A few weeks back I went to the Willamette Writer's Conference. This time around (having learned from hard experience how important this is) I attended a slew of marketing classes. And I learned a lot. Whether I ever actually use what I learned in a meaningful way, or not, is still up for debate.
As it turns out, all I want to do is write books. Some things never change.
But one of the pieces of advice that made a lot of sense to me was about the author website. I went to a class taught by author William Hertling. And then I went to another class taught by William Hertling. He seemed to know what he was talking about and has sales to back up his claims. Some of the information he presented is difficult for me and I haven't got my mind around it yet, but I'm chipping away at some tasks.
One of the first things I did after I got home was to make some changes to my own website. It's not perfect, but it's better.
Want to try the challenge on your own website? Open it up and look to see if the following five things are readily visible. You get FIVE SECONDS to decide:
1. Is your site easily identified as the "right place?"
2. Are there easily discoverable links to buy your books?
3. Is there unusual or valuable content?
4. Is there a visible mailing list sign up?
5. Is there a clear bio/about me section?
6. Make sure you include contact information.
Most new visitors to your site will give it about that five seconds before deciding whether to hang around for a bit or click away.
And that, my friends, is it. You can check out William Hertling's site here.