I am a new author and I am considering a website, some are telling me to register my domain name under my book, others are saying to register under my name. Who’s right? And secondly, when do I start the website? And last should I have a blog as well? Which blog?
Thank you, Paul.
All good questions, so before I start answering, please note these are just opinions, my opinions, some will agree with me, some won’t. In the end, you should do what feels right for you. So Let’s get started…
1. Website domain name. I think that the first mistake new artists/authors make is that they register their domain name by book title (or name of their studio). I have said a million times, stop selling your book (art-etc.)- and start selling you. YOU are your brand. My website was tillyrivers.com- it is no longer– as I am no longer writing erotica, but I still own the domain name in case I ever decide to use it again. I suppose if you plan on only ever writing one book, or a series of books -Harry Potter for example, than having a website domain as the title would be good, but even than you should have both- your name and the book title. Think of your shopping habits. You know labels, you know names. Even “no name” is a brand- and people call it by brand. From groceries to clothes- brand wins. You say ‘jeans’ not denim pants, you say Q-Tips not cotton swabs, you say Kleenex, not facial tissue, you say Stephen King not “The Dark Tower Series”- and if you do say ‘The Dark Tower’ series you add, written by Stephen King- or Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series. You say, I’m looking for art by Nick Rose, or, Do you have “The Dark Fairy” by Nick Rose. BRAND first- always! You are your brand.
2.When do I start my website? NOW. There are hundreds of thousands of websites born each day to add to the hundreds of thousands all ready out there. You are not a needle among the haystack- you are a needle among the stack of needles. In a haystack at least you will stand out! You can read about tricks and tips to get you to the top of the web search- doesn’t hurt to try them- but here’s the truth- you need two things, 1. Time, getting traffic takes time- so what if in the beginning you only get a few hits a day?If it is a good website, people will come back AND they will tell their friends. 2. Money. If you have the money you can pay to have your website listed near the top of the pile, if you don’t have the money- no biggie- go back to point one- TIME. Do it now- if you are serious about your career- than get a website and start building your profile. An added bonus- by having that website- it makes it feel more ‘real’ and suddenly you are excited and more motivated.
3. Should you have a blog as well? In my opinion yes- this is the way I see blog verses website. A website is about professionalism, it gives you creditability that you are who you say you are. A website should be professional (without being overly stiff)- a blog on the other hand is ‘fun’ this is the place where you can be sociable, the reader can get to know you- your likes and dislikes- and they can ‘connect’ with you. Using me as the example, while I don’t have the website I do still have the blog- you’re reading it now. I love to write- so I am writing. This is a blog of randomness- fits my personality to a ~T~…~giggles~ get it…T…as in Tilly.
4. Which blog? There are lots of good blogs out there, most are free, such as blogspot, livejournal and wordpress. My favourite is wordpress- but take a look at them all- and go for the one you like. NOTE: stay put! Once you have a blog up and running- stay there- one blog address- remember the needle in the pile of needles for the website? Blogs are even more popular now- especially considering they are free- so pick the blog you like wisely and stay there. And have ONE- I made that error- had a zillion blogs going on- it is confusing and time-consuming to the reader- don’t do it- stick to one! There are lots of tips and tricks about making a great blog as well that you can read about- one thing all the experts seem to agree on is keeping the content going, some say to blog everyday- some say a few times a week. If you ask me- like all things it should be about ‘quality’ write when you feel like it- write when you have time- and write when you have something interesting to say. If you write because you think you should- pressured- your quality of writing will suffer- thats not good for anyone.
There you go- my opinions, hope it helped.