Building a Successful Website (pt.3 of 3)

So for a couple of weeks now we have been building a website.  Today will be the last installment of the 3 part series.

 

But Wait There’s More!

Be more than just a book peddler.  Even book stores offer up things outside of printed pages.  Start a blog on your journey into writing, or things that you have learned along the way.

ACNBooks for example: we started off simple, one book to rule them all…

No, simpler, a novel.  That turned into a series, from there a website about the books, with cute little posts giving you an inside look at my daily life, and links to interviews as I did them.  Today ACNBooks is MORE so so much MORE and growing yet.  Expanding into the realm of everything an Indie author, singer, or artist needs.  We’ve turned A Charming Nightmare the book into ACNBooks a meeting place for authors and readers alike.  A sharing place for people to learn as they go, to lean on each other, to bounce ideas off like minds, and to be heard through podcasts. We’re constantly expanding, with so many off shoots and pages planned leaving no stone in the indie world un-turned. Making a completely interactive site for readers and writers alike.

All from one scifi book…

Let Me Tell You Something

Studies show that websites with blogs get up to 68.23% more followers than stale, here I am with nothing to say sites.  It shouldn’t be hard, we all have SOMETHING to say.

Geeks rule on blogging: Don’t obsess over it, thinking you have to write every single day, or every single week.  The more you “ugh I have to write my blog” the harder it’ll become. Here at ACNBooks we have a schedule:

  • Daily-write down ideas.  Whether it’s during your daily Instagram picture or sitting down to lunch an idea will come to you.  Write it down.  One or two words and file it for the “monthly” portion explained below.
  • Every week or every other week-post an entry from the ‘monthly’ catalog.
  • Once a month: Get yourself a cup of coffee, tea, or one of those microbrewery beers you love so much and write what the Geeks calls “a shit ton.”

I spend an entire day drafting blogs.  You think you’ll run out of ideas, but one blog will lead into another which leads into another, and so on and so on.

If your blog ideas need research do it. Sometimes I spend my once a month researching not writing. I save those notes, the incomplete thoughts and the following month I turn them into an entry.

Usually at the end of one day a month I have enough blog entries to last us 5-6 weeks.  From there it can be on anyone’s to-do list to go into our shared drive to the file labeled Blog and pick from a wide variety of topics. Luckily for us, we have a couple of hands writing entries so it’s not all reliant on me.  You can do the same idea once you generate an audience. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is an author or reader take over.  A blog post submitted by a fan, and approved by an ACN team member to go up in place of my thoughts for a week.

  • And as always throughout your entry encourage comments.  Ask what would you or what do you do style questions.  Engage with your readers!  A lot of times a comment discussion will encourage more readers to join in the conversation (I mean let’s face it most of the time we skip right over the article to get to the comments).

 

Where in the World is ACNBooks?

It’s my calendar.  Where will M.K.F. be this weekend?  Indie Beginnings is setting one up to show viewers who their upcoming guests will be.  We share things like:

  • Latest News/Events: interviews, blog mentions, reviews, and other media coverage.
  • Appearances: book readings and signings, speaking engagements, interviews, conferences, conventions. Sometimes we include links to the events, sometime they’re just mentions “Hey Syracuse, M.K.F. will be in town this weekend signing advanced copies of Sister’s Lament!” Your audience will find you from there, because I’m sure you’re posting the event on Social Media.

We also list anything we do that is above and beyond books on this calendar as ACNBooks Gives Back. Example one weekend a year we close the office and go judge robotics for First Lego League.  That week is all about kids and their robots, where to find us and the list of events we’ll be there to judge.

On the News Tonight…

A Press kit or media page should also be on your website, to a degree. I’m currently trying to learn how to create a press kit-soooooo…

If anyone has anything they can put in here for me I’d love to learn from you!

A Little Something Extra

This is my favorite part! Where an author or an artist can be themselves. A behind the scenes so to speak.  We love doing little added bonuses like:

  • Photographs, sketches, illustrations of characters and locations in your book, and other meaningful images. They can be your own or fan drawn.
  • Memes, page shares, story shares, that little something in the T.A.R.D.I.S that makes it bigger on the inside. Show off your fans! Dedicated some time and space to those that have dedicated to you.
  • Podcast-insert shameless plug for Indie Beginning here-
  • Are you holding a contest, game, or giveaway?????
  • My favorite things: from book reviews, to products, and shout outs.  Speaking of this have you checked out www.burialgrounds.coffee yet????
  • Include sneak peeks, additional content that isn’t in your books, main character bios, extra chapters, alternate character point of views, and any other bits that didn’t make the cut. Your readers will love it!
  • ACNBooks Gives Back-yes, we do, and often.  Out staff are busy busy people! They share things like costuming an upcoming high school musical, to donating Catch and Aylin to com (Good Reads. Great Deeds).

A final note from our Geeks/nope…not saying it…not calling you Overlords: Know when to say when.  This is a ton of information.  It can be overwhelming at times, and not all of it works for every single website goal you might have in mind. Too much is never a good thing, all you have to do is make sure you feel like your site represents the very best you.

 

If I forgot anything please feel free to add it to the comments! I’m sure I left about ten thousand things out!  We would also like to see you take on anything listed, what has or has not worked for you?

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