Website is King
Writers, you may not believe this, but the title for this post is true. Website is King. Why? Because you control the content.
To be brief, but not comprehensive, below are some of the truths on the whys of this.
Social media is great. But let’s be real here and talk about a few:
Facebook: How could I not lead with the most frustrating and consuming of all the socials? With Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms, your chances of reaching the target audience for your books is about as good as going outside and yelling. You can up these chances by having an author group and/or an author fan page in addition to your personal profile, but with Facebook’s current suppression tactics you’re still not going to get through. Recent findings have revealed the click-through of the Face’s ads aren’t that great of a return either—terrible to be honest. Plus, to be honest, no one wants to be hit with "read my book! read my book! read my book!" when they go out to social media, so you have to post a lot that's not book-related. And that's okay. Have fun out there. Just don't rely on it as a tool.
Instagram: Better than Facebook, but you’re still looking at scrolling scrolling scrolling… (keep the images scrolling—sorry, couldn’t help it). You have to be really intentional about what you post to gain attention, about what you post that says "this is me." It's doable. You just need a plan, but the downside is you can’t put specialized links in your posts and that kind of sucks for getting people where you need them. Instagram stories are awesome for making a connection with people, letting them see you and sending quick info but they’re gone in 24 hours.
It’s fun. The pics are great, but it’s easy to get lost in a sea of recipes and fitspo.
Twitter: Twitter can work if you’re on a list or if you’re a pro at hashtags or if you tweet the same thing enough times to get your message in front of someone, but there’s a microscopic line between annoying and yelling into a well.
And then, there’s the proverbial NEWSLETTER. I’m not the one to disparage newsletters. I think they're important, but they're definitely a short falling of mine. My habits aside, you need to ask: what’s your click through rate? Is your newsletter opened or deleted. As a society, we’re deluged with info dumped into our inboxes every day. I’m not saying that your newsletter is useless. It’s not. It's very useful; it's just not your greatest tool.
To build on that, I’m not saying social media is useless. It’s not. All of these things are important and will work together for people to discover you…or get to know you better. They can also suck up a lot of your valuable time. Time you should be using to write. Also, with your newsletter and social media, you put other people in control. This leads me to your website.
Writers, your readers need a landing spot for you. They need a place where they can see your latest release or releases, the order of books in a series, and what you might have coming up. You should also have a way for people to contact you.
You need a site that’s not complicated but gives all the facts. It needs to be up-to-date — even if you don’t think anyone is coming to visit. They are, even if you don’t know it!
Some people use a blog for their website. I did, too, for a long time, but if you can afford a website, I don’t recommend using a blog site. It doesn’t give you the professional, clean navigation of a true website. However, if that’s what you have, it’s far better than nothing. (Side note: domain names are dirt cheap and there are many, many affordable options for getting a workable website)
I do recommend having a blog on your website though. Most of your website will be static unless you have a new book come out. But your blog will bring people to visit with its dynamic, ever-changing content and information.
Bottom line: Get a website, keep it up-to-date and make sure the address is everywhere (on your profiles, on your promotional materials, in your books and in your guest posts). You control your website. You control the content and what’s seen. Some automated system won’t hide your posts and your news and you won’t get lost in a sea of other information. The website is king and you are the queen—and we all know the queen really controls everything.