by Annette Young
As an author, it is imperative that you have a website and start building your brand, but it’s easy to fall foul of unscrupulous marketing practices if you are not 100% certain what you are doing. Having fresh content added to your website regularly is important and will help keep your dedicated readers coming back as well as ensuring that Google and other search engines will start to notice your site.
For any author, there is no getting away from social networking and as many authors are going the indie-route these days, any marketing falls solely at the feet of the author. Even with traditional publishing now, the more the author can do to get the word out the better.
As an author myself, I know the importance of having a popular website. Take the Creative Competitor site for instance, in the last few months, visitors have trebled. I am sure this is because I promote the site and content regularly and I always try to make the articles and posts informative. If you are designing your author website, think in terms of simplicity. Marketing and design are both important but I know authors who have spent a fortune on having the most whizzy of designs but in user terms, frankly, it’s too annoying to wait for pages to load. Think always of the user experience. This will also stand you in good stead for search engine placement. Why? Because Google, (who let’s be honest runs the show) change their algorithms regularly with the visitor in mind. So, fresh content, easy to read and informative equals quality in their eyes.
If you have searched the web in recent years you may well have come across poorly written articles all geared up towards high density keyword placement and it ruined the articles. If you are not sure what high density keyword placement is, good. Don’t bother. Just write your blog posts with your readers in mind. Keep it fresh and entertaining. Some people will mention back-links to you and will offer you their services, do not fall into this trap. Some savvy but not so honest marketers went the way of the paid back links but they were not genuine links and Google soon saw through this new little ploy to beat their latest rules.
Also worth considering is whether people can view your site easily on their mobile devices and tablets, so if you are looking for a website theme currently, keep this in mind. Mobile access is likely to exceed access via the traditional desktop or laptop devices.
For 2014, Google has specified that good quality content written by authors with specific expertise will be a main focus (my words, not theirs) so in which case, become an expert in your area and, if necessary, pull in the services of other experts to write pieces for your blog. Content always has and always will be king, but fresh and quality content will always beat tired, old recycled articles- even if they are well-written. When you have your website in place, make the decision to add new content several times a week. If you start with a dedicated plan of action, write blog posts, or add excerpts from your books and do this each week, your site popularity will soon build. It doesn’t have to be just blog posts or articles of course, use video, PowerPoint and social media clips to keep the content fresh.
Never forget why you are setting up your website and what you are offering to your visitors. You are a writer, so enjoy the craft of writing for your readers. SEO – search engine optimization is important, but just as important is having your vision and providing tantalising snippets of information that will keep your readers coming back. Make your site a popular one and you can bet that the search engines will find you.
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