by Dana Lynn Smith
As an author, do you need a website and/or blog? The short answer is YES! But there’s a lot more that authors need to know to harness the promotional power of author websites. This is the first in a series of articles addressing some of the most common questions authors ask about blogs and websites.
Q: Why do I need an author website?
A website is an online hub – the place where authors can send potential customers, media, reviewers, and anyone else who needs information about the author and his or her books. A website gives authors a platform for promoting themselves and their work that’s entirely under their control, and it’s an essential tool for building a following.
Q: What’s the difference between a website and a blog?
A website is collection of online “pages” containing information and images. A blog (short for “Web log”) is a specific type of website where articles are posted periodically, displayed with the newest entries at the top of the page. These articles (called “posts”) are typically written by the site owner, but “guest posts” can also be included from other people. Blog posts were originally a sort of online diary, and they are often written in an informal, personal style. Most blogs allow readers to post comments on each article.
Blogging is a great way for authors to share news, information and promotions with their target audience and develop an online following. Blogs are also an ideal tool for nonfiction authors to showcase their expertise in their topic. Blog posts are valuable in attracting readers to the site. They even help websites rank higher in search engine results, because search engines value sites that are updated frequently.
So, do you need both a website and a blog? For most authors, I advise creating a combined site that incorporates both traditional information pages and blog posts. This is very easy to do when you set up your site on a blogging platform. (More about that in a future article.)
What questions do you have about author websites and blogs? Just leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.