Sunday, October 5, 2014
Don’t be Taken to the 'Website Design' Cleaners - 5 Tips to Creating an Author Website as the First Step in Your Online Marketing Strategy
There is an abundance of website design and hosting services on the internet. You can get services that handle both the design and the hosting, or services that provide one or the other. Whatever your needs, there is a service out there for you. But . . . consumer beware.
Some design/ hosting website services prey on unsuspecting and naïve authors or individuals and charge to not only create a site, but they keep control of managing the site. The customer is only allowed to add or edit content on the site.
This means the author can’t add links, change images, or tweak the site for SEO optimization, such as page title optimization.
I get upset when I hear of occurrences like this. There is no reason why a design and hosting service needs to control website functions and features to the point that an author or individual needs to pay the service to add or delete a simple link. And, some services charge a monthly fee. They’ll set up your website for free, but you have to pay monthly to keep it going.
Authors need to be aware. There is so much information online advising the basic dos and don’ts of creating a website, but you do need to do a bit of research to find it. There are plenty of legitimate and reasonable services out there also. If you’re confused or uncertain, ask around.
Here are 5 starting tips to create an author website:
1. Choose an effective domain name. Think about it carefully. You want a name that will be search engine effective (keyword optimized), reflect what the site is about, and is able to grow with you (unless you are creating the site for a specific book). You can also use the subheading to elaborate on the domain name.
2. Decide if you have the skills, or want to learn them, to create a website of your own. If you have the time and patience you can do it!
3. If you decide you need help with creating a website, look for someone who wants to establish himself as a website builder, or someone who does it in her spare time, or a writing/marketing service that does it as more of a courtesy to clients. You will pay much less. And, try to make arrangements that will include the designer teach you how to manage your own site. This will make updates, changes, and posting much easier, and cost free.
4. If you feel you can create your own, you can choose a free hosting site, such as WordPress, Weebly, or Blogger. On the flip side, if the thought of having to create a website feels daunting, go for Blogger.com; it’s very user friendly and good for beginners. And with its updates, it has a number of features much like other websites.
5. Keep in mind that down the road you may want to have a website that can be effectively optimized and that’s more SEO versatile, so you may want to have a paid WordPress site from the beginning. The prices range from around $3 and up per month – depending on how long you sign up for and the service.
While these five tips are the starting point for your author website, they will hopefully help you from being taken to the website hosting/design cleaners.
Want to know if your website is performing optimally? Karen Cioffi is an online platform and website optimization instructor and offers website audits. Visit http://www.karencioffi.com/website-services/ to learn more.