So, you came back. All my talk of the dreaded author website didn’t scare you away? Excellent!
Last week, we talked about Author Website Must Haves—pages your website should not do without. Today, we’ll be exploring additional content—pages you might want to consider including.
Come back next week for what to avoid at all costs.
- Events/Calendar (for published authors)
- Press/News (for published authors)
A blog is a great way to connect with readers. It gives them a chance to get to know you better, and it’s a good forum for sharing book news. One the other hand, regular, original content can be a lot of extra work, particularly when you are trying to promote your releasing book and/or write new ones.
Should you start a blog?
Just like any other form of social media, I would suggest you do it only if you
enjoy don’t hate it. If you hate blogging, you won’t do it. Your last post will sit at the top of your page, mouldering for ages. You will feel guilt. You would be better off not blogging at all.
But if you don’t hate it—or better yet, enjoy it—your content will be fresh and more engaging, even when you are under a deadline and can’t update as often as you like.
How often should you update your blog?
That depends on what your comfort level is, but it should be regularly so readers know what to expect. Whether that is daily (HAHAHA), weekly, or monthly is up to you. In any case, be sure to give your readers a way to keep up with your content via an email subscription box and/or an RSS button.
What should you blog about?
A lot of writers like to blog about writing. That’s not a bad thing, but it can make it hard to differentiate yourself from all the others. It also doesn’t engage your core audience: readers. I’m going to make a radical suggestion that you blog about anything else that interests you. Cooking, crafts, woodworking, books you like, what color you painted your dining room…it doesn’t much matter. We already know you are an engaging writer. If you are interested in the subject, write it well and your readers will be too.
Case in point: My most popular blog post, by far, is a recipe for clumpy granola. I posted it in August, 2011 and to date it has had more than 50,000 page views.
Your blog is also a great place to write more about interesting research facts that might not have made it into your book.
Events/Calendar (for published authors)
Of course, right? You want an easy way to let people know where/when to find you. I love the calendar page on Marissa Meyer’s website. If you are on a self-hosted wordpress site, you can download a similar (maybe even the same?) plugin here: The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe.
I have it installed on my website and it’s really easy to keep updated, but even if all you keep is a simple list showing where you will be and when, having this information is a really great idea.
Press/News (for published authors)
This is a nice place for readers to keep up on all the things that are happening with your book. Links to your interviews, reviews, awards, nominations—all of those can be placed on this page.
When is your book coming out?
Can I preorder it?
What are you working on now?
Will there be a sequel?
Where do you get your ideas?
When was the last time you showered?
Collect all those FAQs and give them their own place to live.
Some other fun things to consider:
- WIP information (especially if you are not yet published)
- Behind the scenes info
- Fan art
- Secret pages (I’m quite partial to this one.)
- Printable bookmark downloads
What website content would you suggest including? Tell me in the comments.
Heidi Schulz is a writer, reader, and giraffe suspicioner. Her debut novel for middle grade readers, HOOK’S REVENGE, will be published by Disney•Hyperion on September 16, 2014, followed by her picture book debut, GIRAFFES RUIN EVERYTHING, by Bloomsbury Kids, in 2016. She lives in Oregon with her husband, their teen daughter, a terrible little dog, and five irascible chickens. Connect with her on her website, Twitter, or Facebook.