Why Writers Need Websites

Many writers spend more time on social media than blogging (including me) and that’s too bad. A website/blog is an opportunity to show off your writing and engage with clients and readers in a way that is often not possible on social media. I sat down and came up with 10 reasons why writers should have an active website/blog.

1. You want to look professional

You need to start a website before you are published. Whether you’re querying a manuscript or trying to find freelance work, agents, publishers, agents will want to check you out. The first place they will go to is a website/blog. There you can have a proper bio, testimonials, etc. Also, having a sharp looking website suggests that you are up-to-date with technology. The earlier you set up a website, the better it will be at promoting you as a writer.

2. Websites help readers find you and your books

It’s great that you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, but social media is not a substitute for a website. It’s your ultimate marketing tool, yet many writers spend much more of their time on social media than on their website. When potential readers and clients Google you, then expect to find your website. They will eventually check your social media accounts but social media cannot possible tell them as much about you as a proper website.

3. Websites with blogs demonstrate your writing ability

Website hosting platforms like WordPress (which is what I use) allow you to incorporate a blog into your website. This is a great opportunity to post short stories, excerpts from books, video clips, etc. Use it to market yourself. But you need to update your site on a regular basis. Having an out-of-date blog and website is as bad as not having one at all.

4. Websites with blogs keep you writing

It takes me about 2 years to get a book written and published. In between I want to keep readers and followers engaged. It takes just hours or several days to write a blog post. I like being able to put aside my manuscript and work on something different like a blog post or newsletter article. Even my newsletter links people back to my website.

5. Websites can assist in producing additional income

If you have a side gig as an editor, writing coach, or cover designer, your website/blog is the platform for finding clients. People looking at your books on your site might be interested in your other services and vice versa.

6. Websites can be used to make special announcements

Are you planning a book launch? How about a book signing appearance? Are you planning on running a sale? You should be using your website to promote these events. You should be using your website/blog as your writing ”home base.” But keep in mind, your website can’t be too self-serving. You need to make sure you have content that will bring people back to your site.

7. Website can be used to facilitate networking

As a writer, you need to be out there meeting and connecting with people whether it’s readers, clients, industry professionals, or other writers. Since many writers are introverts, networking online is often much more in their comfort zone. Your website/blog can facilitate that process.

8. Website should be part of your marketing strategy

Whether you go the traditional publishing route or decide to self publish, you’ll be doing marketing. Even large publishers expect you to do a lot of your own marketing and will want to see that you have an online presence. It’s even more important that you have an online presence should you choose to self publish. Readers need to be able to connect with you.

9. Websites assist in developing an email list

When it’s time to get word out that you’ve published a new book, it really helps if you have a mechanism to get the word out to potential readers. So, using your website to build an email list of people interested in your work is important. It doesn’t matter if you have a static website or a blog with regular posts, include a form to collect emails of people who want to stay connected to you. It helps to provide something in return for signing up. I provide a free ebook.

10. A blog on your website will help your search rankings

If you maintain a website and blog that is updated regularly, search results will place you higher. Google algorithms rank websites with lots of content and regularly updates higher. That’s important if you are a freelance writer or editor. If people use editor or freelance writer as their keyword search, you want you website to appear as high as possible.

2 thoughts on “Why Writers Need Websites

  1. Matt Berger says:

    I could not agree more with what you wrote here. My website is the center of my professional existence, period. Twitter is simply where I direct people BACK to my website…and futz around with hashtags of ambiguous utility; I avoid Facebook, Instagram and TikTok like the societal plagues they are.

    When I started Just Bear With Me (https://justbearwithme.blog/) in December 2016, I still thought of myself as a data analyst trying to put my newly-minted epidemiology PhD to good use. Circumstances rapidly intervened, however, and in a July 6, 2017 essay (Writers Write, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Career Changes), I declared myself a capital-W Writer; that I have made next to nothing from my writing (yet) is beside the point.

    But having already created my site, I forced myself – I mean, I was now able – to do all the writing I had always planned to do, someday. “Someday” had arrived. And the more I wrote, the easier it became, and the better I became. Writing, like any skill, requires constant practice – even if all you do on any given day is craft jwell-written, thought-provoking comments. 😉

    A few months ago, I completely revamped Just Bear With Me, and I think it looks sensational (I am curious what all of you think). It is not a blog in any traditional sense, but neither is it a static website; “essay repository” comes closest. What it is, though, is 100% “Matt Berger.”

    In short – ABSOLUTELY, all professional writers need a devoted website. Maybe even more than one – I am trying to decide if it is time to separate “Interrogating Memory” from “Just Bear With Me.”

    OK, back to my second book…or is it my third? Bradley Street in New London, CT in 1907 awaits.

    Like

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