Having a website is critical for a published author, but what about the not-yet-published author? Here are the top three ways that a website can benefit the gonna-be’s.
First, it shows agents and editors that you take your writing career seriously.
This is pretty straightforward; if you’re willing to make the investment in a website and take the time and effort to fill it with engaging content that sells your writing and author platform, then you obviously care about your writing career.
An agent or editor who visits that kind of site is going to think, Ok, cool. Not only is she a go-getter, this is also an author who is professional and is likely going to take her promotion seriously. Awesome.
Second, it pushes resistance out of the way.
I’ve seen it over and over again—something significant happens when a writer commits to moving forward and becoming visible with his writing.
Here’s the deal; getting your first website isn’t easy. For most people, technology can be intimidating. Plus, choosing a designer can be bewildering and terrifying, and then there’s the added stress of handing a chunk of money over to someone who’s going to be in charge of creating your professional presence on the internet.
Then, you have to figure out how to navigate the labyrinth of social media and actually create the content for the site, and figure out things like SEO, WordPress, and ALT tags.
This is not small or easy stuff.
And none of that includes the rather vague, but still paralyzing feeling of just being out there with your writing. I mean, people will see you. It’s like the naked dream, but worse somehow, because they’re not judging you, they’re judging your writing. Yikes.
So, first of all, if this terrifies you, you’re not alone. It’s scary for everyone. I don’t have a single client who didn’t have at least a minor freakout around either getting the site, launching it, or both. It’s totally normal. It’s a huge step. It should be scary. You’re a rockstar for even considering it.
And here’s the really awesome part, when you work through that fear, hopefully with the help of a supportive and competent web designer or writing coach, you’ll get so much out of facing it. Your writing career will take on a whole new quality because you will take on a whole new quality.
You’ll realize that you’re not just waiting for the publishing world to notice you, you’re taking steps on your own. That’s powerful. And you’ll start adding the words “not yet” to your answer when anyone asks if you’re published.
Finally, it’s just plain lucrative.
“Self-publishing” and “e-publishing” aren’t the four-letter words they used to be, and income streams from teaching, speaking and blogging are more and more common.
You just can’t do that without a website. A website is the cornerstone of your author platform. It’s where readers go to find out more about you and where you can communicate with them, not to mention sell and promote your books.
It’s your online home, your store, your billboard in Times Square.
It’s your sanctuary, where you go to be you and share your writing with your readers.
So, a website for an unpublished writer is an amazing investment and gift, both to your writing and to you.