An author website builds your online presence, your brand, your authority, and promotes you as a writer.
A well-designed author website will rank you at the top of search engine results. It’s called brand authority, and brand authority is what every author should be aiming to achieve.
What Does a Well Designed Author Website Contain?
- Clear navigation that is keyword optimized
- Current headshot
- 3-D book cover image(s)
- Contact Form
- Opt-in form to encourage visitors (aka prospective book buyers) to sign up for your email list
- Media Kit with bios in 3 lengths: 25, 50, 75+
Should You Use a Design Template?
Website design templates that are created for authors have all the elements you need to build a professional looking website.
Here is an example of two author websites I built using the same template. Not only do the sites look completely different, it’s hard to tell they came from the same theme.
When you combine your unique words, images, and brand colors, a website design template will look like a custom website design at a fraction of the custom build price.
What a Design Template Will NOT Give You
Website design templates give you the structure, but you, or your website specialist will need to add the following so that people can find you online:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Schema profile
Should You Use a Free Author Website Template?
I use WordPress themes exclusively.
To find free WordPress themes that are designed with authors in mind, go to https://wordpress.org/themes/search/author/.
Should a self-published author have a website?
All authors need a website to grow their list of prospective buyers, connect with their readers and build their brand authority — even authors who are backed by a publisher.
Author Website Design Services
There are many professional author website design services to choose from:
- Web designers
- Web developers
- Web design agencies
- Marketing & promotion agencies
- DIY website builders
If you are a new author and just beginning your website journey, a web designer might be your most economical solution.
Designers can also be developers and SEO experts. Be sure to ask what other website services private contractors offer.
Agencies tend to be one-stop shopping for design, SEO, marketing & promotion, and even ads placement.
Ready to start your author website, but don’t know where to start?
Author Website Builder
WordPress is my hands-down favorite because search engine robots love WordPress code. That means you have a greater chance of being found online, and building your domain and brand authority, organically (vs. paying for advertising to get found online).
I also like WordPress because I can design a beautiful website for my clients that they can maintain and control. They will be able to make their own text changes, add images, add blog posts, and update their websites.
Taking charge of your own website can save you thousands of dollars in web services each year.
Other website builders, like the ones listed below, can create a visually beautiful site for humans, but it will take a lot of promotion, marketing, and even advertising dollars to rank at the top of Google — which should be the goal of every author who wants to sell books.
Other popular website builders:
- GoDaddy’s proprietary website builder
Fantasy Author Websites
If you write fiction filled with mythical creatures and supernatural phenomena, your website will look dramatic and other worldly, but it still needs to promote your book and build your brand authority.
To do that well, your website domain name should be an exact match to the name on your social media pages, and Google Business Profile so that when someone enters your author name into their Google search box, they will be taken to a page listing your website, all your social media pages, and podcast interviews.
That’s domain authority, and that’s what sells books.
Get started building your domain authority today!