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Why Writers Need A Website
Why a Website?
I have no doubt that several of you, upon reading the title of this article, threw up your hands and said WHY? Why should I have a website? My writing career is practically non-existent and I just don’t warrant a website! Maybe when I make it big then I’ll find the time to construct a website but not now.
In response to that I would just say that in this highly competitive world, image means a great deal. A website gives a professional face to your writing endeavors. It tells the world that you are taking this seriously; that you consider yourself to be a writer and that you should be respected as such.
Whether you have an existing freelance business, you are thinking of starting a business, or you just want to be taken seriously as a writer, a website is an excellent step in the right direction.
I am not a tech expert, so I will not attempt to tell you how to actually construct a website, but I do know the important components that should be featured on your website, and that is what we will talk about today.
ALL ABOUT YOU
This section gives you a chance to tell agents, editors, publishers or just the buying public who you are and what you are all about. Open up and introduce yourselves. Tell people what you have to offer and what game you bring to the discussion.
YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION
Your website is useless if people can’t get in touch with you. The bare minimum should be your email address or an email form for contact. Many include their phone numbers. Be advised that it should be easy to find this information on the website. If a publisher or even a fan has to search long and hard to find you, they most likely will give up in frustration.
A PICTURE OF YOU
This is a nice personal touch. Including a personal photo adds a face to the name and is a nice, personal touch. If possible have one professionally done, but any good picture will do. On my website I have a picture of me on our front lawn with one of our dogs. It is not a professional shot for sure, but it is one that speaks volumes about me as a person and I like it.
A PRESS PAGE
If you have been published then this is the place to brag about it. If you have a press release, this is the spot for it as well, and if you are doing book signings includes those dates. I would also suggest a shot of the book cover and another picture of you.
What if you don’t have a published book? Maybe you have articles that have been published in magazines. Include those by all means.
Reviews of your work speak volumes about you as a writer, and they carry much more weight than your words ever could. Even if you don’t have a published book you can gather comments from people who have read articles that you have written.
How do you get reviews? Ask for them!
SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK
Nothing says talent like an example of that talent. If you have a book then include sample chapters in this section. You can even put a table of contents here, or a series of clips from your book or articles.
Give some long, hard thought before choosing which excerpts to include. The clips you include here should be some of your best work.
Tutorial on web design
HOW TO BUY YOUR BOOK
If you are selling then give the visitor a way to buy immediately. You can either have a purchasing form on this page or a link to your book’s website, but make sure you give the reader an option that is easy to use.
While on this subject, please note that I mentioned a website for your book. This is an important added step for anyone who has written a book. If it is an ebook and is featured on Amazon then a page is already provided on their website. If, however, you have self-published a hard copy, then I firmly believe you need a website for your book in addition to your writer’s website. Why? Exposure and professionalism!
This is not an extra section on your website but rather an integral part of the entire website. In the final analysis, what you are selling is yourself. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through in every section of your website. Let your readers learn who you are and what makes you unique. If you are a writer then this should not be a problem.
A WORD ABOUT BLOGGING
Free templates are available now that will allow you to create a blog that looks quite professional. When blogging first began it had a less than professional reputation, but all that has changed. Blogs today look quite professional and you can have the aforementioned sections added to your blog.
You can also have a blog and website, with the blog being a more personal, random set of musings while the website is more professional in nature.
No matter what you do, remember that your online presence is a reflection of you, and if you are serious about advancing your writing career then the blog and/or website must be approached as a serious sales tool.
Times have changed! For better or for worse, an online presence is mandatory for anyone trying to advance their career in writing. You have about ten seconds to impress a visitor at your site, so make sure the site portrays whatever it is that you are selling.
You can do it yourself or pay someone else to do it, but bottom line…..do it!
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)