Do you have a writer’s website? Although many writers believe they don’t need a website—they’ve got a Facebook page, or they post on LinkedIn—relying on these networks can be a sad mistake.
All these years later, I’m still annoyed about Posterous. If you’re wondering what Posterous might be: it was my salutary lesson in building on sand.
Your writer’s website: yes, you need a site YOU control
The fact is that all the social media or publishing platforms that journalists and others use can be sold, shifted or shuttered at any time.
Poynter also makes this vital point:
The lesson is to experiment, to invest resources wisely, but don’t become overly dependent on a platform you don’t own — you never know who will own it tomorrow.
Although Posterous wasn’t the first service I used that closed because someone bought it, it sticks in my mind because I believed in that network. Silly me.
Before Posterous, numerous “free” blogging services shut down, before and after Google bought Blogger. More recently, there’s cause to be doubtful about the fate of Medium.
Developing your own writer’s website can be challenging; it takes time and energy. Moreover, many of the freebie “create a one-page website” sites have shut down over the past tumultuous year.
If you feel that you need a writer’s website, the following tips may help you to create a site which delivers powerful results for you.
1. Get your writer’s website online NOW and achieve your goals
Although many free website builders have closed over the past year, excellent Weebly still offers a free basic website option.
When you create a site, BASIC is your operative word. Just get something online. You can develop a bells-and-whistles website to build your platform over the coming months and years.
Set ONE goal. Perhaps you need a website to:
- Market your writing services;
- Get a new job;
- Launch your latest self-published book…
That’s your goal.
Create a title for the site (use your name); write a headline and a few paragraphs and publish the site. You can do it within an hour or two, and you should. No website is ever complete. Nor do you have a crystal ball—you can miss out on many opportunities if you hesitate. Much better to get something online and build as you go.
If you’re hesitant about posting too much to a “temporary” website, relax. Most website builders give you an option to export your content; you can easily move it elsewhere.
2. Remember to add your contact and other details
You can get sophisticated later. For now, you have one goal.
Add ways for people to contact you so you achieve your goal: add links to your books at the online retailers if you’re a self-publishing author.
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? And yet, it’s amazing how many writers’ websites omit vital details which would help the writers to achieve their goals.
Remember to link to your writer’s website from your social media profiles
If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn profile, link to your new website. Over time, you can add more content: your portfolio if you’re a freelancer, for example.
Good luck with it, because no matter how basic the site, it will help you to achieve your goals.
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Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.