Are Author Websites Enough?

Traditional author websites are one of the main ideas that come to mind when first working to build a presence online outside of social media. It’s that holy grail of legitimacy–having your own dot-com website.

Traditional author websites are usually static websites that have generally the following sections:

  • Home page
  • Biography or About the Author page
  • Bibliography – sometimes split into a page for each book, series, etc.
  • Events or Appearances calendar
  • Links – Usually to handy resources
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Publishing on the web is easier than publishing books via self-publishing. So whenever you think of the book market being saturated, the web content market is even more so. There are millions of pages, billions of words competing for search engine results on keywords that users are searching. And all the information that comes up? It’s all free.

Can a traditional author website compete for that attention?

Honestly, no.

So if you are going to have a website, you need to define your goals. If you want to have a web presence that will anchor your book information, then a static website can work for you. It grounds your author brand and lends you a place of authority you can refer your readers for more information on what you author.

If you want to have a website that constantly draws new readers to it and builds a community around your author brand? You need more content. There are two ways you can do build content.

  1. Maintain a blog on your website where you regularly update with new information that is relevant to your target audience.
  2. Add more content to your website that will increase your SEO and web presence. This doesn’t have to be in blog form. You can add pages of information to your website to build that web presence.

Whichever choice you make, creating a website that will draw readers to click from search engines is a lot of work. Either can work with other social media. Either way, having a website can do a lot to bolster your legitimacy as an author for your readers. It can also give you a confidence boost if you are just starting out.

The bottom line? Traditional author websites are a useful tool to give your name authority when readers search you out by name. But if you want to increase your discoverability? You need more than just a traditional author website and move from a static platform to one that is content rich.

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