Creating an Author Website for First Time?

The Content Experts PH is a content writing agency with a strong publishing, book marketing, and author marketing arm.

Our professional team can help you in creating author website. Our team can create an author website for you in weeks – complete with functioning pages, website content writing, a blog with content, and more. Please email us today for a free consult and quote!

Do You Want to Create an Author Website?

create author website

“Why do you need to create author website? “

This is one of the most common questions that many authors have, even the older ones who have published before. In the age where influencers have millions of followers on their Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, or Instagram, do websites still matter? Yes. Author websites are still important. Social media is essential for building a reader base.

It’s also easier for people to engage authors on their pages or profiles. But there are many things that you cannot do (or do conveniently) on social media accounts. And that’s where websites come into play.

With a brand-new author website, you can do everything you want – including chatting with readers or would-be readers. The way websites have advanced in recent years means there’s nothing you that you need to accomplish on a website that you can’t accomplish.

How To Create an Author Website Free?

create author website

You can create a free author website from Wix, WordPress.com, or any other CMS or platform offering a free trial of their services.

The Content Experts PH recommends the WordPress CMS for author websites. WordPress is the foremost CMS and is easy to manage and happens to be supported by the largest ecosystem of third-party plugin and theme developers, globally. Some developers have been working with WordPress systems for over fifteen years.

That’s how persistent and great WordPress has been all these years. Whether you have a self-hosted WordPress site or one hosted by WordPress.com, you’re going to have a great time creating your author website.

Building an author website from scratch using the WordPress CMS is easy – in the beginning. However, if you want your author website to look amazing, we recommend skipping the DIY route entirely. Basic websites are just that – starting points for authors.

The goal is to scale and build a readership based on quality and excellence. Marketing an author is easier if your website is built to scale and accommodate people seeking more information about you and your works. Also, adding functionality and keeping an author website stable both require the work of a WordPress professional.

You’ve probably seen some author websites in the past that look like they’ve never been updated since the year they were first built. We are all for freedom of expression and using personal aesthetics, but the fact of the matter is that an old website doesn’t inspire confidence in readers. Unless you have already proven your mettle and have reached the top of the charts (like the New York Times bestseller list), you must make sure that your appearance is ideal as an author. And online, that involves working on your social media accounts and the heart of your online activity – your author website.

Should You Hire a Professional WordPress Designer to Make Your Website?

create author website

There are several good reasons why it’s important to hire a professional WordPress designer, in this regard:

Security

WordPress websites that have not been secured by a professional can be hacked. They can be compromised. One day you have a nice website, and the next day it’s full gibberish and you can access it anymore. Imagine all that hard work going to waste.

Second, compromised websites can harm visitors. Malware infections are common, and visitors can get infected from an infected website, too. You can protect your website and your audience from all these headaches by simply working with someone who knows WordPress development.

Functionality

A WordPress designer can help you create an author website that is both beautiful and functional. In the case of WordPress sites, the functionality side is achieved through the WordPress theme and the plugins. WordPress plugins are like little machines that make stuff possible on the website. They are installed individually, some of them or paid while other are free, and you need to monitor them and update them as the developers change these little programs over time.

Scale

Anyone can create a basic website with five pages. However, if you want to scale, if you want to grow your business as an author or professional, your website must have all the working parts for that to happen. Unfortunately, moving beyond publishing a blog is tough. It requires experience (lots of it) and knowledge of how the plugin ecosystem works. This applies most especially to authors who want to sell their books through their websites. The website must be secure, the online payment system has to work and has to be frequently updated, and so on.

Appearance and Marketability

As we have mentioned before, it’s never enough to just have a website. In fact, just having a poorly designed website is worse than not having one at all. If you want to create an author website, you must commit to its full development until it reaches the state where it becomes aesthetically pleasing and marketable.

The entire process takes a lot of time. If you have ever tried to sit down and just build your website, you probably already know that six hours is nothing. Ten hours ‘might’ be something if you have a plan in mind. But basically, you can spend a long time in front of your computer and not gain a lot of ground in terms of achieving your goals for the website.

So, you have a choice here.

You can continue trying to develop your author’s website alone, or you can partner with a designer who can help bring your dreams for your author website to life, in a shorter time.

