Jun. 2022 | Marketing

Why Does an Author Need a Website?

Even though we live in the age of social media, it is still important for authors to maintain a website as their home base.

The very first thing I did after taking the oath to make writing my career, was purchase my domain name. It was a gigantic step, an official declaration of my intentions to work toward making my dream a reality. I officially owned (technically, rented) a piece of the Internet. Cat videos beware. My website was coming, and it was to be fantastic.

And then, nothing.

For weeks I looked at my pathetic webpage (a stark white background with the words “Coming Soon“ in a bland Times Roman font) with contempt and frustration. If this was to be my official declaration to the writing community, it was off to a dreadful start. I was creatively baffled.

As a web designer, I’ve designed plenty of websites for people and businesses. I had a knack for helping my clients whittle down their ideas into a cohesive, well-designed website that easily conveyed their message. However; when the time came to develop my author website, I drew a blank.

What can an unpublished, unknown writer do with a website?

I narrowed it down to two options:

  1. Create an author website (author of zero books?!)
  2. Start a blog (yeah, I could do this)

With no published work to my name, developing an author site didn’t seem right. On the other hand, a blog site would help establish my name and provide material for others to read and share. So, in February 2017, I launched my blog website where I-planned to-document the trials and tribulations of being a first-time writer.

Then came the hard part(s) of having a website:

  • Content (I need fresh ideas for posts)
  • Voice (and they all need to sound the same)
  • Social media (and I have to be on social media, too)
  • Frequency (am I bothering people too much)

And, to add to it all

  • Isolation (is anyone even reading this? AKA, why bother?)

So Why Does an Author Need a Website?

When I began on this journey, I knew there would be obstacles. This wasn’t about just writing a bunch of crap to put on the Internet. This was establishing a presence, breaking into an industry and building a brand. And writers, new or established, are a brand.

#Writers, new or established, are a brand. As brands, it is important to have a website as our home base. Share on X

Even though we live in the age of social media, it is still important for authors to maintain a website as their home base. An author website can:

  1. Provide credibility
  2. Be a space to house and promote your work (which you control)
  3. Help you stand out in the crowded social media space
  4. Allow your name and book titles to get found via search engines

The list goes on, but the point is, getting your own domain has many advantages, especially if you are a new writer. However, owning a domain is only the beginning. 

Since 2017, I’ve made several major changes and updates to my website to reflect the various stages of my writing endeavors. When it came time to implement these changes, I was fortunate enough to have the background and know-how to do so. That may not be the case for everyone, but it shouldn't stop you from having a great author website or blog.

In my next post, I'll provide some simple ideas you can use to make the most of your site (without needing a degree in web design).


Lucas Horn

Lucas Horn is a creative designer who is attracted to men and True Crime, a trifecta which profoundly influenced his debut novel, The Midnight Blaze. When he isn't designing or writing, Lucas likes to travel and search for unique writing locations.

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