Author websites are windows to our souls as composers, artists, and may I say, entrepreneurs. The actual process of designing a personal website is one of my favorite parts: you get to make an expressive imprint of your personality and use it as a display window for selling your own art.
And, as a bonus, you use your author website to generate an income. However, being an artist and an entrepreneur has its challenges as you need to keep an eye on where your target market’s favorite hangout spots are, and believe me, they can move around a lot. Do you have a new book you want people to know about?
Here are some alternative strategies that can save you the horrors of time-consuming and tedious marketing methods.
What’s the Purpose of Author Websites Then?
Now that you know there are other means of getting your work and your name out there, don’t consider getting rid of your website. If you have one or more linked social media pages, keep them as well as they are a reflection of your brand as an author and artist.
These platforms contain invaluable details like your contact information, details about your other works if you have, and much more.
You can also add tons of valuable information on your site like a bio, blog posts, and other interesting must-haves. There will still be people visiting your site, but the ultimate goal is to focus on broadening your exposure and then lead customers back to your site.
Before Venturing to Other Destinations, Update Your Website
Even though you’re going to be traveling to new shores to expand your name and products, you can still make sure to keep your website fresh and up-to-date using some nifty and easy-to-use tools. After all, you don’t want your site to be under construction when there’s still a chance that customers may come a-knockin’.
- Canva: Canva for image editing is your best friend for creating basically anything you can think of. Be it promo images for your book or for blog posts, or if you want to create a banner for your Facebook page, Canva’s got you covered when it comes to author websites and linked social media pages.
You can open a free account or go pro if you want access to more image options and effects. Check out the Canva platform and decide if it is right for your website!
- MailChimp: Good old MailChimp will get your updates, specials, reminders, and general news to your faithful followers. This mail design app gets you going at an easy pace, and it can introduce you to some pretty powerful features that will revolutionize the way you think about the humble email.
If you want this service for free, you require a minimum of 2,000 subscribers, but for a service that can plug into basically all of the other marketing tools on your website, this is definitely an option to consider.
Signing up to MailChimp is as easy as entering your name, email address, and choosing a password.
- Buffer: If you want your social media followers to receive regular posts and updates on your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter page, Buffer is great for scheduling posts and it can connect to all of your social media platforms from the main account.
What this means for you is that you can post once onto all of your accounts simultaneously. If you want it as a basis to keep the social media aspect of your website alive, the free version will work for you.
Buffer’s website lists their premium features, which include post analytics, customer reports, and more!
- Hubspot: Finally! You’re gonna love this one! Hubspot is a blog topic generator that does all of the thinking for you.
This means you can save all the thinking for your actual books. Type in your keywords (preferably three), and this gem will throw out five topics based on your word choices. The best part of this app is that it’s free!
Fresh Book Marketing Go-Tos
Book marketing means focusing on your target market. One strategy is getting them to come to you, but it’s actually easier to find out where they’re hiding on the web and give them a little surprise. Besides, if you follow this approach, chances are you’ll expose your book to even more like-minded individuals as they tend to congregate in online niche domains like publishing sites.
This is a way to become discovered, get new fans, and lead them back to your domain. So, a little bird told me that there are some hot sites you can go to first so you don’t waste any precious time.
How Do Free Book Promotion Sites Actually Work?
Book marketing sites have already accumulated a myriad of followers from social media and other online sources, which naturally form a targeted audience and a target market for book marketers considering that they follow a book promotion site.
These book promotion sites also have extensive mailing lists that they use to promote new material, so if I were you, I wouldn’t be too worried about exposure issues.
The exposure from these free promotion sites can also lead to reviews, which are crucial for book marketing. There’s nothing better than placing a positive review on your book cover!
Let’s Go on a Marketing Adventure!
- Inkitt: Inkitt is one of the best options, not only because it’s free but also because of the benefits you get if you choose to work with this company.
Inkitt is a publishing company that will submit your book to a massive following of readers at no cost to you, and if your book becomes popular among their sea of readers, they can also offer you a legitimate publishing deal.
This opportunity offers legitimate discoverability potential with the bonus of getting a publishing deal if you get the attention of the readers. The rules include a20,000+ word count, no poems or short stories, and fiction only. Consider that for a moment. D’you like the idea? Then visit their website.
- ThisIsWriting: This versatile literary marketing platform provides free book marketing services and unites readers and authors on one platform.
This platform’s services are also free, but what makes them different from the option above is that Inkitt hands your work over to the masses for consumption and feedback while ThisIsWriting has specific criteria your book will have to meet if you want to use their marketing and promotion services.
On the other hand, ThisIsWriting accepts a wide variety of literary genres that ranges from poetry, interviews, critical essays, and book reviews. If you specialize in one of these genres, this is definitely an option to consider.
- Bublish: Bublish offers free and paid versions for authors, and their services include providing authors with the opportunity to promote and sell their books and their brand.
With Bublish, you can track customer engagement if you’ve posted any of your content, and you can create a book bubble that contains your author name, your photo, and an excerpt of your work that you can distribute across a range of social media platforms.
Another perk Bublish offers is the option of adding a “buy” feature; this directly links your work to major retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Sure sounds good!
Did Somebody Say SEO for Authors?
I immediately associate the abbreviation SEO with the word pro. They could’ve been synonyms if you ask me. SEO-based marketing is an art in itself and involves the clever manipulation of words and phrases to make your website or blog appear at the top of a search engine results page when typing in specific, targeted keywords.
It’s all about attracting the right kind of customer: the ones most likely to purchase your product or use your services. SEO marketing is a lucrative marketing weapon for authors, especially if their work is of a unique niche or genre. It’s like pushing a magic button that makes a search engine spit out your content in the top results.
All the while, it happens by strategically placing keywords in your published content, like regular blog entries or articles. If you are actively using your website by blogging or posting regularly, you can use SEO to optimize this function while you embark on your journey searching for new fans.
The Urban Writers offers SEO services that can help you create a combined marketing strategy for your writing business.
The Final Takeaway
Author websites are unique because authors are unique. However, while we’ve been writing away and checking our websites now and then, things have been happening around us, things that can help us improve our ability to sell our work and expose it to the appropriate audience.
We all know about social media, and it’s a great tool to use. I’m definitely not saying that social media should be underestimated. However, if there are more ways you can benefit from online book marketing, would you choose to explore them or ignore them?
Expand your mind, expand your methods, and expand your success.