Sunday, November 18, 2012

Keep Your Website Focused

Keep Your Website Focused

By Karen Cioffi

When I first started out in the writing business, my first book was a self-published children’s picture book. And, it was co-authored.

Being a newbie and marketing illiterate, I created a website with both our names in the title . . . and in the URL.

This was my first mistake.

It’s important to create a central website or blog using your own name.

As I mentioned, I created my first site before learning the ropes. Jumping in feet first, without any thought of future endeavors, without focus.

So, you may be asking, what’s the problem with this move?

Well, nothing, if I were absolutely sure that all my future books, articles, and other writing endeavors would include that co-author.

But, as any writer can tell you, this is usually not the case. Co-authoring with a particular author, even if it’s an ongoing thing with books in a certain genre, doesn’t mean everything you write will include that author. So, having your own unique website is a must.

While I could have redirected my first site to another, it’s not the same. You end up possibly confusing readers or new visitors. And, if you don’t redirect to your new site, you’ll dilute your traffic.

The simplest fix to this problem is to avoid it.

The purpose of having your name as the site’s domain name is to create a specific brand/platform that is YOU. And, having your name as the site name will also make it easier for people searching with your name as a keyword to find you.

This is not to say that you can’t have separate sites specifically for each of your books, but it’s important to also have a site with your name as the core or hub to your operations. Remember, you are branding you as an author/writer and your branding efforts must be focused.

My second newbie mistake also had to do with branding.

If you are branding yourself as a children's writer, keep your site specific to writing for children and/or children’s books. This holds true for whatever your platform is – keep it focused.

While I really should have known better, it seems as we get caught up in our writing careers it becomes easy to forget to remain focused. And, it becomes more difficult to keep up with everything.

Remember, it's important to present a focused brand and that is especially true for your website.

So, what exactly was this branding mistake?

A lack of focus.

As I progressed in my writing, I ventured into a number of writing arenas including ghostwriting, freelance writing, and even copywriting. Instead of keeping those areas separate, I brought them into my children's writing site.

The reason this is a mistake is ‘dilution of expertise.’

In the subheading of my children’s writing site, I mentioned ghostwriting and freelance writing. Now, this may not be too far-fetched, because I do ghostwrite children's books, but my freelance business, which includes business and health writing, shouldn't detract from the focus of the children’s writing site. Business and health writing has nothing to do with children’s writing and my children’s books.

If you are branding yourself as a children's writer, the focus of your site should be children's writing and your children’s books, along with possible book marketing strategies. If you promote yourself as doing this, that, and the other thing, you'll become known as a jack of all trades and master of none, thus creating dilution of expertise.

This goes for any specific genre you’re writing in. If you intend to establish yourself as an expert in that field you need to keep your site focused. Establish your brand and promote it.

If you are involved in different writing arenas, such as business freelance writing and children's writing, create a separate site for promoting yourself as an expert in each of those areas. Each website should be focused, so you become known as a ‘master’ in that genre or field.

Boost your writing and marketing efforts with Karen Cioffi. Visit and find out why you should sign up for her FREE newsletter, The Writing World.


  1. I have seen this happen to many others, as well as myself, too. It's good to be reminded to stay focused.

  2. Karen,
    Thanks for passing on your words of wisdom. It took me a long time to decide to create a blog, mainly because I couldn't decide what to write about. Also, I needed help with the technical side of things. Now, I'm pleased with my focus, but I would love to find a way to reach more people, especially those who teach children or homeschool. Any suggestions on that?

  3. Aidana, this is typical for new writers. I wish I had read about this before I just jumped in.

  4. Linda, you were smart to wait before creating your blog. Planning is so important.

    Information marketing is still the best way to attract an audience. To target teachers and homeschoolers, you need to frequent their hangouts. Find groups on FB and Linkedin, etc., that have the focus you're looking for. Be helpful and involved. Also, find blogs in that market and comment.

    Also, use relevant hashtags in your Tweets.

    These tips should help.