One of the biggest misconceptions that authors face is that their work is done once the book is published. Whether you’re self-publishing or you have a world-renowned publicist, you should expect to spend as much time marketing your book as you did writing it.

One of the most influential ways to increasing your marketing footprint is an author website. And a good author website is so much more than a landing page for your book’s purchase links.

Here are 8 guidelines that are proven to drive more traffic to your website and sell more books.

Make a Good First Impression

While having a website is critical to marketing your book, a good website makes all the difference. Things to consider when you want your website to make a good first impression:

Visitors should immediately know who you are, what you’ve written and how to buy your book – don’t make them search around your site for the most important information.

Navigation should be clear and easy – your visitors should know where they want go next and how to get there.

Less is more – your site should look clean and uncluttered.

Your site should be cohesive in color scheme, font, and tone of voice from page to page.

Write Blog Posts

Blogs allow readers to “test-drive” your writing. It gives your readers a better sense of who you are, what you write about, and how you write. Blogging is a great way to position your expertise in your subject and showcase your value. Most importantly, blogging is a great way to be a storyteller. By adding blogs to your website, you’ll be able to keep your website fresh and up-to-date, while also driving traffic.

Include a Press Page

If you want to look more credible as an author, you’re going to want to include a Press Page. Your Press page should contain a media kit with a short biography, a headshot, trade reviews, book information, and press releases. If you have successful press coverage, such as podcasts or interviews, display them here.

Improve Your SEO

What did we ever do before Google? If you want to drive traffic to your website, it’s time to get your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into gear. SEO impacts how high your page lands on a Google search. Your score can be affected by the amount of links that are included in your page, your metadata, and even the responsiveness of your page on mobile devices. You don’t have to have a background in tech to improve your score - there are many simple things you can do in 30 minutes to greatly improve your SEO.

Incorporate Reviews

Studies show that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Gather your best trade reviews, blogger reviews, and even Amazon or Goodreads reviews and display them for your visitors to see!

Offer a Reader’s Guide

Book clubs are important and effective influencers when it comes to promoting new books. To make sure that your book is “Book Club Friendly,” create a special page on your website dedicated to a discussion guide. Here, you paste your questions into the site, and have a downloadable .pdf version of your discussion guide for easy access. Take a look at some of our author’s reader guides here.

Provide Updates on News and Events

Give visible proof that you are out and about promoting your book. Be sure to include author signings, readings, and other speaking engagements on your page. This will not only make you look more credible as an author, but it can also spur additional promotional opportunities!

And on that note…

Give Your Readers Your Business Card

Figuratively speaking, of course. Make sure that bookstores, book reviewers, and bloggers have a way of getting in touch with you to schedule interviews and signings. Your contact page should have a simple contact form or give an email address for visitors to use, as well as links to all your social media channels.

Remember, simply having a website does not automatically translate to book sales. While this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, these guidelines will go a long way in the marketing of your book. If you have any other suggestions or have had success with these strategies, we’d love to hear – leave us a comment below!

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