How to Drive Traffic to Your Author Website
As most of the world is sheltering in place due to Coronavirus, we are all spending more hours online than ever before. This is a good time for authors to spit and polish their websites and find new ways to get more readers. If you’ve been reading my blogs or have heard me speak, you know that I think every author needs a website in their own name, not the name of their current book. Remember, you need a website that is going to scale with you. But once you’ve taken the leap and set up your website, purchased your domain, and entered your basic book information…now what? How do you get people to your website?
Here are 3 steps to make your website a success.
Set up a blog on your website and commit to writing it regularly. At a minimum, you should aim to post new content at least once a month. Sitting down to write blog content can sometimes feel just as difficult as sitting down to write your book, so make a plan that works for you. Maybe you want to commit to 30 minutes of blog writing, three times per week. If that’s the timing that works with your schedule, enter it into your calendar as an appointment. And show up for that appointment. Writing blogs will bring traffic to your website and will give you something useful to post on social media. Plus there are many other reasons why blogging is more important than ever. I can’t tell you how many well-meaning authors I’ve seen start a blog, only to abandon it weeks or months later. If someone sees that your last post was written 6+ months ago, they’ll assume you don’t update your site at all and that all the content is dated. At least make sure it does not show the date (Pub Site allows authors to hide the date the blog was published, a neat feature so our blogs don't look dated).
Build a mailing list and create a newsletter. If you don’t already have one, add a mailing list sign-up on your website. There are programs like MailChimp that make this really easy. Add a pop-up so that anyone visiting your website is prompted to sign up will increase the people on your list. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues to sign up too. Commit to a regular newsletter. Personally, I think a quarterly newsletter is plenty. It will prevent reader burnout and will ensure that you have enough new information to share.
These newsletter subscribers are your “superfans”—they’ll be with you throughout your publishing journey, so treat them well. Give them exclusives or bonus materials to celebrate your publication. I always think it’s nice when authors share a bonus chapter or extra downloads with newsletter subscribers at sign up. Or maybe you want to offer a special pre-order discount to your subscribers. Remember, these are people who have chosen to hear from you, and they want to know what you have to say. Without a doubt, these newsletter subscribers will convert to book buyers at a much higher rate than your social media followers.
Drive traffic back to your website. It’s important to think of your website as the central hub for your marketing activities. It’s a place where you want people to visit to learn more about you and your work. And once these new eyes are on your website, they could very well turn into your next newsletter subscriber and superfan.
Get these people to your website by making sure your website is included in your author bio. The last line should read: “For more information, visit www.yourwebsite.com.” Include a link to your website on any social media profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Goodreads. And if you’re writing content for any other outlets, at the very least, a link to your site should be included in your bio. Think of other websites that can link back to your site: your publisher's website, your local publishing organization, your company, etc. The more links the better. Google prioritizes sites that have more links to them.
The great thing is all these efforts are free. While they will take time and energy, you don’t have to spend any valuable marketing dollars to write your blog, create your mailing list, or get links back to your website. Your website doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Keep it simple, keep it updated, and you’ll keep your readers coming back.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, please join the discussion on my Facebook page.
© 2020 Fauzia Burke. All Rights Reserved.