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The question usually revolves around whether or not a writer needs a website. The answer is a resounding yes! In my opinion, every writer - no matter the genre they write in, or the type of writing they undertake should have a website. This is your window to the world, your showcase if you like, and believe it or n ot, many editors check writer?s websites before deciding whether or not to hire them for a job. I sold my first piece of fiction this way. I?d pitched a non-fiction article. The editor went to my website to check me out , saw that I wrote fiction, and chose one of the stories I had listed. All I had listed there was a title and a short rundown of the story. It was one of a series of stories, and they caught her interest for some reason. The result was publication in the preview? (or first) edition of Arabella Romance Magazine. Payment? $500 for under 4,000 words. If I didn?t have a website, the editor couldn?t have visited. Nor would I have b een published in that spectacular and very popular magazine. Little did I know at the time, but being published in Arabella Romance Magazine literally catapulted my writing career. And all because an editor had the foresight to visit my website. At that point I had a very primitive website with Tripod - a free webhost. If yo u knew html, then great. If not, templates were your only option being such a du nce at this stuff, it took me ages to figure them out. After a while it got easi er, but the reality was I had a website that thousands of other people also had. Not to mention it was covered in advertising that I had no control over. Looking back, my website was horrible. If I?d been that editor, I would have cli cked away immediately. Seriously. Do I Need a Website? www.writer2writer.com Page 3 It was such an amateurish attempt at a website, that it makes me wonder how I ev er got published. Anywhere. It took awhile, two years at least, but I finally realised I desperately needed a professional website something that would showcase my work, while not showing me up as an amateur. I secured *paid hosting, which meant no more inappropriate advertising to chase my visitors away, and was also the start of total control of my content and the way the site looked. Problem was, I had no idea how to create a website without using templates. My s on offered to create the site for me in Dreamweaver but it meant I was held host age to his availability. Not to mention his preference for my site. It worked for a while, until I because so frustrated that I had to find another option. *You can get hosting from this company for as low as US$4-95/month, which is ext remely cheap. (Correct at time of writing) Do I Need a Website? www.writer2writer.com Page 4 But I Don t Know HTML! I didn?t either, still don?t. I was a technophobe. Okay, I still am, but at least now I?m a technophobe with a bit of knowledge. I have taught myself some basic html, but only enough to make minor changes such as color, font size, opening in a new window, centering text, etc. I have now created dozens of websites. In the beginning I used Front Page. Alas that wonderful software is no longer av ailable. It was replaced with Expression Web, which is incredibly complicated, despite th e fact it was advertised as being as easy as Front Page, but with a few changes. Yeah right. I bought two copies one for me, one for hubby. Total: around $400.
which lasts forever. That?s not to say I won?t use his other services down the track. go to http://www. Click here to check out this easy to use software. If I had done that first (duh!) it would have been soooo much easier to learn. ? List of your books (and/or articles etc) also include purchase details. *If you don?t have the software to create pdf documents. and most importantly add a link to the purchase page. <sigh> Then someone told me about Xsite Pro Web Design Software. Within three hours of doing the tutorial. In my opinion.) ? Author bio page this shouldn?t be terribly personal. because I mostly likely will. and we can?t find classes anywhere here in Melbourne. To begin with I fumbled a bit for several hours . My preference is for *pdf rather than adding text on a webpage. Do I Need a Website? www.writer2writer.writer2writer. list any reviews you want highlighted. the fact that you are a landscape gardener makes you qual ified to write a book about landscape gardening. Within that pdf. his stuff isn?t good. rather than use something that can be found elsewhere. I wish I?d had it from the start. which is what sets your site apart from all the others on the internet.com and check out the freebies page I have a package there with a number of ways to produce pdf documents. and much more. please consider adding an excerpt fo r your book. Or alte rnatively. For Fiction Writers: ? Index (or Home) page this is where you add your welcome message.. and does a fabulous job. RSS.Neither of us can use it. He is very cheap compared to most designers. I had a website up and running on the internet. but t he main services I use are logos and headers. You can read my review of Xsi te Pro Web Design Software here: http://writer2writer. but this book has loa ds of tricks and tips that don?t come in the software manual. It?s okay to say you?re m arried with children or grandchildren etc. Making Your Website Unique