I’m frequently asked about setting up a web presence and whether the web is a good way to attract business, irrespective of whether you are touting your writing or selling widgets. My answer is “Yes!” you really do need a web presence if you intend to attract clients, work and raise the level of awareness of your product and most of all, yourself. I came across a web site of a writer, Holly Lisle, who I have never heard of before, but nevertheless I was extremely impressed by what she has set up.
You can see what I mean by visiting her site here – Holly Lisle Official Author Website
Now this is certainly something I am going to aspire to with my own site, Ghosts Lair, as yet still only an apparition in my developer’s office so it is aptly named for the moment. I am not suggesting that you all rush out and do the same, but I felt that Holly’s site has all the elements that Michael and I have both been applauding.
The site is first of all, very clean and well laid out with lots of interesting links and clearly Holly is an established writer with a lot of goodies on offer. The sections are laid out and very easy to navigate, with clearly labelled titles for readers, writers, a shop (we are in the business of selling our work after all), a diary/blog which she updates as she works on a piece and of course, the “About Me” section.
You can also see there on the first page, a literal plethora of download material for use as samples or indeed, just free stuff on offer. In effect, it is a brilliant, understated showcase of her talent, her work and herself.
Hat’s off to Holly.
Unusual for an American 🙂 Michael, my fellow contributor, is too bashful to shout about his own efforts so I’ll plug his site as well as I like the use of video and the dark feel created. At the same time it is still very commercial in getting his work across.
You can see Michael’s site for his novel, Danger to Society and other work here – Mr I Dan Dawg
A common theme you will find with many writers websites is the desire to talk about themselves; not a surprise as though we may spend our time locked away in dark attics, broom cupboards and away from the general population in writers solitude, we are in fact, quiet extroverts. Why bother writing if only to satisfy the desire to express yourself?
Michael is no different, though aside from book signing schedules he also is brave enough to cover his weight loss program with photo’s of himself. Fifteen pounds and still falling – way to go Michael!
Now, before we all rush out to get a website just like Holly or Michael’s, you should be aware of the cost and time that is involved. Nor do you necessarily need a website of your own when you can swing by the blogging sites and set up a a blog that can also double as your online showcase. You can find free blogging made easy, by signing up for Blogger or WordPress and be set up in an hour or so.
The key element to remember is no matter how large your budget, keep the site clean and simple. Website users are a notoriously impatient lot, so be very clear and spell out the sections you are going to offer. Place samples of your work prominently on your home page so they can be obtained easily without potential clients having to sift through the site to find something you have produced.