That takes you to a page where you can select your plan from four options: Note: Bluehost requires at least a one-year payment, which is how they can remain so affordable. After they accept the invitation, their name appears in the drop-down menu. Theme options – Select if you want to show a search icon in the header of your blog and show an author bio for your posts. After you type in your new domain name, click “Next” and you will be taken to the “create your account” page. (See Joel Friedlander and Elizabeth Craig.) Now that you have an author website, you’ll soon enjoy: Congratulations! (Example: Mine is “New York Times Bestselling Novelist & Biographer.”) Jean Oram has a great post on creating author taglines. If people saw only your post headline (e.g., on Twitter), would they feel compelled to click on it? Search engine optimization really requires its own post. If you have a strong avocational pursuit (or past profession) that influences your novels, create FAQs or guides for the curious. This post is my 100th blog post – a milestone! This is why advice about blogging can be so contradictory and confusing: much depends on what genre you’re writing in and who you’re writing for. November 10, 2020 by Nina Amir Leave a Comment. Scroll down to “Contact Us” and click “Edit.”. Where the difficulty lies: Not everyone can write entertainingly about themselves (and some don’t want to). Creating a “Writing” page Where the difficulty lies: You may run out of material quickly, or not have a very high frequency of posts. Don’t worry. Do think through how can you bring your own voice or perspective to a topic, theme, or subject matter without repeating what’s already out there. You might add … Amazon Author Central allows you to customize your Author Page on Amazon, so readers can see who you are, what kinds of books you write, and — most importantly — why they should buy them! Step 1: Change the title of the page to “About.”. Your hosting company sees to it that your website is broadcast onto the internet. author pages build credibility for your site as a whole and for the individual authors and their individual brands If you teach or speak, you’ll also have content that can be readily repurposed for a blog. If you’re like me, this will quickly become one of your favorite features. For unpublished novelists, this approach is challenging since people aren’t familiar with your work and may not care about your process (yet). Some blogs have such a minimal design that it’s difficult to see the bigger picture of what the blog offers. Her reasoning includes keeping your i… You get better at it the more you do it, but I see many authors give up before they’ve put in enough hours to understand the medium. Such series also offer you an excellent way to build your network and community relationships, which has a way of paying off in the long run. Search this expansive list for a theme that feels just right to you. It’s your showroom on the Internet where you can display your best work. Note from Jane: This post was first published in 2012. Key benefits: If you already teach writing or mentor other writers, you probably have some content you can re-purpose to fuel your early blog posts. Your author website serves as a hub for your writing. This is easier than it sounds—just use your name! I Spent Nearly Two Decades Writing and Editing My Book. Furthermore, to stick with blogging long enough for it to pay off, you have to actually enjoy what it means to blog, and how online writing can be different from print. Submitting payment information It’s where agents, publishers, readers, and fans can learn about your work, put a face to your name, and contact you. Presumably, readers will enjoy knowing more about the context and ideas that affect your writing and being involved in your future work. I continue to update and expand it so that it remains relevant for today’s author. Since more than half of website visits are made on mobile phones, this is crucial for your blog’s aesthetic. Improved headline: Overcoming the Obstacles That Prevent You From Meditating, Jane Friedman Media LLC | Site design by Jane Friedman | proudly built with Wordpress + Vantage Theme |, Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published, Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book, How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book, The Comprehensive Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Working with an Editor. Top Picks Thursday! Here is where you can collect email addresses and build a list. For instance, highlight “A list of my published works.”. After completing this form, scroll down and complete the “package information” section. The downside: Connecting with other writers doesn’t necessarily grow your readership; you end up in an echo chamber with other writers. 1. The tenants simply rent. And finally, avoid turning your guest blog into an article directory. You use WordPress or Squarespace, which are already optimized for search. If you can approach blogging because it kind of does sound like fun, then let’s spark your imagination as to what you might blog about. Check back here on [date] when I plan to blog on [subject]. Why you should have an author website By an “author” we mean one of the default WordPress user roles as well as user profiles, you can create manually with intuitive tools. When you create a post, your name appears as the default option in the Author drop-down menu in blog post settings.There are two ways to add an author: 1. If you’re an author, published yet or not, you need your own website. Add an author’s box below the post to make sure users know who the author of the post is. Exciting, right? You can click the “no thanks” button. Take it from me: There’s no need to blog … This is the main reason the phenomenon of blogging came to be so popular. Or you may despise the idea of involving readers in your work. You want everything under the same umbrella for search engine optimization and long-term marketing strategy. That helps reduce the burden as well as increase the size