Establishing an Author Website. Headaches Included.
I established my author marketing plan in the Summer of 2016 to earn the iUniverse Rising Star status, with plans to establish a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, and Amazon profile by Spring of 2017. From those platforms, I've learned many things:
1) Instagram has the most activity, with Twitter in second, and Facebook in third.
2) Twitter has a circle of authors who follow-to-follow each other. It's all a numbers game. Does it mean they'll like your content? I certainly tried to support authors who followed me, but I think the relationship was simply one-way. Either that or they don't actually read the tweet feeds. It seems like there's only a handful out of 500 people that actually do.
3) Posting in IG, Twitter, and FB each day, on a specific schedule, became tiring sometimes and felt like the ROI wasn't worth it. With IG's activity, I wonder if I really need Twitter and FB as an author.
4) Since there was duplication of content across platforms, it never crossed my mind to build a website. "Why would anyone want to visit my site when all of the same information is available on apps that most people have?"
Then it hit me. Should I have included building a website in my marketing plan last year? Did I make a severe mistake by limiting my maximum marketing potential? If so, it's too late and I'll have to take the hit and work extra hard to make up for the loss of potential now that my novel's available for purchase at iUniverse, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.
At this point, consultation was needed. I went straight to a FB author group called BooksGoSocial. To get in, you need to have published a book and available for sale. I posted a discussion on whether or not I needed a website based on the lessons learned above.
Responses: Everyone said "Yes." The disadvantage about social platforms is that your content gets buried in a feed over time, where on your site, it's permanent and you can always recall content to those social platforms whenever. The site should be the source of all of your information that feeds into IG, Twitter, and FaceBook.
OK. I definitely made a boo-boo with my marketing plan. It was time to get to work and build a site ASAP.
I used to build sites straight from HTML way back in the day, like American Online era. But since then HTML has evolved into more complex, more vibrant and functional website design system. I've been eyeing WordPress for a while and was sold with their opening page headline, "WordPress powers 27% of the internet." So I got an account, went Premium to get the Premium Template, and spent an entire weekend with nights and early mornings included to get my site as close to the template as possible, mostly through code. It was a pain in the freaking ass. I don't have time for that. Who does? I mean, there's a sequel to work on, writing contests to enter, independent bookstores to sell my debut novel, and raising kids and trying not to neglect my wife . . . coding is the last thing I want to do with my time.
Then, from a simple YouTube ad prior to watching a motivational, epic, instrumental writing music compilation, Wix shows how easy it is to build a website, straight off the template, in a matter of minutes. It was Word/PowerPoint, in a site builder. I thought, "Damn, I just spent $188 on WordPress when I should've spent it on Wix!" I thought it didn't get better than WordPress. So I looked into Wix and other sites from the blog comparison below:
Turns out, for me, Wix is the best option. So there I was, cancelling my WordPress account to get a refund to fund my Wix account. When I deactivated everything, I deactivated EVERYTHING, including my domain, josenllave.com, that turned out to be the best domain available. josen.com wasn't available. josenryw.com or rywjosen.com (RYW for Raise Your Weapon) just doesn't look right. jllave.com... josenllave.com worked best. I panicked, tried to find a WordPress customer support number only to learn that it doesn't exist and they operate through forums to handle issues. They responded and managed to reverse my domain cancellation. The cancel of the cancel. Now I have to transfer the domain to Wix.
In the meantime, I'm writing this very blog, my first blog, to see how my Wix site will look like with an article. I'm very satisfied with the move, despite the headache. But because of excitement and urgency, I always tend to act before I think. I learn through hardship. If you're reading my blog and made it to the very end of this article, I hope any of the info I provided helps you in your writing career. Thanks for your time.
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