In November 2010 I quit my day job and officially joined the ranks of the full-time writers.
Along with writing for my websites, I’m focusing on my fiction writing too. I’m working on a scifi romance novel right now and plan to release it as an ebook as soon as it’s done. As mentioned in The Writer’s Roadmap (get your copy in the sidebar), the time to start your marketing efforts is before you are published.
That means I need to re-activate my personal website as it will be my “writing” home. When I set up the site I thought I’d just use it for sharing personal insights into the world, not as a home base for my writing career, so it needs a lot of work.
The first thing needed? A thorough evaluation of the existing site.
Positives about the site:
I have one. It’s my own domain and it’s self-hosted, so I control the look, feel and content.
The site is clean-no ads or extraneous busyness to distract visitors.
Does my site highlight that I’m a writer?
Frankly, no, it didn’t. The “Hello, I’m Cheryl” paragraph on the front page talked about me as a person, but didn’t mention writing.
There were no posts about writing.
My tagline didn’t mention that I’m a writer.
How I fixed:
I modified my “Hello, I’m Cheryl” paragraph and took out all the cutesy but vague description and stated plainly that I’m a reader and a writer.
I started posting about being a writer. I plan to post a couple of times a week (maybe more) on how my writing is going.
I updated my tagline to specifically say that I’m a writer. I’m still playing with it, trying to get the right tag for me.
Does my site look professional (for me and my genre)?
I write scifi, fantasy, and romance. My site didn’t reflect any of these in the colors or the design.
There was no picture of me anywhere on the site.
There was no About Me page that gives a longer bio.
How I fixed:
I updated the colors to a deep purple and a silvery gray. It feels suitably science fiction/fantasy now.
I added a small pic of me into the “Hello, I’m Cheryl” box.
I haven’t added the About Me page yet, but that’s next on my list.
Is the site current and relevant?
Once again, fail.
I hadn’t posted anything since October 2009. Two whole posts on the site!
There were no links to my social media profiles around the web.
How I fixed:
I’ve added a couple more posts and plan to update it a couple times a week.
I added a link to my Twitter account in the sidebar. I’ll add more as I re-activate my other social media profiles. (Don’t link to profiles that are dead. If you don’t use it, keep it off your site.)
This is a start, but of course, that’s not all that needs to be done.
Next steps on my marketing plan
Create an About Me page with an actual bio and a picture.
Add contact info to the site.
Post some writing examples or short stories on my site to give visitors an idea of my writing style.
Re-activate my other social media profiles and list them on the website.
Stay tuned for future updates!
Need help starting your own marketing plan? Get your copy of The Writer’s Roadmap over there in the sidebar.