of your audience starting out—since more people will be marketing and promoting the blog. The number of contributors you can have depends on your billing plan. Keep it simple—“TimothyWoodfordWriting.com” is good; “TimothyWoodfordsGreatWritingWebsite.com” is not. That’s not the case, and that’s why consistency is so important. But not rightly so. If you can do this in a helpful way, it’s a win for you, for your readers, and for the sites you send traffic to. The next page gives you the option to customize your site. Hook, grab and hold. I talk about the basics of author websites here. The landlord does. Tenants decorate their apartments the way they want—but they don’t own that space. You make sure each post is categorized and tagged appropriately. Bluehost often runs promotions that provide discounts for first-time users. Video: Author Branding (28 mins) How to decide on and create your author … If you’re interested in blogging, but worry about the time commitment, then consider creating a multi-contributor blog, where several authors in the same genre (or targeting similar … Congratulations! After you’ve done that, click the blue “Update” button. As a full novel takes a long time to write, blogs … In that, my position is somewhat stubbornly Zen: if the action is too forced or contrived, the blog may be doomed from the start. But even better, publishers will discover you have a following, a tribe—a platform. If you haven’t got an author blog or website yet, here are the most popular free blog sites for you. Next we’ll edit the “Contact Us” page. Another complication: “Blogging” has become a somewhat dated term. Yet blogging continues to interest authors, and be discussed, as a way to market and promote. Blog posts. Be open, engaging, friendly, and personable. That turns your text into a clickable URL, and it will now look like this:  A list of my published works. I don’t recommend your home address for such a public venue. Share links – Make it easy for people to share your blog … 6. If even the idea of “hosting” a site sounds foreign to you (it did to me at first too), think of the Internet as an apartment complex. Scroll down to “Appearance,” and hover your mouse over the link. And remember, when you’re pitching you work, your website is the first place an agent or editor will look for to learn more about you. If you’re considering multiple websites, you’ll want to study the more extensive plans. Example: I’m working on my first novel, the story of a writing coach who tries to make technical-sounding computer lingo understandable to aspiring authors…. You can do this by downloading a new theme. Remember: this is, I recommend Bluehost as your hosting company, https://jerryjenkins.com/how-to-write-a-book/. That becomes another showcase of your writing, and it also lets others contact you. After you pick your theme, you'll be taken to the page below. The list ties in with the article, "The Author's Dilemma: To Blog or Not to Blog… All of them are free and easy to set up and use and take next to no time at all to get you into blogging. In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. If your website platform does not support blogging, then it may be time to switch platforms. This is invaluable starting fodder for a successful blog: knowledge of one’s audience. For writers who aren’t yet known, it will be hard (if not impossible) to interest other people in the details of your personal life, unless you’re a superlative writer. Add an author’s archive page so that readers can see all posts by any author. Bluehost has supported WordPress for over 10 years and has in-house WordPress experts, if you ever have a question about it. Improved headline: What If You’re Dreading the Change of Seasons? I want to encourage experimentation. Step 2: Click the blue “Create Menu” button. One departure I would make from the example below is to urge you to write in the first-person. Don’t get wordy. “Destined to become a staple reference book for writers.” —Publishers Weekly. Create a blog header . Focus mainly on your writing, but add a little personal information as well. How to Make an Author Website 101: Five Essential Tips 1. Remember, this is where you show a good photo of yourself and tell a bit about yourself. This could also involve regular posting of specific media, such as photos or videos. How to Create a Simple Writer Blog Writing is hard work. For example, the best of my blog content is condensed into a book, Publishing 101. Then you have to revise it, workshop it, revise it some more, write a query letter, do query research, … Think about themes, hooks, or angles for an interview series on your site, and run them on a regular basis—but only as frequently as you have time to invest in a well-researched and quality interview. If you need a strong introduction to guest posting how-to, visit this excellent Copyblogger post. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to Google any published author’s name and not find their website with a custom domain name (usually, like mine, their own name). Picking a domain name Learn more. Let’s wait on that for now too. For every four posts on writing, post a … Whenever you guest or appear on other websites, that’s an opportunity to have multiple links back to your own site and social network accounts. Scroll down to the “Home page” label, and click “Edit.”. But I’d recommend Bluehost regardless. See the other bloggers not as competitors, but as community members who may eventually become supporters of your work. If your domain name is already in use, you’ll get a message that says your choice is “not available for registration” or something similar. Only about 10% of your readers (or even fewer) will make themselves known to you or engage with you on your blog, so it takes a while before you reach a tipping point, where there’s a concrete indication of growing activity or interest. Get your growing tribe interacting with you and with each other by posing a simple question or taking a brief survey on their favorite things: books, movies, celebrities, you name it. With the Prime Plan, this is included free. Q&As or interviews with people in the community (usually authors). Visit site.”