where people can learn more about you and your work and connect with you. It’s an online portfolio of sorts, and it represents you as an author and person to the world. All these reasons are why a high-quality website is so important. In an effort to make sure your author website doesn’t suck, here are five mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

Not Hiring a Professional Web Designer
There are lots of tools online that can help you build your own website, and there are lots of design templates to choose from. This may seem like an easy way to create a site, and it is, but it’s also a terrible idea. You are an author, not a web designer, so hire a professional to do your site for you. Nothing says “low-quality author” like an ameatur website. And make sure it’s a real professional, too, not your brother-in-law who took a computer class in college.

Focusing on Design over Content
Now that you’ve hired a fancy web designer for your site, be careful not to get carried away. While you need a good-looking site, your content is what matters the most. A really cool-looking website can’t make up for a lack of content, but as an author you probably (hopefully) already knew that. Don’t make the mistake of putting too much into the look of your site and not enough into the substance of it.

Not Updating Your Site Regularly
Never, ever create an author site unless you intend to update it regularly. It’s never a good idea to have an abandoned website that doesn’t reflect everything about you and your work that’s current. When you release a new book, for example, make sure it’s on your site. A website that’s not current isn’t a good reflection of you, because it doesn’t portray success or commitment.

Not Collecting Email Addresses
Your author website is the perfect chance for you to connect with your readers and potential readers, and you better be asking for their email addresses on the homepage of your site. Don’t make email addresses mandatory, but include an option for visitors to sign up for your email list, in which you can notify them about new releases, speaking dates, and more.

Hard-Selling Yourself and Your Work
When people come to your website, they aren’t often visiting to purchase your work, believe it or not. They want to learn more about your books and you, but they don’t want to experience hard-selling. You’re not in sales; you’re in writing. Let your biography and information about your work speak for themselves. People can recognize merit when it exists, so you don’t need to appear desperate by pushing for them to buy. Remember, your work and your website should be about nothing else but the quality of your work and connecting with your readers.

Garrett Payne is a teacher and aspiring author.  He enjoys blogging in his spare time and recently gave tips for writing great content.

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