Although the software will create your website. I found an ebook that helps new users of Xsite P ro. go to http ://www.com Page 6 Content For Your Website It?s time to think about your content.) There are several other services available (such as business card design). planning. This way anyone interested in buying is not searching around for details. to how secure any downloads you might add. and any awards you may have won. Do I Need a Website? www. o Don?t include information such as the fact you?ve just divorced or you have si x children and your partner has left you in the lurch. It?s brilliant I wouldn?t use him otherwise. (Select other services? for headers. o Whether you write fiction or non-fiction. Following is a list of pages I believe ar e absolutely essential on your website. Xsite Pro comes with free blank headers and header designing software.cutepdfwriter. It?s not a complicated piece of software by any means.com/blog/2009/04/20/your-author-website/ It?s still just as relevant as when I wrote the review in April 2009. You can ch eck him out here.com and grab the free version. Seriously. and over the last 4-6 months. so we still can?t use it two years down the track. he?s create d a ton of headers (and logos) for me.writer2writer.but then I decided to undertak e the tutorial that comes with the software. Don?t think for even a moment that because he?s cheaper than the other designers out there. but don?t turn your bio into a vent . I suggest you always have a unique header. lis t your publication credits. I have a designer who does my headers. it won?t create your unique head er.com Page 5 Way after I?d bought Xsite Pro. Tha t?s because people can download a pdf and read it anytime they like. It talks about getting traffic. XSP CheatSheet is well worth the small investment. but it?s VERY basic. It?s really for business details. For instance. If you?re a fiction writer.
I suggest you have additio nal pages to showcase your work. the easier it is for people to find you. Using Titles Give every page a title this will help the search engines find you.com Page 7 ? Awards: if you?ve won any awards. then include t he subscription details on your website. which is inclu ded on my site. ? FAQ?s always include an FAQ page (frequently asked questions). Your website editor will give you the option to title each page as you create th em. The more backlinks you get . (Make sure they add your link as well . In this instance you?ll need: ? Introduction page talk briefly about your services and how you can help client s ? List the various services you provide. and if appropriate.writer2writer. (You can set up a free Yahoo account fo r this purpose. You might be surprised about how ma ny people contact me this way. so this gives you credibility. Wherever possible. then add those details here. I also include my mobile (cell phone) details. But don?t risk getting spam by adding a live? e mail address.writer2writer. either of projects you ?ve undertaken in the past. or bundle similar services together. don?t use home page? for your home page title. Space it out so it doesn?t link. This will save you loads of time answering questions from potential clients ? For copywriters. make sure you mention them on your website. or simply remove the link. If not. seminars etc. add your details. or mock-ups that will give potential clients an idea of your skills.com Page 8 o Skype if you have Skype. It?s supposed to help with elim inating spam. but if y ou?re doing copywriting. add your email using (at) instead of the @ symbol. Altern atively. approximate costs. ? Relevant links arrange link swaps with other authors. Make sure you include: o Address This is law under FTC rules you MUST provide a contact address. Make sure you add the disclaimer that prices may change depending on the project . I don? t like giving out my physical address. so have a post office box. When someone types romantic suspense or romantic suspense author or even Cheryl Wrigh t into Google or Yahoo etc. use strong descriptions in the title. ? Services if you present workshops. because it shows you know your stuff. Keep Them Coming Back You will want your visitors to keep coming back. and the quickest and easiest wa . o Contact form I have a contact form on my site.) For Copywriters and Non-fiction Writers The above sections are really all you need if you are a fiction writer. or are selling to magazines.or soapbox. It could turn a browser into a buyer. remove theirs. ? Samples always include a page with an array of samples. Awards are not handed out willy-nilly. it can be quite helpful to potential clients if you outline y our procedure from the point of a quote request. o Email this really is mandatory. Go for something lik e Romantic Suspense Author Cheryl Wright .) Do I Need a Website? www. Make sure you include both local and international numbers. Do I Need a Website? www. your site should come up in the listings. For instance. ? Newsletter sign up page. You can also add a page for eac h service if you feel so inclined. but those suckers are getting sneaky. Awards also show you know your stuff. ? Contact this is extremely important. If you have a reader (fan) newsletter. o Phone number loads of people prefer to talk instead of using email. o Registration details if you?re a registered business. include that information on the contact page.
