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 Having an out-of-date blog and website is as bad as not having one at all.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.