This month-long series of blog posts will explain author websites and offer tips and writing strategies for an effective author website. It alternates between a day of technical information and a day of writing content. By the end of the month, you should have a basic author website up and functioning. The Table of Contents lists the topics, but individual posts will not go live until the date listed. The Author Website Resource Page offers links to tools, services, software and more.
Write 5 New Posts!
It’s a writing day.
For the first time, we’re doing to work with the WordPress Posts. Remember, WordPress Pages are like a website; WordPress Posts are the blog pages in reverse chronological order. The blog posts are more fleeting, while the pages are more long term. Posts are perfect for announcing information and creating some excitement; the pages are best for the data that always needs to be there in the background. Sometimes, you’ll want to announce something on your blog, but then also put it on a page.
(Note: It’s tempting to put something on the front page of your site and think that everyone will see it. Not so. Any page or post of your site could be the entry point for a reader because they are all indexed in a search engine.
You’re going to blog about something.
Have you decided on a strategy for blogging? Will you mention names, be the first to comment on news, inform or teach or something else? Whatever your strategy, you can always fall back on the same Codex report.
List five titles of blog posts for each category; and let’s call this the Codex strategy.:
Exclusive unpublished writing: ______________________
Author Schedules: ________________________________
Author’s Literary Tastes:___________________________
Insider Information: _______________________________
Regular Contact: __________________________________
Contests, puzzles, teacher’s guides, book club discussion guides, puzzles, playlists, coloring pages, etc.__________________________________
List five titles of blog posts that follow the strategy you want to follow. For example, if it’s a Names Strategy, who can you interview or feature? What conference can you discuss? If your strategy is News, then list five timely items.
It’s OK to combine the Codex strategy and another strategy. The key is to get multiple ideas.
Now, write. Each post should have 250-2000 words.
Pillar Posts: Sticky and Explosive
As you’re writing, be on the lookout for Pillar Posts. These are long, in-depth articles, or articles that contain timeless information. You need pillar posts because these are the ones that will continually pull in traffic to your site. They are Sticky (they keep pulling in traffic) and often, they get tons of traffic right away (Explosive). And, they are usually specific to you, no one else could have written this article. Don’t stress out over this right now, but keep it in the back of your mind as you troll for ideas. What would bring visitors back to your site over and over?
Here’s some of the posts on Fiction Notes that continually pull in traffic. How do I know this? Because I have statistic programs on the site.
- 12 Ways to Start a Novel
- Picture Book Standards: 32 Pages
- 30 Days to a Stronger picture Book
- 30 Days to a Stronger Novel
- 29 Plot Templates
- 9 Traits of Sympathetic Characters
- Character Checklist
- 15 Days to a Stronger Character
- Marketing with Book Trailers
- Opening Chapters
Publishing your first posts
You can publish immediately, or you can schedule the posts for a future date. By now, you’ve forgotten, so I’ll remind you: we set the blog/website to NO-Indexing by search engines. You can change this at any time, but you may want to wait until you’ve got everything set up. If you do want to change it, go to Settings/Reading and UnCheck the box that says, “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” As soon as you do that, search engines will start looking over your site. Be sure you’re ready! We just have another week of writing posts and tweaking technical stuff, so be patient, if you can. Just write and schedule the posts and plan for a Big Launch of your site.