Website Susie WriterWriters' Websites Part 2 - Show Them Who You Are

by Marg McAlister

 

How can you build a website that will delight your readers and clients?

The basis for your website:you're a writer.

Okay. We've just established that you can tap out a sentence on the keyboard. But millions of people can write. They write shopping lists. They write absence excuse notes for teachers. They write reports and minutes of meetings and scribbled notes to stick on the fridge: "Gone to the mall. Back about five. Mum."

So what makes you a Writer with a capital "W"?

You've studied the craft. You have books and magazines on how to write. You subscribe to a Writer's Centre newsletter. You've been to workshops... and you wouldn't mind earning a living from writing. That sounds reasonable. But you need to do more than study the craft. (That just makes you a student.)

Writers WRITE. If you're a Writer, then we can assume that you're not only continually developing your skills, but also putting them into practice.

That still sounds like you? Yes? Great!

But... WHAT do you write? Fiction? Non-fiction? Stories for kids? Advertising material? Newsletters? Or do you now use your writing skills to help others, as a copywriter or a ghostwriter? Do you run a critique service? There are an incredible number of writing hats you can wear. (I've worn a number of them myself... children's writer; romance writer; crime writer; article writer; ghostwriter and more.)

If you want to make money writing, and especially if you want to make money or sell more books through establishing a presence on the Internet, you have to let people know what you write. Your website should make this clear upfront.

If you write fiction, then let your home page on your website show this clearly. Post samples of your fiction; excerpts from your book(s) and a bio about yourself as a fiction writer. If you're looking for work as a ghostwriter, then post samples of your work and obtain testimonials from satisfied clients. Develop a newsletter or tipsheet that passes on useful or interesting information to your fans/clients/readers.

In short: SHOW THEM WHO YOU ARE! 

Here's a 7-point checklist to help you:

  1. Create a website to promote yourself as a writer.

  2. Decide on the primary purpose of your website: to promote your fiction and give fans information about you, or to sell your services as a writer. (You can diversify later if you wear more than one hat. You can create a new website for each one, or create a subdomain. If that sounds like gobbledegook, don't worry. All will be revealed.) For now, choose a focus for this, your first website. 

  3. Make sure your home page 'shows people who you are' - they should be able to tell at a glance what your website is all about.

  4. Decide how you can promote yourself in the world of e-publishing. You can promote yourself and your writing through your website copy, through an ezine, through free downloads, through mini-courses and through e-books.

  5. Spend time surfing the Web to find out which sites are going to be most useful to you as a writer. There are hundreds of sites for writers and marketers, with more popping up every day. Bookmark the ones that promise to give you inspiration that will speed you along the path to success.

  6. Write articles on your area of interest. If you love writing fiction, share a few tips that might help new writers. If you're whiz at creating advertising copy, tell others how to do it. Publish these tips in your own ezine or submit articles to other websites and ezines. Make sure you attach a signature box that points back to your website. (Don't know what a signature box is? You'll find out later. For now, think of it as a mini-bio.)

  7. Contact your favourite websites to see if they'd like to exchange links with your site. Keep in mind that for them to be willing to do this, your site will have to be relevant and offer tips or interesting content to their visitors.

As you explore other sites for writers, you'll find lots of ideas about what can help you succeed on your chosen path. Be open to all kinds of suggestions; be willing to try new things.

Soon, thousands of readers and clients will know just who you are and what you do. And that's gotta help your sales!

(c) copyright Marg McAlister

 

The Busy Writer's One-Hour Plot

The Busy Writer's One-Hour Character

Book of Checklists

The Busy Writer's Self-Editing Toolbox

The Busy Writer's KickStart Program

Write a Book Fast