On the off chance you’ve found this page without reading my previous posts, you really should start at the beginning with: How I made $8,000 in only 3 months publishing my first book.
If you’ve already purchased a web domain and set up your author website, feel free to skip this post and move straight to: My $8k Journey – Author Networking.
Digital presence is important as an author. One of the first things you need is a good author website.
I almost skipped writing this article. As the saying goes, I didn’t want to beat a dead horse. There’s a plethora of other articles out there to help you create your author website.
However, I’ve found many of these sites to be overly technical or more focused on content than “how-to.” My goal is to give you a step-by-step walkthrough, telling you exactly where to go and what buttons to push. I’ll skip the technical jargon.
Building your website
Step 1: Get Started
Disclaimer: If you plan to sell books directly from your website (not links to Amazon, I mean an actual e-commerce store), you’ll want to read about setting up a site like that from others more knowledgeable than I. They have more useful information in that sphere.
For everyone else, a free website is fine for now. Go to http://www.wordpress.com. Choose what plan is best for you. I recommend at least the Personal plan, but you can use free if you aren’t ready for that commitment yet.
Just be aware that the free plan gives you a “yourname.wordpress.com” site instead of your own domain, which we’ll talk about shortly.
Pick your plan and you’ll be taken to a screen asking what type of site you want. Fill out the information as best you can and hit Continue.
Next, you’ll choose a domain.
Step 2: Pick a Domain
At this point, you’ll come to a screen to select a domain for your author website. That’s your web address. Mine is www.tlbranson.com. I suggest picking your name exactly as it appears on your books. If you can’t get that, it’s okay to add author or books to the end.
As I said in the previous post, if you’re doing this before you’re published, now is a good time to consider how you want your name to appear.
Ideally, you want to purchase the .com address. They’re cheap. Really cheap. Try around $15 for a whole year. And if since you’re just setting up your blog, WordPress will give you the domain name for free for your first year.
If you want to keep it free and simple, you’ll need to settle for the yourname.wordpress.com site. I’m using Luka Callum, which is a character from my book, Soul Render.
If you haven’t already been prompted to do so, you’ll need to signup for a WordPress account. Enter your email and create a password.
Step 3: Edit Your Site
Congratulations! Your author website is set up. Wasn’t that easy? Now you have to edit it. Right now, it’s just a generic template with all the filler words and pictures.
Editing is easy, too. Click “My Sites” in the top left, then find “Themes” and select “Customize.” From here, you just need to play around. When you make an edit, it will refresh on the screen to the right so you can see the changes visually.
I started by changing the name of the page from Site Title to Luka Callum. You can create a tagline if you like. “Author of Your Book Title Here.” My theme has a logo option, and you can change that, too.
The customization screen also allows you to edit the colors, the fonts, the background, header images, etc.
To actually change the text on the pages, we need to navigate back to the main menu. Before you exit out of the theme customization screen, be sure to click “Save & Publish” or all the changes you made won’t “go live” on your site.
Click the “X” in the top left and then click “My Sites” again. This time, click on “Pages.” All of the default pages will appear. Click on edit and you can edit the text directly.
The same goes for Blog Posts. You’ll select the Blog Posts option instead of Pages. Pages are not the same as Blog Posts. Pages are static, meaning they always stay the same. Blog Posts will post to the “Blog” page of your website and the top post will always be the most recent. This is called a “dynamic” page because it’s always changing.
That’s it! You now have a fully functional author website in 3 easy steps.
Next up: Part 4 of My $8k Journey – Your Author Website Content
Or you can skip past all website related posts and go straight to Part 5: My $8k Journey – Author Networking.