Alright, kiddos, let’s dive right in, shall we?
How to Create a Kick-Ass Author Website
RULE #1 No Boring Parts Allowed!
Let me ask you something…
Why do you visit certain websites, blogs or social media sites?
You, probably: Because I want to.
Me: Oh-kay, sure…but why else?
You, probably: I dunno, cause I like them.
Me: Good, good. Why do you like them?
You, probably: Sigh. Do we have to do this every blog post?
Every internet search can be boiled down to one of two things:
The desire to be entertained or the need to learn something.
That’s it, folks. Those are the only two reasons anyone ever uses the Internet. Period.
Well, okay…there is a third reason…but we’re not going to talk about that.
This is a family blog.
Lolz, I’m just messing with you.
But seriously y’all.
Be entertaining. Be helpful. Be informative.
Be aggressive, b-e aggressive.
Make folks chuckle or cry. It doesn’t matter which, as long as you move them in some way.
No one will spend time on your author site if you drone on about yourself ad naseum (unless you’re hilarious, then it’s fine)
It’s all about value. What questions can I answer for people? What problems can I solve? Can I do it while still being entertaining?
Figure out what value you can offer.
Then offer it.
RULE #2 Give away free shit
People LOVE free -ish.
It’s a scientific fact. Even if they don’t need it or really want it. It’s free and that’s enough.
You, probably: Wait. So I’m supposed to give my book away for free?!? How am I supposed to make any money?
Calm down, Coolio.
Sidenote: If you were born after 1996 and you know who Coolio is, I will give you money…j/k I don’t have any money but I will be very impressed.
Hey, you don’t have to give your novel away for free unless you want to.
But check this…you can give away someone else’s novel for free.
Or a cool movie poster. Or a reading lamp. Or your terrible poetry chapbook. Or those roller blades that you bought on a whim after watching ‘Whip It’ and you’ve only worn once.
It doesn’t matter. If I know that I can walk away with potential free swag every time I visit your site, your author page will be bookmarked.
You, probably: Aren’t you just bribing people then?
Me: (smugly) I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
You, probably: It does.
Me: (un-smugly) “Touche.”
You, probably: Un-smugly isn’t a word, even with the hyphen.
Me: Why won’t you let me be great?
RULE #3 Consider Blogging
I know, I know, everyone and their mother has a blog.
And yes, maybe your blog will get buried under the heaps of blogs already floating around out there.
But if you’re a fellow self-published writer, I’m going to assume that you’re more optimistic than the general population. We have to be.
The dope thing about blogging is that you can write about whatever you want and no matter the topic, I promise there is at least one person, somewhere out there (shout out to Fievel) who will read it and love it.
Not sure what to blog about?
Make a list of the things you’re passionate about (movies, air hockey, sex, video games, writing, etc) Then pick one and blog about it.
Make a list of things that you may not be passionate about but know a lot about. Pick one and blog.
Make a list of things you know nothing about but want to learn. Pick one and blog about your journey to mastery. (cough, Shamelessly Plugging Along, cough)
It’s that simple. Keep your posts interesting, not too long and have fun with it. Try to write consistently (I shoot for once a week) and comment and subscribe to other blogs that are similar to yours.
The blogging community is real y’all.
Sidenote: Don’t use your blog to constantly promote your new book. It’s annoying and no one cares.
RULE #4 Write a Dope “About” Page
As a rule, ‘About Me’ sections tend to be the most boring part of everyone’s websites. It’s usually a long, bland page filled with life statistics that only your mother cares about.
Jazz up your ‘About’ page. Throw in some crazy, silly facts about yourself.
Upload a video of you doing…well, I don’t know, but something.
There’s nothing worse than clicking on someone’s ‘About or Bio’ page and being slapped in the face by multiple long ass blocks of boring af text.
I don’t know about you, but I immediately click the back button.
You, probably: Hmm…your ‘About’ page isn’t all that great.
Me: (muttering) It’s probably better than yours.
You, probably: What?
Anyway, don’t be afraid to get a little crazy with your ‘About’ section.
- Don’t put people to sleep
- Give away free shit
- Spice up your ‘About’ section.
If you guys have any more dope tips, drop them in the comment section so I can
steal them use them and give you proper credit.
Alrighty then, go on and get to work on your site and when you’re finished, drop your URL in the comments.