and see the great job she did. She's so creative!
|Testimonial Page Joyce made for my Website|
However, no matter how good Joyce's work is, I had to provide the content. What did I want to say? How did I want to present myself to the world? An amazing website is great but if you don't have any reason for people to stay other than to be impressed at the site itself, that's like those movies that have great special effects but no plot. You might watch it once, but you probably won't come back.
So whether you're building your own website or having it designed. here are some things to think about:
1. Why are you creating a website? Is the main purpose for people to get to know you, find out about what you care about, buy your books? That answer should drive your content.
2. Keep it clean. I have a hard time with this. I love pictures and colors, but when I posted on Linked asking advice about my blog background, pretty much everyone said it was distracting and did not attract them but rather the opposite. I loved the photo I had in the background, but if it was going to make me lose readers it had to go. Joyce designed my website without a background color or photo. It looks very clean. Since there is so much information on a website, you don't want to distract from that with a lot of 'decorating.'
3. Be focused and targeted. After reading from experts like Rog Eager and Michael Hyatt, I realized I was being pretty random about growing my platform--lots of effort but not necessarily well-targeted effort. My current goal is to get people to sign up for my e-mail newsletter so I can tell them when the Sick & Tired series launches, so I've started focusing a lot of attention toward that (speaking of, if you sign up on the website, www.kimberlyrae.com, for my newsletter, you get a free download of my award-winning book, From Africa With Love!)
4. Less is sometimes better. Have you ever been to a store where they had so many choices it was unpleasantly overwhelming? I was doing that with social media. I put all kinds of links out there--pinterest, Facebook, goodreads, twitter, etc. Then I realized I was doing things backwards. Instead of using my website and blog to get people to all those other social media sites, I should be using those sites to get people back to my website. I've removed everything from my e-mail signature except for my 'brand' phrase and my website. I also removed most of those things from this blog and left only the website for people to go to.
5. Have a recognizable brand. Seems everybody is talking about this these days. Having some phrase of 3-6 words that defines what you do or what you have to offer is apparently quite important. And it makes sense. You don't see movie titles or book titles that are really long. The shorter and more succinct they are, the easier they are to talk about. Like the movie, Taken. First people would say, "Have you seen Taken?" Then when I said no, they could elaborate on how it's about human trafficking, etc., but the short title made it easier to pass the word and word of mouth sells.
I had a hard time deciding my brand in the sense of everything being a consistent color and phrase. Since I write suspense on human trafficking, but also humor and encouragement for people with chronic health problems, I ended up deciding on two 'themes.' My trafficking one is red and black, but my author website and Sick & Tired materials are all a more cheerful green. My phrase for both is, "Know Your Worth, Change The World."
|The experts say get a professional photograph done. I never bothered, but when Joyce (who not only creates amazing websites but is a professional photographer) posted the photos she took, I could see why they say it's worth it. She made me look better than I actually do! =)|
It pays to do your homework. I've started following blogs of people more knowledgeable in this whole area than myself, and I've learned so many new things that are really helping me grow with marketing. You can be a great writer but you also need a great presence these days. I hope some of this will help you develop that great presence that makes people keep wanting to come back for more!
What do you find hardest about developing your brand or targeting your readers?
Videos on my Website: Why I Wrote the Stolen Series
Are You Sick & Tired of Feeling Sick & Tired?
Welcome to kimberlyrae.com!