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For writers: When should I get a website?

bigstock-Old-rusty-typewriter-39007552Publishing today, whether with a traditional publisher or self publishing, requires that you treat your craft as a business.

That means you absolutely must have a website. And yesterday.

Your platform is the number of people you can reach with your message – through local networking groups, social groups, social media, website views, newsletter subscribers.

The higher the number, the more attention you’re likely to get.

The higher the number, the happier potential publishers will be.

—– What is a good “number”?
This varies and each publisher will have a different standard. Shoot for at least 1000 blog followers. Social media numbers are important, but convert to fewer sales (statistically speaking).

The next question after “should I have a website?” Is “how much should I spend on a website?”

A good website is an investment. Because your online platform plays such a vital role in your publication and sales, it is not an area you should skimp.

You need:
– access to make changes
– something with basic search engine optimization
– automatic renewal of hosting and domain name

Sometimes, if you ask a family member or friend who “happens to do websites” to do your site, you can miss out on these key areas and will have to end up redoing your site entirely.

Unless that family member or friends is a legitimate web developer, say no. Go with a real business and budget accordingly.

Sites can cost from $500 to $5,000 for a basic site. In this arena, you truly get what you pay for. Invest in good design. Invest in a web developer you get along with. Invest in this as a business partner.

Know what sort of navigation you like (across the top of page or right or left hand). Know what color schemes you might want. Gather a list of other author websites you like.

Social media
Your social media marketing (promoting your name and author profiles) is not going to be effective without having a good website for people to come back to.

In social media posts, announcements, photos, etc, always point back to your website. Traffic is powerful and getting that web traffic from social sites is icing on the cake.


Free consultation — I understand your concerns and offer free initial consultations to writers about their online platform. Contact me and let’s chat!