So you need an author website and don’t know where to start? I can help with that!
In today’s Writer’s Corner, I’m gonna talk about author websites, why they’re important, and how to accomplish what you want with them. A lot of people say a lot of different things about how to maintain a website, where to host a website, how much is a good price, and how you maintain the monster you create. I can help with all aspects of getting a site up and running, training you on what to do, and being your sites beastmaster.
I’m going to give you an in-depth and comprehensive guide to what you need to do and/or think about when getting a site. I’m going to give you this advice free of charge. Normally, you’d pay a website designer several hundred dollars for the information I’m about to drop on you. You follow this guide and you’re on the road to a website that’s visited often by your audience.
1. What type of website do I need?
This is the most important question you’ll have to answer. It’s absolutely vital that you define what your web presence is going to be on the interwebs. Do you want to maintain a blog? If so, you should be prepared to maintain a steady post count talking about things that people want to read. Do you just want something to showcase your work? Then you need a website that’s easy to update.
There are several options out there on the market but giving a niche hosting company like Writer’s Corner Hosting is a decent bet. Why? In addition, to reliable 24/7 support for any of your hosting needs, they also feature tremendous prices. I also happen to provide extra support as their affiliate product specialist for writers. For more info contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Tech Support does not mean that the person on the other end of the line is going to help you figure out how to design your site. Can’t get to your site? Call tech. Having issues accessing the building tools? Call tech. Don’t know how to add a contact form on the front of your site? Google that shit or hire someone to help you out.
2. Security is mandatory.
When I say security, I don’t just mean a really good password. I mean you need to get a domain name, lock it down for an extended period of time, and slap an SSL on it. You need to make you have a good malware prevention tool on any WordPress site. I would also suggest a WordPress site on an SSD based server with limited database entry capability with access to SFTP. You could also try a website builder if you’re not trying to blog on a weekly basis.
3. Content is king.
The next thing you need to make sure you have is content. Do you have any stories or pieces published? They need to be linked somewhere on your site. Have cool YouTube videos? Those need to be embedded in your site for peeps to watch. You NEED to get your stuff out there. What if you don’t have any “stuff?” Then you’re not ready. You won’t have good SEO. You need to plan more.
4. Set a budget.
Okay, so here’s the part where most fall to the wayside and flounder and quit. They aren’t willing to spend some money. They want to use free things and expect to be the diamond picked out of the rough. Sure, it happens. Rarely. You need to be proactive. You need to get out there and make your mark.
Set a budget. I suggest you put enough aside to pay for 5 years worth of your chosen platform. Make sure you have upgrade options as you grow. Don’t forget to take into account security products, SEO stuff, professional email, and additional troubleshooting help by professionals. A good starter budget is around $500. I can get you pretty much everything you’ll need for that amount.
NOTE: What about websites like Wix or WordPress.com? If you want to save money, get the hell away from these places. They charge too much, they’re pricing structure is hidden with additional fees, and they’re not worth it, in my opinion. They have hidden costs as you grow. They have limited options. They don’t provide support adequately. Just avoid them.
5. Here are the products you need.
- Domain: This is the single most important thing you can buy. This is what people will put into Google to find you. Make sure you buy it for the maximum amount of time you can.
- Hosting: This is where your site is stored. All your files are going to be here. There are a couple of different hosting types but if you’re going to use WordPress make sure it’s Linux based. Just because you’re on a Windows computer DOES NOT mean that you need a Windows server.
- Content Management System: This is WordPress. This is Website Builder. This is Quick Shopping Cart if you’re in need of a storefront. This dashboard interface should be included in any product you purchase.
- SSL: This is not just for selling things. If you have anything on your site where people can enter information, Google really likes for you to have an SSL. If you want to make it to the front page of a search you’d better have one.
- Some sort of Malware Protection: If your site needs it, and believe me when I say a WordPress site needs it, get Malware protection. If you don’t have something, you will get attacked by hackers. Enjoy your site once it’s hijacked by pharma hackers. Increase those Viagra sales, yo!
- Professional Email: No one is going to take your Gmail seriously. They will take YourName@BadassDomain.Com seriously, however. It shows that you’re invested. They know they can take you seriously and you’ve left them with your calling card.
- Email Marketing: Once you have people interested you want to keep them coming back. You need a good email marketing tool to do this.
- SEO Tools: If you don’t know how to do SEO, there are tools out there. Don’t underestimate the power of good SEO.
- A Tech Expert: If you have absolutely no idea what any of the stuff is above, then you need to get a teacher or someone that will help you out.
6. Educate yourself.
Humanity has been given the biggest library ever conceived by the human mind. It’s called the internet and it’s full of all sorts of beautiful things. The most beautifullest thing on it is information. You need to educate yourself on a slew of things and it’s all free to find on the internet. You can hire someone or you can save some money and hire them only when you absolutely need them.
7. But wait, there’s more.
It’s important to remember that your writer website is your most important tool in the game. It’s your official stomping ground. This is your slice of the digital Candyland and you have to make the most of it. Tech support is just that…tech support. Is your hosting running? Then don’t bother tech support. Make an appointment with a professional web expert to help you out. You can use the code 10PERCENTER for an immediate 10% discount on any one service until October 31, 2017.
All of these things above, in addition to a lot of hard work, will eventually lead you down a path of success in the online universe.