Your author website is your home online. However, have you really thought through the strategy of how to set up your website or simply put something together? In this episode I want to share with you 10 pages I think every author should include in their website.
Get the PDF transcript here:
In This Episode, You’ll Learn:
- 10 pages you should include on your author website
- What content you should include on your website
- What you should include in the navbar of your website
Enjoy the podcast! It’s my hope that these episodes are bringing you one step closer to reaching more people with your message.
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Godly Gain Segment:
Each week, I share a Godly Gain segment for entrepreneurs who want to keep Christ at the center of their business.
Today’s scripture: “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14 (NLT)
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You ROCK! I appreciate everyone of my podcast listeners. If you have a specific question for me, submit it here: www.shelleyhitz.com/ask
“Even the weakest light can hold back the darkness.” – Unknown
It’s time to let your light SHINE!
Can’t listen right now? Read the transcript below:
Today I’m rolling out the red carpet and inviting you to join me as I share all about the pages you should have on your author website. My name is Shelley Hitz and I love being able to offer the content to you on this podcast each week, but I have just been crazy busy this last couple months. You may have noticed, especially the last month, a lot of my episodes have been interview episodes. That is just simply because I have been so focused on so many projects.
This last week I published a new book, The 90 Day Writing Journal, so fun. it’s a print book, spiral bound, you can find it on Amazon. I also launched my sales page for coloradowritingretreat.com, I’m so excited about this. I found an amazing chalet in the Rocky Mountains that I’m renting in September. I’m going to have a small group come and get some writing done with me.
Wow, it has been really busy and really crazy. So I’m glad to be back with you on this episode to really teach you and train you on this topic of websites, because I believe you have a God given message to share with the world. The question is, are you ready to shine?
It’s time for this week’s Center Stage Spotlight Training. This is where I share training and strategies to help you grow your business or ministry through writing and publishing books, marketing online, and creating products and services to sell on the back-end. I’m not just about books, but so much more. I’m here to help you connect with your audience in the best way possible. Today’s episode is all about your website, Episode 34 titled 10 Pages You Should Include in Your Author Website. I know this is going to help you come one step closer to bringing your message to people. So, be prepared to shine.
If you’ve been following me for a while you know I talk about the promotion pyramid. It’s actually a training that you can download for free at promotionpyramid.com. In that you will discover three things every author needs to have as part of their marketing plan. One of those is your website, so that’s what I’m going to be talking about today; your author website.
What should your main goal of your author website be? It should be to connect with your readers and build a relationship where they grow to know, like, and trust you. This is the basis of all marketing; building that relationship. Before we get into the strategy of the pages you should include on your website please just breathe. Let’s breathe together.
Because, remember, you don’t have to do this alone, you don’t have to figure out every single technical part of having a website. A lot of you are creatives, which means you excel in the creative, in writing, in publishing, and this part of the technology may overwhelm you. If so, consider outsourcing this. You can hire someone, you can find a volunteer, or even barter services with another author, but don’t skip this part just because it feels overwhelming. Find a way to accomplish your goals.
So what pages should you include? I recommend, first of all, having a self-hosted Word Press website. That is a complete training by itself and I teach that on authoraudienceacademy.com, go check it out if you want to have that training specifically on that and how to set your Word Press up. Once you have your website you can have, on a self-hosted Word Press site, you can have pages and you can have blog posts. You can have two different types of information on your website.
What I want you to think about is when you are creating these static pages—and that’s what I’m talking about today, not blogging or blog posts, I’m talking about static pages on your website—you want to ask yourself this question, what is the main purpose of each page? For example, if you are having someone come to your page for your email list the main purpose is to get them to sign up. You don’t necessarily want to have three different things on that page, you just want to have that one thing.
You want it to be as simple as possible because a common phrase in marketing is, “a confused mind says no.” If somebody comes to your website, they’re navigating around, they get confused, they don’t know where to find things, they can’t find where your book is or how to contact you, they’ll just click away and leave. You want to make it simple, you want to make it easy for them to navigate. I want to talk to you about ten pages you could include on your website.
The first is your homepage, this is the first place they’ll land. shelleyhitz.com, you’ll see it’s actually a page that lists snippets of my blog post right now. Eventually I want to change that and make it into something that’s a little more strategic with calls to action to different areas of my blog and my website, but for right now that’s what I have.
If you look on trainingauthors.com, which is also a website that I own, there’s four different categories on the main page, and it leads you to different areas of the website. Then at the bottom are snippets of the most recent blog posts.
There’s other times when you may just want to have a static page as your landing page and direct someone to where to go on your website. There are so many different ways to do this, but that’s the first page you’ll want to set up.
