On top of the list is having a homepage.
Not all sites have one, but I personally believe it makes a very good first impression. And first impressions really do matter.
So what should be on your author website's homepage?
There are some must-have elements that visitors expect to see when they stumble upon your page.
1. A brief intro
Write a short and succinct introduction that is straight to the point.
Tell your readers who you are and what you do. Make them want to stick around.
Something like "My name is ____ and I am the NYT bestselling author of ____".
This will ensure the reader understands within seconds what your website is about.
Write in your own unique voice and writing style - this will enable you to have a connection with your site visitors. They will understand the type of person you are.
Then you can go a little bit further and tell your visitor what they can expect to find on your website, for example, your blog page or services you offer.
Make sure to include a photograph of yourself as part of the introduction section. Portraits are most common among writers.
In this section, you should also include a button that links to your "about" page, directing your readers to where they can find more information about you.
2. Your books (or other products and services)
Needless to say, your book/s should appear on your homepage. Let the reader know what you have written and what you are currently writing.
Add the book blurb and links to where the reader can purchase it. The book blurb or synopsis is the first step to persuade your site visitor to grab a copy.
Don't have a book published yet? Tell your reader what your debut novel is about.
Do you offer other service other writing? Some writers offer writing coaching services. Tell your reader what you can offer them and why they should choose you over other writing coaches out there.
3. Reviews and testimonials
A great way to convince site visitors to get a copy of your book or sign up for your services, is to tell them what others are saying about your product.
Add quotes from your best book reviews or best customer testimonials.
These will add to your credibility and convince your reader even more!
4. Sneak peek
If that's not enough to convince them, why not add the first chapter of your book?
This way the reader can find out for himself what the hype is all about!
5. Mailing list sign up form
This one is essential for any business.
There's no better way to create a trusted and long-lasting relationship with your reader.
Your mailing list sign up form can be a pop-up box or you can place it as a sidebar or as the footer of your website.
Having a mailing list is a must for the success of your site. Send your readers weekly or monthly (or whatever suits you best) updates: let them be the first to receive all the exciting news, give them special discounts, let them know what you've been up to, and let them know what you are planning to do for their benefit.
Asking your reader to sign up only for updates is not enough. You must offer something valuable in return. You could offer the first few chapters of your book for free for example, or create a workbook or worksheet to help solve your ideal reader's problem.
Did you know I created a novel writing workbook for my subscribers?
Does your site include a blog page? Add your most recent or featured blog posts to your homepage so your reader gets a glimpse of your blog topics.
If your site does not feature a blog, you should seriously consider adding one. Businesses that blog have more traffic on their website than businesses that don't.
This is simply because readers want a deeper connection with you as a writer, and by blogging you can tell them a wide range of things about you, like all about your favourite books or why you decided to become a writer.
7. News and events
Do you have a book signing coming up? Are you hosting a giveaway? Is your latest book about to release?
Let all this information appear on your homepage! Wow your visitors and let them know what a serious goal digger you are by letting them know everything you're up to on your author journey.
8. Social media links
Add social media icons to your homepage; you can place them in the header, footer, or sidebar.
This will enable you to gather social media followers straight from your website!
Plus, it makes it easy for your site visitors to share your content across different platforms, thus promoting you.
9. Multimedia and extras (optional)
My homepage features a link to my Facebook group "The Write Community" and my Instagram account. Other writers feature some of their Youtube videos or a link to their podcast. Feel free to add anything relevant you think your site visitors will enjoy.
All this may seem like a lot of stuff to add to your homepage, but just take it one step at a time.
This will help you keep track of your work so nothing is left out.
Let me know in the comments below if there's anything I left out.
And don't forget to share this post if you found it helpful.
Join The Write Space Forum to start your own conversation if you need any sort of advice or have your own suggestions.
You can also join my Facebook group, The Write Community, and ask over there.