Developing your online presence is a great way to help promote yourself, your books, and your literary services. There are two ways to do this: social media sites and a professional website.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are an important marketing strategy, and a simple way for a writer’s voice to get out into the world. However, social media accounts need to be updated regularly to be noticed and remembered. On general, two posts or shares a day is enough to keep you in running. It’s also important to interact with others on these platforms. Retweet and share posts from other authors and writing organizations; comment on posts made by others and reply to comments left on yours.
Blog or website
A professional blog or website is another great way to promote your work. Update it regularly with information about upcoming publications, research you’re doing for your current projects, or any book launches or signings you have coming up. This will allow people to find you through search engines like Google, and to keep up-to-date with whatever you’re doing. By sharing information about your next project, you’ll also have readers who enjoyed your previous publications eagerly anticipating whatever is coming next.
You can also write guests posts on other blogs to reach a new and broader audience. This can also apply to magazines which may not be easily sought out for print publications, but who may publish additional material on their websites.
Social networking sites you may want to use include:
There are many free and easy to use online platforms for getting your website up and running. Things like WordPress, Blogger, and Squarespace are all intended to help people create websites and blogs without needing to have a background in website development and design. You will also want to consider whether you want to own the domain (the space on the internet where your website exists) or use a free domain – this is the difference between having a website with the url ‘author.wordpress.ca’ and ‘author.ca’. There is a lot of information out there weighing the pros and cons of the different choices, so make sure to do your research first.
Once you’ve chosen your platform you’ll want to start choosing a layout and writing content. There are a lot of free layout themes available online – whichever platform you choose will walk you through picking one. They key is usability; you want your website to be efficient, memorable, and easy to use. Think about who will be using your website and what they will be looking for. Too much information makes it hard to find things, too little makes it easy to leave.
Think about the pages you’ll need, such as an author bio page, a literary CV, and events or launches you have coming up. Make sure it’s easy to navigate from page to page, and that you use a simple and continuous template throughout. Creating your website is like laying out a manuscript – you need to use consistent formatting throughout.
Some website builders you may want to use include:
- WordPress (Note: Very flexible, but slightly more complicated)
- Squarespace (Note: Not intended for people with zero web experience)
- Wix (Note: Free versions of wix include large advertisements)
- Weebly (Note: Very few website templates)
- Jimdo (Note: Very strong e-commerce abilities)