My first blog. Wow. I wasn’t sure I’d make it here, because before introducing myself to the world I needed a website and that was no fun. As a writer all you want to do is write, so all this WordPress, domain name, finding a theme, social media stuff was a damn chore. For Christ’s sake? What is a widget?
I recently attended a lecture on how to build an author website. I bet there were about 100 writers there all thinking that they wished they could be at home working on their novel, reading poetry, editing, submitting, anything but driving up Interstate 400 to Alpharetta on a Saturday to attend a lecture on a topic that makes most writers cringe. I left still not knowing how to build an author website and a little discouraged because of the costs involved to hire a web designer Yet, I also left with a little more knowledge than when I walked in and as a writer a tiny fragment of knowledge can lead to big things. I was determined to NOT fork out thousands of dollars for a web designer. Hey, I’m a writer! That means I never get paid, right? I had to get over myself, though.
First and foremost, stop having this this conversation in your head: I just want to finish my novel. I hate the ending of this short story. I have a critical thesis to write! I should be spending time submitting to journals, finding an agent, or any of the other activities that you prefer to do rather than creating your site.
Done? Great. Let’s move on. The purpose of this blog post to provide baby steps. Remember how intimidating it was when you contemplated writing a novel. It was day by day, but the accumulative effect was a whole manuscript, so approach this task in the same manner.
Today, I will leave you with three simple tasks that will slowly but surely help you develop your website:
Week One: What is your objective? Do you want a website to house your information such as your publications and future projects? A place where readers can buy your books? Do you only want to blog? For ideas on author’s websites, check out this blog on Twelve Author’s Website That Get It Right from Reedsy: https://blog.reedsy.com/author-websites/
Week Two: Decide on your domain name and register it. You can use GoDaddy to check availability and register you name. Alternatively, you can use a name through WordPress, but I preferred the simplicity of the name I chose on GoDaddy. For instance, my domain name is DawnMajor.com. That’s easier to remember than firstname.lastname@example.org. Whatever WordPress provided was too long and too hard to remember. It’s relatively inexpensive and there are options to buy that become cheaper based on the amount of time you choose to keep the name. I’m talking 1 year verses 3 years. To register: www.GoDaddy.com
Week Three: This step takes some time and I am still experimenting with themes. Go to WordPress.com or some similar source to build websites (GoDaddy is another) and view themes for writers/authors. List your top three. They have names by the way. Find your favorites. I liked cleaner pages with a lot of white space for writing. That is, after all, what you are doing.
Okay fellow writers, I’m going to stop there. You have three weeks to complete these steps before I provide the next three. This isn’t so bad, right? The point is you don’t have to build it overnight. Now, when you view my website, you may think it’s not all that. Well, it’s a work in progress. I considered waiting to launch it until after I figured out what a dang widget was but saw this as an opportunity to share knowledge as I acquired it. Also, if you all have any ideas to share on this subject, please comment. We’re in this together.