Sorry, there’s no way around this one – you must create a web presence. The first tool in your book marketing visibility toolbox is a website, and it should be created before your book is published. You can choose a website or a blog and you can get either type for free from sites such as Wordpress.com or Blogger.com.
Book Marketing - Website vs. Blogsite
If you find the thought of having to create a website daunting, go for Blogger.com; it is very user friendly and good for beginners. And with its updates, it has a number of features much like a website.
One major drawback to Blogger though is you cannot upload ebooks or pdfs to link to in order to offer them for free or for sale. So, if this is something you’ll be doing, you will have to use a website like WordPress, Yola, or Weebly.
Just be sure the one you choose has a blog feature, because you will need to provide quality content on a regular basis to create an informational funnel.
If you like the user-friendly ease of Blogger, you can create a free website just for the purpose of uploading PDFs and link them to your Blogger site.
Whichever you choose as your visibility site, be sure to carefully think about the domain name you use. Allow it to be easily searchable and relevant to the content you will be offering on the site. It’s often a good idea to have a least one site with ‘your name’ as the title of a website. This site will have information about you as the author: a Media Page, an About You Page, and a page that lists all your books.
Another issue to think about when creating a website is whether to make is simple of busy.
Book Marketing - Simple is a Better Strategy
Marketing expert Mike Volpe of Hubspot.com points out that it’s more important to spend time, and money if necessary, on content rather than a flashy website design; simple works. In fact, simpler usually leads to a higher conversion rate. The conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who buy your book, product, or service.
Volpe also stresses that you should have control over your site. This means you should be able to manage it. You don’t want to run to a web designer for every little change you want to make to your site, or to do something as simple as adding content.
To reinforce this ‘simple is better strategy,’ Google says that milliseconds count in regard to your page load time. If your page is slow to load, you’ll get a poorer score with Google.
Tip: Should you decide you do need help to create a site, don’t hire an expensive web designer. Look for someone who wants to establish themselves as a website creator, or someone who does it in his spare time, you will pay much less. And, try to make arrangements that will include the designer teach you how to manage your own site. This will make updates, changes, and posting much easier, and less expensive.
Book Marketing - Make Your Site Optimized for the Search Engines
If you choose a WordPress site, go through the dashboard and sections carefully, and fill in how you want your site to work. There are also a number of plugins for WordPress that will help your site get noticed and indexed by the search engines. If you’re not sure how to do this, it would probably be worth the investment to hire someone to do basic search engine optimization (SEO) for your site.
It's not uncommon for writers to need help with book marketing, including websites and SEO, it's impossible to be proficient at everything. Thankfully, there are those who know the ins and outs of optimizing websites, if needed take advantage of them.
This is a reprint from the summer of 2011, but the information is well worth repeating.
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