It’s important to know how to make a website as an author because a website is your marketing hub for your online book sales. This is a great advantage you have over the authors of fifty years ago who didn’t have online marketing and relied on the limited offline sources of advertising to sell their books.
Even before your book is published, you should be creating a website or two to help promote you as an author and your upcoming book. For the cost, nothing beats the world wide reach you get from your marketing efforts as well as all of the free traffic you will get to your website if you do it right. And after you are published, you can build your website in a way that attracts people from all over the world to buy your books based on the content they are looking for one the Internet through search engines.
There are specific things you need to consider while building your website. Some are very easy to pick up and others are more advanced. This post is just about the basics and I am linking to another website of mine that goes into the specifics so you can effectively build a website on your own with little money, even if you aren’t that experienced.
Considerations for How to Make a Website
1. Keywords. Keywords are the most important aspect to consider when learning how to make a website. Everything is driven by keywords. Think about how someone searches for things on the Internet. They type in a word or phrase in the search bar and the search engine finds related content to that word(s). Well, those are keywords.
When building your website, you must relate every page to a specific keyword, preferably one that relates the closest with all of the content on the page. You want to use keywords that people will look for and you should have a page full of content related to the keyword they are looking for.
2. Keyword Placement. Placement of your keywords is very important for search engine optimization (SEO). All search engines have different algorithms in order to give a searcher the most relevant and useful content. When they feel you have a page that relates to a specific keyword, the engine will index it as such. You should have your keyword in the title, the H1 or main header, at least in one H2 or sub header, about one keyword in your content body for every 200 words including within the first 90 characters of your content, and you should have one text link that contains the page’s keyword.
3. Don’t Over Use Keywords. A while back, SEO companies used to get people’s sites higher in the search engines by over stuffing the pages with keywords. They even went as far as hiding the keywords in the code so it would fool the search engines. Search engines get smarter by the day and learned a lot of the tricks, so they will actually block or penalize your site for using too many keywords.
4. Don’t Get Too Fancy. When learning how to make a website, you don’t want to use too many graphics or flash designs. Sure, they look awesome, but search engines don’t index pictures and graphics the same as they do content. People looking for books to read aren’t looking for a lot of images. They are looking for words. Limit your pages to one or two images that relate to your content. Use simple HTML for your formatting and you can’t lose.
5. Don’t Distract From Your Site’s Objective. It’s great to make a little side money from your website, but don’t over do it. Never advertise anything but your own products on your home page. If you have an image ad, link it to another page on your site. Never place link-out ads to other people’s sites from your home page.
If you are advertising something other than your books, be sure that it relates perfectly with the content on a page. Adsense ads from Google are okay on any page except the home page and any pages you are selling your book. Your book sales pages should only have links to your books. Nothing else. If it is just a content page to get people to your website, related ads are okay. Just remember, when people click these ads, they most likely leave your site. But it is better for them to pay you a little money on the way out than simply exit your page.
6. Don’t Pay Thousands for a Website. Sure you can pay someone to build your website, but you will never make your money back from it. Website domains are under $20.00 per year – and most of the time less than that. Hosting is pretty cheap too. Under $10.00 per month – mostly less than that. WordPress is a free app you can load into your website that makes creating a website very easy.
7. Add Content Daily. The more content you have on your website, the easier it is to find on the Internet. It’s great to have a blog on your website where you can add a page a day. Talk about your book, your experiences, about your characters… The more keywords you use that people are looking for, the more likely they will find your website.
Learning how to make a website is easy once you get a little guidance. Check out how to make a website on my fiction writing website. The concept is the same for any genre of writing.