You studied your craft, edited several drafts of your manuscript, and – finally – found someone to publish your book. If you don’t already have a website, you need one. If you do have a website, you need to update it. Easy, peasy, right? You wrote a book. Websites are thousands of words shorter – how hard can it be?
Quite hard, actually. Many of the rules and skills you learned for book writing don’t apply to online content writing. The universal rules of grammar and punctuation will, of course, apply, but there are a few other things to consider before you publish your website.
- It’s not about you, it’s about them. While it’s true that you want to share information about yourself, you want to share it as it applies to your readers (especially if you’re offering editing or speaking services). Don’t tell them how well-written your book is; tell them how and why it will appeal to them. Don’t focus on how great a speaker you are; show them how you’ll keep their events educational and entertaining.
- It’s a website, not a resume. Your readers want to read about you as a person. They aren’t as impressed by when you published which books and what classes you took. There’s a place for that information (maybe a “My Books” tab), but it shouldn’t be the main focus of your site. Save those details for your next book proposal.
- Formatting matters. When it comes to websites, you have limited time to capture a person’s attention – that’s why lists, sub headings, bold headings, and white space work. It lets people quickly scan your content for the information they want. Once they find that, they’re more likely to read the rest of your content to see what they’ve been missing.
- Remember your audience. Just like you wrote your book for a specific audience, your website should be written the same way. Yes, a few people may randomly stumble upon your site, but there’s a specific demographic who will be searching for you or writers like you. Write for those people.
- Be authentic. Depending on what you wrote, you may have created fictional characters or an authorial voice that filled your book. Your website, however, needs to reflect you. When people read about you online, they need to see the same person they’re going to meet a book signings or as the keynote speaker at their next writer’s conference.
- Hire an editor. You wouldn’t (shouldn’t) submit a manuscript without first having it edited. The same is true for your website. Find at least one pair of eyes willing to give it a quick proofread to make sure the content is consistent and error-free.
These quick tips will help you create a well-written website that will keep your readers engaged, educated, and entertained.