Top 7 Author Landing Page Mistakes
Sooner or later, you’ll need to design a landing page for your book. Landing pages are simple, single-page websites that are incredibly effective marketing tools and allow you to run giveaways and collect emails with ease. Most mailing services offer their own hosted landing page tools that link automatically to your email list. Otherwise, it's incredibly easy to add a landing page to your own website, and many website builders offer templates to help you get started.
If you are one of many authors who enjoys using a landing page to snag readers into your audience, pay attention to the common mistakes and pitfalls listed below, and make sure you didn't fall into any of these frequent traps.
1. Your Link is Too Long
The link to your landing page--especially if your page is hosted through your email service--is probably going to resemble a long string of letters, numbers, and other figures that looks unappealing and might scare readers away before they even reach your page. This is a problem. Not only do long links look unappealing, but on some platforms like Twitter, your character count will be extremely limited! Before sharing your landing page with readers, use a URL shortener or make sure that the link is branded to your own site. That will make it much more buzzworthy on social media.
2. You Ask for Too Much
This isn't the place to ask for anyone’s social security number, let alone anyone's address, phone number, or middle name and birthday. The most you should ever request in exchange for giving away a book is an email address and name, and just the email address alone will do the trick. Anything more than that will make people think that you're fishing for information and will make them feel less comfortable entering anything at all on your site. When you’re designing your landing page, only ask for what you need to email readers and communicate with them directly. The fewer boxes people need to fill in, the more likely they are to complete the form.
3. We Can't Read Your Header
It's fine if your header font for your landing page is dressy and elaborate. The header’s a good place to show off, after all. But before you reach for that Edwardian calligraphy font you’ve been looking for an excuse to use, take a moment to reconsider. While your header font does not need to be as simple as your body font, it's still text that readers will scan for information, and should still be readable over all.
4. Your Page is Too Elaborate
Landing pages are extremely simple. You don't need to dress them up to impress readers and get subscribers. Extra links and pages added onto your landing page will drive people away from your offer instead of drawing them in, and music, videos, and other media will likely be more distracting than helpful. You don't need any animation or fancy graphics to make your landing page work. Just focus on the basic elements you need for it to succeed.
5. Your Page is Too Simple
Some people have a tendency to get too elaborate with their designs, but there is also such a thing as too simple when we're talking about landing pages. For example, more than one font is usually a good idea, especially if your font choices complement each other. A simple, single-colored background usually isn't appealing either. Try using basic textures and varying your essential details. A hint of decorative appeal is usually what separates an amateur page from a professional page.
6. You're Not Branding Right—If at All
It’s your book, and you need to own it. Time to do your own thing! Templates might be handy when you're starting out, but your page needs to be your own when you're done. Your landing page should reflect your genre, your style, and you as an author. For more tips on branding, check out this article.
7. You're Keeping The Good Stuff to Yourself
Lastly, make sure you share your landing page. People aren't going to find it by accident! There's nothing to be embarrassed about when you're sharing your page because you're giving something away, and nothing pleases a reader more than free books. Pin a link to your landing page at the top of your social media accounts so that prospective readers always know where to find it. Don't hesitate to mention it or promote it when you have a chance either, and remember to have fun.
Do you have other tips for building a perfect landing page? Please share in the comments below and keep the discussion going.