The second page is your about page. This is probably the most frequented page on your website. You know what I find? I find a lot of authors just kind of throw something together with a bio, and I have to admit I’ve done that for years as well. You’re about page should be engaging, you should tell some stories, you include some things that is about your reader and not just who you are. I spent some significant time this last year and a half really working on my about page. It is a work in progress, I still have a lot to work on and improve in it, but you can see what I’ve done at shelleyhitz.com/about.
3) Book Pages
The third page you should have on your website are pages for each of your books. If you have one book then you would simply have one book page. If you have multiple books, like I do, then you would have multiple book pages. I have so many books, I have over 40 right now. So I use the My Book Table Plugin, it makes it a lot easier to organize and a lot easier for me to add pages to my website. So you can check out how I do it with that plugin at shelleyhitz.com/bookshelf.
On the trainingauthors.com site we just use static pages for the book page. So, if you go to trainingauthors.com/books it will have a list of all of my books for authors and the links lead to a static page where we’ve created stand alone pages for each of our books. This is something you can look at as well, you don’t need a plugin, you don’t need anything fancy, you can just create a static page on your Word Press Blog for your book pages. You can see how that’s done at trainingauthors.com/books.
The fourth page you want on your website is a contact page. It’s really interesting, I do a lot of platform reviews for authors and some authors actually forget to add a contact page.
I recommend, highly, instead of just having your email on that page that you include a contact form. This is to help decrease spam that would eventually come to your email address.
You definitely need a contact page. You can see my contact page at shelleyhitz.com/contact. I have my mailing address, I have a number where meeting organizers and such can call me, I have a contact form, and you can see how I set it up there. You just need a way for people to contact you.
5) Email List Sign Up Page
The fifth page you should include is a landing page for your email list sign up. I personally am using LeadPages now. So, if you go to promotionpyramid.com you’ll see one of my lead pages. Or, if you go to shelleyhitz.com/freetraining you’ll see one of my lead pages.
On trainingauthors.com we had always done it just with a static page on Word Press. So, if you go to trainingauthors.com/newsletter you’ll see it’s still, I haven’t upgraded it yet to a lead page, it’s still a static page on Word Press.
You can do it as simple as that. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. But, it should be a dedicated page to your email list sign up. It should not just be in the side bar of your navigation on your website, it shouldn’t just be a link on the top, it should have its own dedicated page.
The sixth page you should include is the disclaimer or legal page. You can see what I include on my legal page at shelleyhitz.com/legal-information. It is really important in the day and age we live that you have this information about your privacy policies, an FTC statement if you’re an affiliate, an Amazon affiliate statement if you’re an affiliate with Amazon, and so forth. This is so that your bases are covered and you have that information there.
The seventh page that you should include is a resources page. Apart from your about page your resources page will be one of the highest visited pages on your website. This is a great place to include affiliate links for additional income. You can see my resources page for training authors at trainingauthors.com/resources, and we break it up into different sections.
For shelleyhitz.com I’ve actually done something different. When I turned 40 in 2015 I decided to do several posts all about the number 40. So, I did 40+ Tools I Use in My Business Almost Every Day. That has become the page that I’ve really used as my resource page on that site. I may eventually do an official resource page. Whatever you do make sure you have a page where you can compile all the resources and the things that you recommend for your target audience.
The eighth page is a blog landing page, a place where you can send people and say, “here’s the link for my blog.” Like I said, on my Shelleyhitz.com page it’s actually my home page. So, those two pages are actually combined for me on that site. On trainingauthors.com we have a specific landing page, trainingauthors.com/blog, and that’s where you can get all the recent blog posts on that website.
It may be a page that’s also your home page, maybe a separate page, but you want something where you can send people to get your most recent blog post, if you’re a blogger.
The ninth page that you should include is events. Now this is for speaking events, it’s for podcast interviews, you can include where you’ve been a guest blogger, those types of things. You can include a page specifically for that. For shelleyhitz.com I’m using, currently, a theme by Michael Hyatt called the Get Noticed Theme. One of the things I really liked about this theme is it has a built in feature for events. So, if you go to shelleyhitz.com/events you will be able to see all of my events that I have coming up. I don’t really use that page specifically, but what I do use is the widget which puts all those events in my side bar automatically, or auto-magically like I like to say. That’s one thing I like about this particular theme.
You can just do your events on your own, you can create it on a blog post and announce that you’ll be speaking somewhere and put the link to that blog post in your side bar. So, you can do it manually too. This is just the way that I’m doing it currently.
10) Media Page
The tenth page I recommend having is a media page. Even if you’re not planning on doing a ton of speaking or a ton of interviews, you’ll really want to have this page. This page will have a link to your media kit. Your media kit will have your head shot, your bio, things like that that people can use for guest blogging, for interviews, and it’s just really nice to have that information on your site if you ever get into big time media. All that stuff will be ready and it will be there for those looking for it.
