How to Build a Website: A Quickstart Guide for Authors

You’ve spent so much time pouring into your writing. Building stories, editing, reading over, and perfecting all those little details is no easy task. So how do you take all that hard work and turn it into a product?

First step: Build a website. It takes a little more than just a link to a landing page. There is branding, design, and a bit of a narrative you want your audience to follow.

A website is like having an online home where your audience gets to come, sit on the couch, and learn all about your product.

I know that can sound a little overwhelming so let’s break it down.

Design Your Website

You’ve seen these little categories before. There is usually a little bar at the top of a website and lists the different pages you can go, “about,” “home,” “contact,” and maybe even “store.”

Some of these are necessary for any website and some will be a bit more personal to your design.

Let’s talk about those must haves.

Domain Name

how to build a website

You want your website’s name to effectively communicate your product. If your product is directly tied to you as a person, then maybe your domain name is just your name!

If you don’t want to use your name then make sure it ties back to your product.

For example, you know those fun little videos of people making food that last like 10 seconds? Their name: Tastemade. Concise, efficient, communicative and easy to remember.

Choose a domain name that feels natural and can represent your brand. It can be easy to overthink this, but try to trust your gut!

Home

Your home page is the first impression your audience is going to get. Let your personality really shine through and make a statement about your brand.

This page is all about drawing attention and hooking your audience, so make it all about them. This is crucial.

About

This is a great place to pull back the curtain a bit and show your audience who you are.

After you have presented a brand that people can connect with, they will often want to know the story behind it. The ‘about’ page is where you get to share that story.

Contact

how to build a website

This is where the magic happens. The contact page is hopefully where everyone will enter their email address and opt-in to receive promotions, updates, and special offers.

BUT make sure you don’t just post a signup box and leave it there. Make your contact page a call to action.

They have viewed your brand, read your story, and now there needs to be that final call to get them on your team.

It usually helps to have a lead magnet — a valuable piece of information, like a PDF or a video — that you give your visitors in exchange for their email address.

Think of it like a party favor. Your website is the party and your lead magnet is a little gift that says “thank you for coming, here’s a little slice of the party to take home!”

Wouldn’t you want to go back to that party? I sure would!

Give Your Work a Home

This website is a little home where your writing gets to live. You’re inviting people into your writing’s home for a fun get together.

The design, layout, and experience is all about creating a welcoming environment.

So, go create that sweet little home, make a big ole guest list, and enjoy the party.

Ready to unlock your writing potential? Take this quiz for personalized writing advice from a best-selling author.

3 Steps to Drive Traffic to Your Author Website: Click “Next Page” below!

Lockerdome