By Tamy Bond
Many authors see the value of having a website but aren’t sure the cost is worth it. The trick is to find the most cost effective way to ensure your writings have a solid presence in the Internet Marketing arena. There are many ways to accomplish this goal without breaking the bank.
Knowing the need for a website and coming up with the money to develop and maintain one is forefront in an author’s marketing plan. My suggestion is to start small and grow, even use social media to get started.
Use Facebook to begin your Internet adventure! If you are active on Facebook, start with a Facebook business page. This is a simple, quick way to gain an Internet presence. Create a complete user-friendly presence to begin your web marketing plan. Facebook allows for specialized postings, services or writings to be listed, and reviews to be given. Add apps to extend your user interaction.
However, there are a couple issues to consider when using Facebook as your only Internet presence. The first concern is that you own or control nothing, Facebook does. They can decide to take your page down. If you have more than one administrator on your page, they have access to close the page. (I hope Facebook will change this soon!) Another consideration is Facebook’s reach is limited to Facebook users. Facebook business pages are indexed in a Google search, but to view all your content a person must sign into their account. Although there are millions of users, the web is still a free-market without signing up for an account. You have the potential to gain many more visitors by marketing to a broader audience. Facebook is a fantastic place to interact with people, but it’s reach is limited.
Do It Yourself with a starter package from your web host. Many web hosts offer free or little cost beginner packages to get started with a complete website. They have pre-made templates with easy drag and drop elements to help most anyone build a website that looks acceptable. A couple of items to consider are the function of the website and how it is set up for search engine optimization.
Many beginner sites are easy to establish and provide some search engine optimization tools. The key to remember with a beginner site is it really is just the beginning. What you miss by not hiring a professional is the expertise to gain ground in this area. Is your site easy to navigate? Can your users find what they need without clicking around too much? Does your website continue to gain ground in the rankings of search engines? These are all important questions to consider when using a do-it-yourself starter package.
A landing page created by a professional web designer is a great way to get started with a solid Internet presence. They are reasonably priced and a great segway into adding content later. A landing page is a web page that contains all your valuable information from business contact information to services provided to information about your books and more. Your web designer can help you think through the design elements that fit your writings the best. This gives your potential clients a place to find valid information direct from you, the author, and begins the process of Search Engine Optimization.
A landing page can easily be designed to generate traffic for your author needs. If you run ads on Facebook or in your local newspaper, a landing page provides another avenue for people to gather the information needed to make a purchase and adds to your brand credibility. A landing page is a great way to have your business information readily available without a huge investment to you.
When considering how much it costs to have a website, remember to consider the cost of NOT having one. You miss out on potential customers. You miss the opportunity to communicate what your writings have to offer to thousands of people in your area. You miss gaining extra credibility by having an active Internet presence. Is it worth it?