But I Have a Facebook Page, Isn’t That Enough?!
Michael Hyatt, in his book Platform, says that an effective social media strategy that will help build your platform includes: “a home base and embassies.”
What’s your home base? It’s your website (and blog). Hyatt defines it as “a digital property that you own and control. It is where your loyal fans gather.”
Embassies, on the other hand, are other sites where you have a page, such as Facebook or Twitter. But your posts there should be directing people back toward “home base.”
You need an author website so that you have a place to invite your readers, so that they can get to know you, get in touch with you, and invite others to do the same. But did you know that beyond that, your website has the ability to bring in new readers and buyers? There’s a three-step formula to start making money from your author website.
First, bring in traffic to your website, then get email addresses from that web traffic, then start SELLING! Let’s look at this in more detail.
1) Bring in Hoards of Visitors Through Your Blog
Your website is a great place to send friends and existing followers, it’s a great place to sell your books, products and coaching, but one of the greatest things about websites is their ability to bring in a consistent flow of brand-new interested readers every single day, even while you sleep! All of this traffic comes from people searching for your content in Google. Here is a graph of an author client and his results from a brand new website over the first 9 months after his launch.
If you consistently write content on your blog about your expertise, then these results are possible for you too!
And this whole process is easier than ever before! Many experts who used to spend all of their time worrying about SEO and their Google rankings are now just focusing on content instead:
“I stopped trying to game the system from an SEO perspective. All we do now to rank on Google is write blog posts. Lots of them.” — Cullen Richardson, Owner at Rich House Media
If you want to take advantage of your blog and grab thousands of new readers, then you are going to need an author website.
2) Build Your Email List
There is certainly a case to be made for social media, but the truth is that that email is the best way to sell books to your followers (yes really, even in 2019!)
So what does an email list have to do with your website? All that traffic we were talking about coming to your blog via Google, those are the people who are ready and willing to give you their email address in exchange for the perfect gift. Those gifts are what we call “lead magnets,” or for authors “reader magnets.” Here’s some examples of what you can give away to your website visitors in exchange for their email address:
Reader/ Lead Magnets for Fiction Books:
- First novel in a series – give the whole thing away. You will recoup your cost when you get them hooked at the end of your first book and they pay for your subsequent books in the same series.
- Novella/Novelette, prequel or related story, first 1 or 2 chapters – use one of these options if you don’t want to give away a full novel.
Reader/ Lead Magnets for Non-Fiction Books:
- Book Preview – first 1 or 2 chapters
- Checklists, CheatSheets, Templates – all of these are easily consumed by users and tend to do really well for collecting email addresses
Once you start getting regular traffic to your site, you can rotate and test different lead magnets to see which works best.
3) Sell Your Books and Products
You’ve seen how a website can bring in traffic and grow your email list. But the real question is, how does this make you MONEY?
Websites are great vehicles for book and product sales because you have so many opportunities to promote them. You can put up sidebar ads, info at the end of each post, and a dozen other things to make sure your visitors see everything you have to offer.
Once your website starts bringing in email subscriptions, you can send your entire list updates about your new books and products whenever you like. For many authors, their email list becomes the thing that consistently brings in book sales.
What To Do Now?
So now you know why you really need an author website in 2019. If you want to build a website yourself, here is a great guide book on the subject.