Hey fam, it’s ya girl Evelyn, back again with yet another blog post that no one asked for.
You know what else is back?
The good ol’ fashioned PRO/CON list.
Sidenote: Don’t act like y’all didn’t watch Gilmore Girls then start making pro/con lists about every major decision in your teenage life.
We all did.
So in honor of Rory Gilmore (before she became ‘the absolute worst’ in the reboot), here’s a pro/con list about author websites…from an author…with a website.
Do You Really Need An Author Website?
After all, every “real” writer has a dot-com, right? I bet you can’t name a single famous, or not-so-famous, writer that doesn’t have one.
You, probably: Um, I know several.
Me: Exactly. You can’t.
You, probably: I just said I know several.
Me: Exactly. You can’t.
Me: Glad we cleared that up.
Look, gang, if you want to play in the big leagues (like my famous writer friends pictured above), you must do what the big, successful kids do. And that means creating an author website.
It looks hella professional and besides, what’s cooler than telling someone to hit up your website?
Nothing, that’s what.
CON: NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR AUTHOR WEBSITE
…except maybe your mom, and tbh she’s probably just being polite and secretly hopes you’ll get a real job that offers health insurance one day.
Y’all, this one is sad but true. If you’re not already famous, well-known, or have a huge following, it’s unlikely that folks will stumble upon your website more than once.
PRO: OFFER VALUE TO YOUR READERS
You, probably: Using your author website to “offer value” isn’t actually a PRO. It’s more of a thing you can do to attract visitors to your site.
Me: Why are you like this?
As silly and counterintuitive as it seems, your author website should not be all about you.
- No cares about “you” unless you’re already famous (or ridiculously hot).
- How many author websites that are ‘all about the author’ do you actually read?
- You’re probably far more boring than you think you are. (No judgment, I sometimes put myself to sleep.)
If I visit your author website and don’t get “something” in return for my time (free swag, a few chuckles, interesting information presented in a non-boring way, etc), I’m leaving and never coming back.
You will not be subscribed to.
You will not be bookmarked.
You will not be followed.
Tis true. Don’t believe me? Just take a peek at the engagement levels on some of those “all about me” author websites.
I rest my case.
CON: DOT COMS AIN’T CHEAP
Ya gotta pay to play. That’s just the name of the biz and a good author website is an investment.
You, probably: Get with the times, old lady. I can create a free site with Wix or WordPress or Square Space.
1) Evelyndar.wordpress.com just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Evelyndar.com
2) Eventually, you’ll want to start doing cool things to your site that free websites won’t allow you to do. Stuff like monetizing with ads and affiliate links so you can make a few coins and being able to customize EVERYTHING on your site.
You’ll outgrow your free site quickly and/or get frustrated when you realize there’s a host of things you simply can’t do.
Still…paying for, what you might consider an unnecessary expense, hurts. You’ll probably pay monthly or yearly (depending) for your dot-com.
Shout out to my fellow financially impaired self-published peeps. I feel your pain.
Now for the tiebreaker…
PRO: YOU OWN YOUR OWN AUTHOR BRAND
This may not be the world’s best reason for investing in an author website but it bears mentioning.
DOPE A$# EXAMPLE
Let’s say your book series on aquatic hedgehogs who secretly fight crime by night becomes a huge hit (it won’t, but let’s assume that it does.)
Your book sales explode and you become super popular. People want to know more about you.
After reading your hedgehog series, I, a regular Joe Schmoe, decide to check out your author website but uh oh, you don’t have one.
A couple of things could happen. I, Joe Schmoe, could simply shrug and go about my business.
I could purchase your domain name and start selling my own crappy books/master class/hedgehog merch using your author brand.
Is it likely?
No, it is not.
Is it possible?
In the iconic words of Nelly in ‘Gone’ feat Kelly Rowland circa 2010…
“See I ain’t tryna rent or lease, I’m tryna own it. Yeah.”
I think I’ve made my point. Poorly maybe. But I’ve made it.
Yes, you need an author website.
You, probably: Wait, so if we shouldn’t create an author website all about ourselves, what in the world do we make one about?
I will totes go over what makes a super rad author website….next week.
Ugh, I honestly hate to be such a tease but I’ve already rambled on for far too long.
Plus my bestie (hush, I’m still young enough to use that word), just showed up with a bottle of Malbec and several bags of BBQ Fritos (We classy).