. Here’s what my blog traffic looked like in its early years. You may have to do some work in coming up with an angle or voice that stands out. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019. The prices above reflect their standard 12-month plan. Why am I so forthright about this? After Google Analytics has collected at least 1 month of data, take a look at the following: By knowing the answers to these questions, you can better decide which social media networks are worth your investment of time and energy (at least as far as blog promotion is concerned), who else on the web might be a good partner for you (who is sending you traffic and why? How Much Should You Personalize a Query Letter? The average author does not benefit much from blogging. Imagine enjoying your very own great-looking site, bearing the .com name you choose (Hint: it should always be your name). If you’re a novelist, this strategy may take some creative thinking. With nonfiction authors, the opposite is the case: blogging can help build a platform that leads to a book deal. The next page asks if you would like WordPress to create a “Contact Us” page. Click the green “select” button under the price. step-by-step guide to hosting your own website or blog. When you’re done, click “Save and Publish.”. This will be that first page visitors see at your site—the welcome or landing page. Nor should you feel like it’s a burden to come up with ideas; ideally, your problem is too many ideas. Nonfiction writers and experts have it easy: their subject matter lends itself to blogging, especially if they’re teaching workshops or regularly interacting with their target readers. Goodreads Authors are the only Goodreads members who can have a blog on the site. The best platform to use is whatever you use for your author website—do not be tempted to build your blog somewhere else. Novelist Brandilyn Collins uses Seatbelt Suspense®. Of course, they don’t own your website. With social media (Twitter, but mostly Facebook) available for everyone, Amazon and Google Play offering author pages, and GoodReads making it possible to interact with readers directly, author websites have somewhat become less interesting. After this, you’ll be taken to a log in page. If you look at a month’s worth of your blog headlines, they should convey a strong message about what you cover on your blog and who it’s for. Creating a password Click the blue “Log In” button and enter your email and password on the next screen. 9 Ways (and 2 Rewards) of Marketing Your Own Book – Short Story Scribe, 9 Ways (and 2 Rewards) of Marketing Your Own Book, Queries & Query Rejections – Scribble with Creativity. Click the blue “X” in the right-hand corner of the window. It basically means celebrating and bringing attention to authors, writing, and books—the things you presumably love and want to support. Step 4: Add a description of your writing. Chris Guillebeau is well-known for 279 Days to Overnight Success that drew thousands (if not millions) to learn about his blog and his message. Click “Select All,” and then click “Add to Menu.”. You can also eliminate the blog … For most budding authors and bloggers, I recommend Bluehost as your hosting company. Step 1: Change the title of the page to “Contact” or “Contact Me”—because there is no “us” if it’s just you. Give me about half an hour, and you—and anyone you tell about it—could be admiring a gorgeous new site all your own. It is no secret that authors write some of the very best blogs. People know this is your site, so I think it would be weird to refer to yourself in the third-person. While blogging can be less formal, less researched, and more geared for online skim-reading or social sharing, to do it well requires the same kind of practice and skill as crafting a novel. This would be a good place for a photo of you and a brief bio. If not, get started today—it’s a free service and easy to set up. Click the “Dashboard” link on the left side of your screen. There are two types of consistency: frequency and subject matter. If you need a strong introduction to guest posting how-to, visit this excellent Copyblogger post. This model is ideal for unpublished novelists, memoirists, and poets. }; (My most visited resource on this site is Start Here: How to Get Your Book Published.). It establishes you as a serious professional. Your author website becomes your home base, as if you had a corporate headquarters. It’s time to learn how to write a bio that, well, doesn’t suck. How to Find The Time to Blog … Keep your domain name simple, professional, and clear—not quirky or extravagant. You might also develop competitions and events that focus on reader engagement, such as having readers name your novel’s characters, choose the best cover, etc. Click “Not now.” You can always come back to this later. This is where the fun begins. Here are a few considerations: Here are some actual blog post headlines that I helped an author improve, to be more specific and attuned to keyword search. An author’s book nears its publication date (or perhaps the author is attempting to secure a traditional book deal). Your readers, as they advance, may also outgrow your blog. Use the toolbar in the middle of the page to filter by category: You can even filter the features you want. People who enjoy a blog like to get in touch with the writer and say so. Before you start, consider the following. Let’s change this so it’s more applicable to an author instead of a business. Box, etc. Create a list of favorite reads by genre/category, by mood, or by occasion. Frequently Asked Questions Then you will be taken to a “Welcome to Bluehost” page to create a password. With the following simple instructions, you should be able to build yours from scratch in the next hour. You can write about the research, news stories, or current events that play a role in the construction of your books or other work. 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