I currently have a page on my site, shelleyhitz.com/media-room. You can go to that and feel free to model your page after mine. I start off with my media kit, and that’s just a link to download that, then I have my upcoming appearances. I have press releases, if you’re doing some press releases you can include those on your media page as well to highlight certain things you’re doing. Select media appearances, then I have a place for previous live appearances. Media appearances, like television, radio, and so forth. Then I have a place where I’ve had published articles because I’ve been published on a couple bigger sites. Then I have my online appearances, podcast interviews, videos, and then I just share the podcast host and link to my podcast host. At the end I have two calls to action, “find out more about Shelley Hitz here” and “click here to invite Shelley to speak at your event”.
That’s how I’ve set mine up, you can make yours as simple as you want. It can simply start with the first media appearance you’ve had online, just put a link to that, and then include maybe a little bio at the end so it doesn’t look so bare. I really think every author should have some form of media page because that really is going to be helpful when you start to get some publicity or as you get interviews in the future.
Remember your website should be about your reader, not about you. It should add tons of value, and you want to use a call to action on every page. A call to action is telling them what to do next. “Sign up for my newsletter and get my free training here”, “invite me to speak at your event here”, have a call to action on every page.
I’m so excited that I’m going to be able, this month, in author audience academy to put together a seven day website makeover challenge. This is a challenge you can start at any time, but if this is something you really need, you need some help. It’s not just about the pages, it’s going to be about the overall strategy of your site, your navbar, your email sign up, your content that you’re giving on your website, your navigation, and so, so much more. So I invite you to join us, not only will you get access to this challenge, you’ll get access to all the archived workshops and challenges in the past, all the training, but an amazing community in our Facebook group as well. So come over and join us at authoraudienceacademy.com, and I would love to take you through that challenge this month on your website, and having a website makeover.
Lights, Camera, Action! Are you ready for this weeks take action tip? This week’s take action tip is to go through the ten different pages I’ve given to you. If you want to have them as a resource and download the show notes as a PDF so that you don’t have to take furious notes or listen to this again just go over to authoraudienceacademy.com/34 and you’ll get access to all of this and all of the ten pages so that you can have them whenever you need them.
What I want you to do is I want you to look at those ten pages and decide which ones do you already have, which ones do you need to add, and then which ones do you need to improve? You’ll be listing three different things, the pages you already have, the pages you don’t have at all yet, and then any page that you feel you really need to improve.
Just make that list, that’s your take action tip, and then what you’ll do is you’ll take that list and start writing out your to-do list. What pages do you want to add first, what pages do you want to optimize, and so forth. Prioritize and go from there.
Like I said I would love to help you walk through this step by step in my seven day makeover challenge, and you can join us at authoraudienceacademy.com. I look forward to seeing you inside.
Before we end I want to give you a backstage pass in this weeks Godly Gain segment, which is all about keeping Christ at the center of all we do. In the end it’s not about us, it’s about Him. The scripture I’ve chosen for the Godly Gain segment this week is Hebrews 13:14, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”
That home is Heaven, but I was thinking about this because I often tell authors that your website is your online home. It’s your home base, it’s where you can just tell people to go and they can find what they need to find about you, your books, and your business or your ministry; it’s your online home.
It’s so great to spend time creating and optimizing that online home, but if you’re a Christ follower or a Christian, we have another more permanent home to look forward too, and that’s Heaven. Here on earth, this world, it’s not our permanent home because we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Though we work on these things, we do what we can to reach people with the messages God has given to us to share our gifts with the world. It’s a good reminder sometimes just to simply remember, this is not all there is.
There is so much more when you have confessed Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. If you have questions about what that relationship with Jesus looks like, please feel free to contact me at shelley [at] shelleyhitz.com, I would love to talk with you more about that.
It’s my hope, and my goal, that these episodes are bringing you one step closer to being able to shine and reach more people with your message. I’m excited to see you make it happen. I’m so proud of you, you are a light shining in the darkness and there truly ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no technology that can stop you when you truly decide this is what God has called you to do, this is the message you have to share with the world, and I’m so excited to hear what you do with your author website.
I want to ask you a quick favor, if you have gotten any value from my websites, would you mind just taking 30 seconds and posting your rating and review on iTunes? It lets me know that you’re here, that you’re listening, and it also helps me to reach more people and have even more people find out about this podcast, get the training, and get the equipping and the motivation that they need to take that next step.
I truly appreciate you, and if you do post a review make sure to email me at contact [at] shelleyhitz.com with your screen shot because I will send you my course Procrastination to Publication, a $47 value, for free.
Thank you so much for joining me in this episode and I’ll see you next time
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