Generating traffic for your author’s website will also require SEO copywriting and content writing, both of which are part of what we do here at The Content Experts PH. And should you want a book published in your name, but do not have the time or expertise to do so, we can help you ghostwrite an eBook and finish that task on your bucket list.

Important Guidelines for Creating the Best Author Website

Author websites are special because they don’t just ‘sell’ authors, they also must sell books, ideas, principles, etc. They’re complex and if you don’t do it right, you will have less impact, overall.

At Rebo Press Book Publishing (our publishing side), we take extreme care in presenting books and authors, and by just showing you individual parts of the website right now, you will be able to see the best practices in presenting books and authors. Let’s take a short walk through the most important parts of a good author’s website and use these as inspiration to improve the design and functionality of your author website.

The Author’s Homepage: The Heart of Everything

The homepage is the heart of an author’s website. If you can’t create a positive first impression in the first few milliseconds, the person viewing your website may not be as impressed as you’d like him to be.

The Top Fold

So, it’s very important that you work with your designer to determine the website’s main color palette, WordPress theme (if you are running WordPress), the navigational structure, and so on. The top fold of your website or the first space that people see should be well thought out.

You can put a variety of things here (including a carousel of images) but we recommend putting what matters to you the most. In the case of Rebo Press, we are advocates of different causes so we would prioritize putting news here of upcoming anthologies, books, and events related to core of our philosophy as cultural workers and publishing professionals.

Book Features and Carousels

author website book carousel feature

Just below the top fold are the book features. If you have a collection of works already, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t put a carousel of images that provide some details of your previously published works. You have two options for the images on these carousels and on your other pages. You can photograph your physical books, or you can hire graphic design services to create 3D book mockups for all your titles. 3D book mockups are incredibly beautiful, and they are cost-effective, too. You will no longer have to pay for a photographer, as the graphic designer is tasked in creating the entire scenario, digitally.  

author website home page book carousel feature

As you arrange the different book collections on your website, don’t forget to make full use of the categories function, which you can also splash across your website. Different categories can entice readers to click on the links to know more about what you offer. An author’s website can be as comprehensive as you want, so if you don’t want to share content categories or pages related to your writing, you can just share content that you want to share about other aspects of your life. You are given free rein on this.

author website home page book collection

Author Updates, News, and Social Media

author website news updates section

You can maximize engagement with your audience by designing the homepage in such a way that it shares everything else you do online, especially your social media activity. WordPress sites already have blocks or modules that can help share your social media feed on your website.

author website categories

Why is this important?

Getting people to follow your social media accounts is not always. Sometimes, the interest to follow you comes from the first visit to your author’s website, so we must make sure that your social media accounts are visible so people will feel encouraged to follow you on social media. Ultimately, author marketing and book marketing are about persistence – you must never give up on trying to connect with your audience and readers.

author website social media and marketing channels

Sections that contain your social media feeds on your homepage are also perfect places to advertise where you sell your books. In the case of Rebo Press, we sell books through the shopping platform Shopee, so we have an item there that presents/advertise the Shopee store. You can do the same if you sell your books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

author website social media feed

The Author Page/About Page

author website individual book feature

In a multi-author website, the individual authors would have specialized pages devoted to their books and profiles alone. In a single author website, all this information can go to the About page, which is common enough across all websites.

author website book feature individual

Taking the example Karl R. De Mesa’s Calling Out the Destruction, you can clearly see that the multiple sections of the book page also serve as a wonderful guide to the author. The book and author meld together using text, images, and rich media, which in this case is a book trailer video from YouTube. There’s another important part of the author page – the preview section.

author website rich media in book feature

On Amazon, books are previewed immediately when you select the option. You can do that to your book using a special plugin or you can use a special, separate service like FlipHTML5 to do it. FlipHTML5 is easy to use, very straightforward controls and it does the job. All you must do is upload your sample pages and it takes care of everything. Splash preview links from Flipbook anywhere you like and give people a super special experience when previewing your title.

Book previews rule!

The Menu

The main menu is super important for an author’s website. Why? Because not everyone looks for information through search. Some people are completely fine with using the menu, but you have to organize the items carefully, so they make sense. One category should flow naturally to another.

Published by Marius D. Carlos, Jr.

Journalist, copyeditor and digital content specialist. A lover of life and all things pop culture and mass media. Accepting content projects from all over the world! Email me: marius@contentexpertsph.com | Find me rocking content SEO here: contentexpertsph.com

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