If you’re reading this blog, you may or may not have visited my website. I’ve been thinking about it a lot in the last year or so. I’ve read articles and blog posts about what makes a good website. I’ve made lists of other people’s websites that I like. I’ve investigated designers.
You will notice, though, I haven’t done much with the actual website. The reason? It takes commitment on my part. I have to make a whole host of decisions, and I’m not sure I’d be making the right ones. I’m in the midst of looking at even more websites, and also at designers.
Currently, my website is fairly simple. I hand-coded it myself (partly why it’s so simple!). Though I know how to do tables, I haven’t yet included any on my website because I worry that they won’t come across properly on all platforms; I feel that’s a valid concern, when so many people access websites through their phones or other handheld devices. I don’t want to make those people wait around for complex pages to load.
On the other hand, a plain website doesn’t look Glossy and Fashionable. I have to decide how important that is to me, to look…I suppose the word to use is successful. As in, “fake it until you make it.” As in, wear a suit to a job interview even if the current employees go to work in jeans.
I seem to have a knee-jerk bias against looking Glossy. I’m not sure why. I don’t think my bias is necessarily a good thing, in this case. Because there are interview suits. (I even have one! Though I haven’t worn it in a while.) And even though this blog gets many more hits than my website, seemingly making it more important, that won’t necessarily always be the case, particularly if I manage to integrate blog with website someday soon (one of the things I’m discussing with a web designer).
I don’t want to turn off a potential reader simply because they don’t like my face.
As I said, I LOVE the title.
I didn't even realize you had a website since I always visit your blog and can get information there. For that reason alone, I'd consider at least joining up the two.
I hand coded my original blog and website too. And it looked pretty cool for an amateur site, if I do say so myself. But I got the website professionally done when I sold because of something I learned from my mom. She works in real estate, where 20% of the people make 80% of the money. A key to selling yourself is to look like you belong to the 20%. It seems like backward thinking, but as you said, it's an interview suit, a calling card. My website is the equivalent of my mum buying a Mercedes when she was just starting out. (She also has to drive customers around in the car, so it has extra benefit to provide a nice ride) My mom's not a car person. She would prefer to drive a Toyota until it sputters and dies, but it was a business and marketing decision.
The other thing is I have my blog followers who stop by here and there to read and stay in touch. That number is small. A much larger number of people have heard of my book or come across me on the internet and come by just to take a look and see what's up. That person doesn't know me personally. All they see is my website. They may never come back, but they may still buy my book if my cover and website impresses them. Very commonly, someone will breeze by and stay on the website, hitting up all the research links and extras. Those lookie-lous are the ones I'm hoping to attract. They're not going to stay and chat for much — they may just comment once to say hi. They don't necessarily want to read my day to day musings, but hopefully, they've become interested in my books.
I, for one, love your blog. But you already know I'm going to buy your books. :)
P.S. It took a couple of years and hard work, but my mom can afford the Mercedes now.
Wise words. I've been giving this very topic a lot of thought of late. Kudos go out to Victoria and Jeannie. You just made my decision so much easier.
I like that story about the Mercedes, Jeannie. That makes a lot of sense. It's taken me a while to accustom myself to the idea of spending money to help make it.
Adelle, I'm glad I'm not the only one who angsts over this issue!
It's honestly nice to know I'm not the only one hanging back. I've actually resisted a website for now due to the time commitment. Best wishes and must success to you!
Did I really type "must" success. Let's try "much". Yes, me write. ~rolls eyes~
Darla, you're not alone!
I decided a couple of years ago to really go and get the website I wanted, because mine was getting way too complicated to maintain. I looked around a lot before I found a web designer whom I felt would work for me. I wanted something very personal to me and my work yet not too flashy. I wanted it smooth like a swan on the top of the water with all the complexities of linking so many pages underneath.
I was lucky enough to find someone (Frauke at Croco Designs) who not only had the patience of a saint but had actually read my books, so she knew what I was after. I haven't regretted a single penny I've spent on that site. It works very well for me. We were even able to integrate a whole new subsection for the Tudor Vampires in very seamlessly.
So yes, if you find someone you can work with and have the ability to express your ideas, a good website is a must.
I wanted it smooth like a swan on the top of the water
I love that description. It is awesome.