Don?t make yourself look like an idiot to your followers. if you are targeting fiction readers. In most instances they will put people off you and your books.com Page 11 Because I don t know enough about to help you with Twitter. It doesn?t have to be long and rambling. Do I Need a Website? www. or add to a wall?. then the content of your welcome message must be relevant to the fishermen that will visit the site. there?s a widget you can get the html for. No matter. blah. It s aimed at marketers and small businesses. What I wanted to tell you was that if you join Twitter (which is way better than the other two in my opinion). In January a friend coerced me into joining Facebook. be professio nal. and place it on your website.writer2writer. blah. and also joined LinkedIn a loooong time ago which I still haven?t figured out. Make sure the content of your message is applicable to your site visitors.y (that I?ve found) is to update the welcome message? on the first page of your w ebsite each month. anything th at will keep your visitors coming back for more. time for bed . and can be as short as a couple of paragraphs if you like. Are these interesting? No. He has written a report about this subject that you may find helpful. For i nstance. Be smart. Anything that will be interesting for your reader. but darned if I can unders tand how it works or whether I?m going to get any exposure outside my group of fr iends?. it will work well for you. released a new book. That way you can get more followers. and your non-fiction book is targeted to t hat readership. They may help you get organic? traffic to your website.com . competitions you?ve won. I hate that I have to keep up with the Joneses? and therefore have to post. If you are targeting (say) fishermen. Get into a routine for this. tweet .e. The simple fact is writers who update their sites regularly get more visitors th an writers who don?t. just click here to download. or I?ve had a book contracted. I joined Twitter sometime in 2009 (I think it could have been earlier). discuss ecological impact on fishing. Will they help sell books? Very unlikely. There is no charge for this excellent report.com Page 10 Social Networking Social networking sites I?ve tried to avoid them. blah. I need a break . and show your best side. at the start of every month update yo ur welcome message. Updating your site regularly will also keep your website high in the search engi nes.writer2writer. The important thing is for your visitors to know that this is (or will be) your habit. Do I Need a Website? www. and since as a writer you?re also a small bu siness.com Page 9 Talk about a new tip or trick. but eventually gave in. found a good resource for writers etc. For instance.writer2writer. which love updated and changing content. Do I Need a Website? www. A word of warning: don?t be one of those people who tweets or posts things like I ?m making dinner now .writer2writer. new books released. I asked my friend Ke vin Riley. bestselling book etc. I only post when I have something to say. your message should relate to you r fiction writing i. Things like when a newsletter is onlin e. No idea about Facebook I?ve only just worked out how to find my ID. ? The point of all this is you can post your website URL in your profile at these places. Do I Need a Website? www. Will they help keep an audience enthralled? Absolutely not.
definitely look at Xsite Pro. If you don?t have the skills to create a website yourself. you do if you know what I mean.Page 12 Final Thoughts If you want to sell your writing skills (fiction and/or non-fiction) you absolut ely need a website. It all adds up. ? It makes my life sooo much easier. I have writing friends who pay someone to create. especially at the average rate of around $60/hour . Even when you don t have the skills. . and want a budget pri ced editor. and then maintain their websit es each month.
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