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Six Steps to a More Engaging Author Website, Part 2

Posted on: November 2nd, 2013 | No comments 

In our latest post, we shared three out of six steps many of the most engaging effective author websites have in common.   In part two, we provide three more.  I’d love to hear your ideas about what we missed!

4) Hosting a Dynamic Blog: Websites with a built in blog get 55 percent more traffic than websites without a blog. While that’s a compelling argument to have a blog our recommendation is to only maintain one if it’s updated at a minimum once a week—if not more. A good blog should offer a steady flow of insight into the author’s activities, thoughts, and ideas.

  • Author and NYT journalist Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code) blogs frequently on his site. In fact, his blog is front and center: it’s the main feature on the homepage. In addition to its frequency, Coyle integrates pictures and videos and has catchy post titles—“How to Spark Motivation? (Step One: Shut Your Mouth)”; “A Two-Minute Video That Might Change the Way Your Kid Thinks”; and “Best Parenting Tip Ever.”
  • Dan Ariely, (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions) an author and professor, posts his “Ask Ariely” Q&A column from the Wall Street Journal to his blog. The questions are varied and Ariely’s responses are brief and interesting (he incorporates plenty of behavioral science research into his answers). The bottom line: Ariely blogs prolifically about his field of interest and expertise making the blog a must-read.

5) Having a “Rockstar” Testimonial: It’s always better to have other people talk about how great you are and author Richard Florida (The Rise of the Creative Class) hit the jackpot on this front. His homepage features a video clip of U2 front man Bono recommending Florida’s bestselling book to a panel

Six Steps to a More Engaging Author Website, Part 1

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 | 1 comment 

In a previous post, we established why authors should have their own website. An engaging author website is the gateway to multiple audiences: agents, editors, the media, readers, and reviewers, and thus, it should showcase your work and ideas and give people a sense of your personality. Setting up a website yourself or hiring an affordable designer does not mean you’ll have to spend a significant amount of time or money. In fact, you’ll expend more time and energy on your Twitter and Facebook accounts than your website in the long run because once set up, all you have to do is update the site with fresh content.

In the next two posts, we highlight features from several nonfiction author websites that we think are effective in engaging readers and building traffic. We hope these ideas inspire you to be creative on your own site.  All of these can be developed by you, without spending more money  on a web engineer or designer.

1) Crafting an Effective Tagline: A tagline, which should feature prominently on your homepage, does two things: it either summarizes you and your expertise or it describes what your book is about. It signals to the reader that you are an expert and your website contains the best information on a particular subject. We also find that a tagline sets the website’s tone. Check out the following:

  • On author and entrepreneur Chip Conley’s (Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow) main website (Conley has two other book-related sites), the first thing you’ll see is the following tagline: “Creating Transformation at the Intersection of Business + Psychology.” (The tagline is placed next to Conley’s inspirational TED Talk.)
  •  “The Movement That Is Transforming How New Products Are Built And Launched.”