Are You Ready to Build An Author Site?
Updated: Sep 22, 2020
You’ve written your book (or books), built your platform, and are now buckling your seat-belt to swing into the writing fast lane. Setting up your author site is a high priority right now, and why wouldn't it be? Shouldn’t people see your site if they type in your name? And shouldn’t people be typing in your name all the time, now that you’re an author?
Let's work it out:
I hate to break it to you, but building a website when you're not ready to can be a total waste of time, money, and energy. If you're just starting out, you need to focus on building a readership first. Get a mailing list. Build up your social media platforms. More people will find you on Facebook and Twitter than by typing in your name. If you don't already have that base going for you, a website will only get in the way by draining you of your talents and distracting you from doing more efficient and effective work.
Should you decide that an author site is the best move for you, there are several site-building options available. I’ll leave it to you to decide which would be the best for your case:
WordPress is old, reliable, and traditional. It has long been a favorite of amateurs and professionals alike, end of the platform that is easy to use and set up with professional-looking results. The downside is that many WordPress sites look formulaic, and if you want to upgrade your site, you will need to be prepared to spend a lot of money and a lot of time figuring out how to work the programming aspects.
-WordPress is the industry standard.
-Plugins allow you to add any features you want.
-Setup and customization can be a hassle.
-Your site might look like it came out of an author site-building factory.
Weebly operates a lot like WordPress except that it's newer, has different options, better customer service, and is easily less expensive. While Weebly is significantly less well known than its older cousin, it can be a good change-of-pace if you want something different. Unfortunately, Weebly users struggle because they can't use all the plugins that are so readily available on WordPress, giving the platform less flexibility overall.
-Easy to use.
- Excellent customer service.
-Less flexibility with fewer plugins.
First, a disclaimer: Wix is how I built this site, and how I built my old author site. I really like this platform, and here's why. While Wix doesn't have all the plugin and theme options that WordPress has, it doesn’t really need them. On Wix, you build your site ground-up. You tell it what you want and what you would like it to look like, and it allows you to customize every detail. Plans on Wix do come with a price tag, but the customization options and the ease of setup are well worth it if you choose to go this route. The biggest disadvantage (the only one that comes to mind) is that some features like selling books on your blog might be substantially more difficult or expensive without using WordPress plugins.
-Your site will look stellar.
-Super easy setup.
-Plans can be expensive for the features you want.
-Requires more site-building knowledge.
Remember, author sites accomplish nothing in themselves. What matters is that you create great books and share them with readers who will love them. Always keep your goal in mind when you work, and make the decisions that will best help you develop as an author.
Do you have an author site? Where has your site-building journey taken you, and what tips would you love to share with others? Please let us know in the comments below!