It’s never too soon to start building your website.
Q: How long does it take to complete a website?
A full website can take 2-12 weeks. It depends upon how many website items you have ready, and if you know how you want your website to look.
Essential Website items
- Domain name
- Hosting account
- SSL Certificate
- Email host
- Free offer
- Home page copy
- About page copy
- Media page copy
- Professional headshot
- 3-D book cover
- Website images for each page
- Links to your social media pages
Q: Should I choose my name, or the name of my book for my website?
Even if you don’t have your book title confirmed, purchase your author name because it will begin to establish your domain authority.
And at the end of the day, it’s all about building a website with domain authority, and taking up the entire first page of Google when someone types your name into their Google search box.
Your name is your brand.
When you hear people talk about “brand,” or “brand authority,” they’re really asking if you show up on page one of Google.
In fact, right now, Google your own name and see if you come up.
If you are not taking up the entire first page of Google, it’s telling you that you have no brand authority AND no domain authority.
The most successful authors take up the first pages of Google. And that’s exactly what you are aiming for because authors who do not, lose leads to authors who do.
When you’re on a podcast interview, or when people read about you or your book, they will go online to learn more about you.
What do you think they are typing in?
Your name, or possibly the name of your book. Whichever is most memorable for them. And that’s why you want to buy both your book title as a domain name, and your pen name as a domain name…BUT you will build everything around your pen name.
You create domain authority by matching your social profiles to your author name. That means your website domain name, your social media profiles, and your Google Business Profile have to match exactly.
If your book is titled with your first, middle, and last name, or first, middle initial, and last name, all of your names should match.
You’ll also want to add the proper schema code to your website that lists you as an author.
Why is this so important?
It’s giving you domain authority.
That’s why a website is so important for authors. It helps to rank your brand and give you domain authority.
To end where I began, purchase both your author name, and your book title when you are ready for a new website, or ready to update your old website.
Your main website will be under your author name. The domain that you purchased in the name of your book title will redirect to your author website.
Everything you do will be pointing back to your website: your social media pages and your Google Business Profile, too.
It’s really that simple. Make sure everything matches and you’ll soon be on your way to building a powerful website with brand authority.
Q: If I decide to hire someone to build my website, what kind of person should I be looking for?
There are many different professional author website design services to choose from:
- Web designers
- Web developers
- Web design agencies
- Marketing & promotion agencies
- SEO experts
Web design Agencies tend to be one-stop shopping for design, SEO, marketing & promotion, and even ads placement.
Agencies who specialize in marketing & promotion help authors gain greater visibility off line, such a television interview, magazine and newspaper coverage, and podcast guest appearances.
Website developers are people who know how to hand code and build a website from scratch. They can also be involved in website maintenance, database management, integration of payment gateways, website performance optimization, and making sure your website is safe from hackers.
If you are a new author and just beginning your website journey, a web designer might be your most economical solution. The good thing about starting with a web designer is they can have multiple skill sets.
If you want your website to have a lot of traffic right out of the gate, find a designer who also has a good knowledge of SEO.
Most website designers will also be able to set up your email opt-in form and autoresponder series. That’s critical for authors because when a someone visits your website, you want them to give you their name and email address. It’s called building your list of prospective book buyers.
An autoresponder series are emails that you write once. They are delivered automatically, soon after your site visitor signs up to be on your email list. Emails keep followers engaged with you and your writing, and help turn your followers into raving fans and loyal customers.
There is a lot more that goes into a website than a few nice images and text. That’s why so many of my clients quickly decide to hire out, especially if they don’t love spending hours on the technical side of creating a website.
Q: I’m just starting out. What are the minimum number of pages I need on my website?
As an author you’ll want a home page and a media page at the very minimum.
A media page is for securing podcast guest appearances which helps you grow your list of potential book buyers.
Although you need a bare minimum of two pages, you’ll also want an opt-in form for list building.
List building is something many authors never consider when thinking about a new website.
Your website is designed to promote you and your book. All of your social media pages should bring your followers back to your website so that they can learn more about you and sign up to be on your email list.
Author Website Examples