10 Pitfalls to Avoid for Your Author Website

Many authors fall prey to several no-nos that prevent their site from being utilized to its maximum promotional potential.

Avoid these 10 blunders that bring your Web traffic to a screeching halt:

  1. www.WhereInTheWorld.com/~AnnoyingName.html
    Do you remember many addresses like this one? How will your visitors? If you’re serious about building a Web site for fans to learn more about you, your work and even have the ability to purchase your books right on your site, then you should invest in your own domain name (www.WhateverYouWant.com).

It’s best to reserve your own name so your fans can find you easier. With everyone moving to the Web, though, you may have to deviate from your moniker. Come up with something catchy your visitors can remember. Maybe your first book’s title, your last name or the name of one of your characters.

Reserving your domain name is very inexpensive – especially when you consider the additional traffic you’ll gain because your visitors can actually remember your Web address.

  1. Stale Information
    Keep your visitors up-to-date. Information is so readily available on the Net. If you have dated info on your site, your fans are going to lose interest.

Even big name authors have let this one slide. It looks very unprofessional and leaves fans wondering why the author’s not promoting his/her new book on their site.

  1. Various Fonts & Sizes
    Many Web sites look like a three-year-old designed them because the fonts and sizes are so scattered. All that’s missing is a pink crayon scribble across the page.

Stick to an Arial or Times New Roman font that looks like it’s 10 to 12 points. HTML code is tricky and you can’t just tell the Web page to make your font a size “10.” If you can, get someone to design your Web page and tell them exactly what you want.

  1. Scrolllllllllllllling
    If your visitors have to scroll mile after mile down your Web page, then they’re not going to get very far before they get off your highway. The same goes for Web sites that make you scroll sideways to read the rest of a sentence.

People like things simple. If you have a large amount of content you want included in your Web page, break it up over several pages. Make it easy on your visitors or they won’t come back, plain and simple.

  1. Content Value
    Are you providing visitors with a chance to walk away with some valuable information from your site. Or are you merely writing to fill a page?

Don’t go on and on and on about why your visitors should buy your new book. Promotional hype will only get you so far with your fan base. And then they’ll move on to their next favorite author.

Give your visitors a unique experience when they visit your site. You might write an article about your publishing experience. Your inspiration behind your new book. Even your own writing habits will be interesting to your Web site’s visitors.