When it comes to websites, many authors think “If you build it they will come.” While it’s true you need to build some kind of web presence, it takes more than an address to get people to your door. In the past there were two alternatives: pay a bundle for a professionally-designed site, or do all the heavy lifting yourself, and the learning curve can be steep. That’s where WordPress comes in. In their own words: “WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog.” Not only is WordPress easy to use, but depending on the features you use, it’s free! You will have to pay for hosting and a domain name, but those are nominal costs. As with all web pages, follow these rules on your WordPress site and you can’t go wrong:
Know your audience. Form your content for them specifically. Don’t worry about pleasing everyone, find out exactly what your target audience is interested in and what is appealing to them stylistically. There are hundreds (thousands?) of great WordPress templates to choose from. Combined with book cover and book title graphics that Gorham Printing can provide, you can customize your look.
Keep up with social media. WordPress sites make it easy to do this with connections to Facebook, Twitter and others. By its very nature, a WordPress site is “connected” in more ways than a conventional website. The blog features of WordPress enable you to keep it current and “alive”.
Provide valuable content. Background information on characters can be interesting, as are alternative chapters or endings. A tricked-out book trailer or a podcast on YouTube might direct traffic to your page. Be creative and come up with content that is likely to be bookmarked and shared.
Get the word out. Once you’ve got your WordPress site going strong, you have a better chance of crowds finding you. Send out invites to your location, and those chances double! From chat rooms and direct emails to social media and forums, opportunities abound for sending invites to prospective visitors.
WordPress is a great tool for authors. Get started today!