Being a self-published author means embracing the Do It Yourself (DIY) mindset when it comes to producing and selling your book.
It’s up to you to get your book’s cover designed, build a following on social media, and create an author site that attracts new readers.
You may be saying “check!” if you’ve already designed an author website. You might even be going for the “double check!” if you regularly update your author blog.
But simply having an author site won’t lead to more book sales.
To stand out in the sea of self-published authors, you’ll need to ensure your site content is fresh, valuable, and entertaining.
You’ll also need to try some tricks of the trade in the digital marketing realm to help you get viewership in more places.
Grab your pen and paper — you’ll want to remember these 4 effective ways to revamp your author site and drive traffic to it.
Optimize Your Content
To get repeat customers. the content on your site needs to build a sense of trust with our readers.
That means providing timely, relevant content that clearly communicates your experience as a self-published author, and why potential readers should buy your book.
To drive traffic to your website, make sure it includes the following essentials:
- Your book covers and descriptions
- A thorough About the Author page that includes an image as well as a clear and entertaining description of your inspiration, your credibility (including any awards received), and a list of your works
- Links to where your readers can buy your books
- An option to sign up for your email list or join your social media community
- Testimonials and reviews
- “Share” buttons so readers can suggest your site to friends
- Multi-media posts that are visually appealing
Create a Community
In order to have an effective author site and drive traffic to it, you’ll need to make it a place where readers can come to relate to not only you, but other authors, readers and subject experts.
Create a sense of community through your author site with the following tips:
- Linking to authors that have an established voice in your subjects. In order to build a relationship with established authors who may cross-promote with you, sending you a few of their readers, reach out to them first. That means doing blogs like “My Top 10 Favorite Authors This Year” and linking to their sites
- Enabling a comment section or forum on your author site and encourage your readers to weigh in on hot topics or advice. Provide ground rules to ensure the conversations are safe and respectful
- Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups and engage in the conversations, eventually leading them to your site
- Comment on posts on blogs and sites like yours
- Make face-to-face connections at book readings, writing retreats, and other social events that cater to your brand
Build a Social Media Following
Studies show that between 2005 and 2015, social media usage rose from 7% to 65%, making social media a fruitful way to connect with new audiences.
Building a social media following that will drive traffic to your site goes beyond a post here and there.
So how do you send more readers to your author site through your social platforms?
- Be sure your social media platforms are speaking to the same audience you want to send to your website
- Cross-promote by sharing the posts of others and tagging them
- Be sure you’re utilizing the platforms people from your target audience visit regularly
- Use trending and relevant hashtags
- Tracks your results using social media analytics
Know Your SEO Basics
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is where your site ranks on search engine searches, or how far up you appear on a search list.
By making a few tweaks to your author site, you can appear higher on searches, making readers more likely to click on your site.
There are 2 types of SEO, on page and off page:
- On-page SEO is the content within your website that is viewable to the public. Certain keywords, images and other details you might otherwise overlook can affect where you show up in online searches.
- Off-page SEO is content picked up by the search engines from behind-the-scenes things that involve your website coding. You’ll deal with this a bit less doing basic websites.
How to increase your on-site SEO rankings:
- Use keywords that your ideal readers search for. Include these keywords in your headlines, blogs, and other content
- You can determine which keywords to use by jotting down some words and short phrases that come to mind when you imagine what your ideal reader would be searching for
- You can also do some keyword research by searching for a term or keyword and seeing what other searches pop up relating to it. Sound daunting? Let tools like Google Adwords do it for you
- Be sure you’re producing plenty of original content, as SEO engines rank organic content higher
- Include plenty of relevant links to other pages on your site as well as other sites. When you link to other quality sites, SEO engines trust that you, too, provide quality content for users
How to increase your off-site SEO rankings:
- Ask other authors to share or link to your content. If they’re rated highly on SEO rankings, your links will be trusted as well
- Increase your social engagement. If you have a high amount of engagement on the social media pages that link to your site, your ranking will go up
- Become active in other forums like Goodreads and other author discussion forums to increase your web appearance,
Once you have a high-level idea of how to approach increasing your author site traffic, it’s time to dig into the details. Start by optimizing your social media strategy to sell more copies of your book >