The following is a guest post by Jason Daszkewicz. Jason is an experienced Web Developer and a skilled blogger, currently employed at WordSuccor Ltd.- WordPress Website Development Company based in the USA. He has the responsibility of handling WordPress Plugin development projects along with his team of developers. Whenever he gets time off from work, he enjoys reading and writing articles.
The number of authors has been on the rise since sites like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing started offering a hassle free way to release your books. Though the publishing part has become much easier, the marketing side has continued to get complex. With more and more authors vying for book sales it has become tougher and more complex to stand out from the huge crowd.
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One method you can always use to increase exposure and be able to connect with all your potential readers is by coming up with your own authors’ website. This will not only provide you with the opportunity of expanding your audience, but it will also provide you with a great means to be in a position of earning more income per sale from the books and other types of products.
The guide below will provide you with an instruction of how simple it is to construct a WordPress platform that will be able to showcase your books, help you earn extra affiliate income, and attract new readers through blogging.
1. Select your platform
There are several platforms available when it comes to setting up a new website. It is advisable that you use a self-hosted WordPress site to ease use and ensure a high-level of flexibility. However, when hosting your website, using a provider like Bluehost is a cheaper option with the availability of pricing tiers that will cater for all sorts of users.
In order to set up your website, simply select Bluehost pricing option that will be able to suit your needs and install WordPress using the one-click option that is found on your account. In case you get stuck, they will provide you with various support channels that will be able to guide you on every step forward even when you are a complete beginner.
2. Customize Your Site Design and Functionality
After installing your WordPress, it is now time to start customizing your website. The first decision is to choose right WordPress theme. All you have to do is put a theme that will be able to dictate the overall appearance of your website. For sure, you will be spoilt for choice since there are lots of free and premium WordPress themes that fit your requirements.
After choosing your theme, you will be able to customize it by using the options that are available within the settings of your theme. Each theme will provide you with different options though most of them will enable you to tweak the fonts, colors, and background. In case you do not have the creative bent, it is advisable to keep things simple from the beginning and keep track of some basic rules.
One good example of a free theme for authors is the Free Responsive Blogging Theme. The clean and minimalist theme will enable your site to display great visuals while drawing attention to the work you have done.
The Total WordPress theme is a stand out as a multipurpose theme that has been fully integrated with the common visual composer drag and drop page builder that will enable you to come up with any custom page layout you need. The theme also comes together with hundreds of built-in options in the WordPress customizer that will provide you with the power to change layouts, fonts, colors and more through the entire theme.
3. Make and Publish your Key Pages
Though there are some important pages that every website needs to have, the most important ones that your author website should always have are the About and Book pages. Therefore, ensure you take enough time to come up with your bio and display your book descriptions and covers. This will provide the publishers, readers, and reviewers with an easy method to get in touch with you. After doing that, you will either want to publish or save your pages.
Never forget to add a social sharing plugin to the pages to enable your fans to share them with their other friends. The Jetpack is known to be a great plugin with a solid sharing option while SumoMe is also known to offer various sharing options for people to choose from.
4. Ensure you Add Great Content
One method you can always use to attract readers is to update your website with fresh and optimized content in the form of a newsfeed or blog. It does not have to be a daily or weekly update, just ensure you provide frequent updates that will ensure your existing visitors keep coming back to you and is capable of attracting new visitors. In case you are wondering about the type of content you should include, just ensure you make the content relevant to your prospective and current readers. You can post character profiles, book excerpts or even book reviews.
You have now set up your website, and it’s time to attract visitors. There are many methods you can use to drive traffic to your website. Below are some key ways you can achieve that.
- Using social media
In case you have social media accounts, you should start posting links to your website and request your supporters and followers to share with their friends, too.
- Guest Posts
Request to guest post on websites that you think might have readers who will be interested in visiting your website.
- Search Engine Optimization
Optimize your contents to ensure they are able to rank well in the Search Engines.
6. Monetize Your Website
The main aim of your website should be to reach new readers and sell more and more books. Boosting the sale of books is not the only way you can use to monetize your website: You can incorporate affiliate marketing into your strategy and make your website more profitable. One common affiliate partnership program is Amazon Associates. Once it has been approved, you can always request for links for your books and have them embedded into your books page and any other place they have been mentioned on your website.
The process of publishing your own work has never been that easier. You should try to market your books and make it an ongoing challenge. However, with most authors vying for readership, it can be difficult to connect with your potential fans.
Note from The SocialMs: We have had a very bad experience with Bluehost hosting and do not recommend it. Why and how we moved our website to a different hosting provider can be found in this article: Why We Switched From Bluehost To Cloudways – and How Easy It Was