Regardless of whether you are a published author or self-published – today you must learn how to ‘self-promote’. ‘Self promotion’ for many writers can be very confusing, time consuming and irritating. It was to me as I was only interested in telling stories and still am.
So as we must start somewhere – I would suggest a Website with a blog. Since I didn’t know how to design a website – and certainly one that was easy to follow and simple – I hired a company at $30.00 a month and an annual fee to host it. I could then post to my website – lay it out – but there were no instructions in lay-out – or making it the best it could be. Needless to say it was a mess. I had no idea how to attract followers and for my $30.00 a month, I wasn’t getting advice in this matter either. Without followers – I was stuck out in cyber-space and didn’t know what to do.
One day I was ‘searching’ around and found WordPress – at no cost – with themes/appearance and self-maintained, I could get a webpage. Of course it was a ‘work in progress’ – over many months and although I was posting things in a sporadic manner – it never seemed complete – it never seemed very effective, but at least it didn’t cost me I thought.
Then I thought of Harriet – who had web-design experience. I wrote
It was by far the best thing I’ve ever done. Harriet – for reasonable hourly fees did everything for me. There was no more concern or wasted time trying to figure out what I was doing. Suddenly I could write and know that she would – link, deal with search engines, making suggestions on lay-out and always wait for my approval and all those other matters that still confuse me. She created a beautiful, simple website for me. She sent me simple ‘how-to’ instructions that even a child can follow. But, being a writer with my head in the clouds I had copious amounts of questions. Again – the speed she answered, the speed she corrected my site and the way she put my mind at ease are so amazing to me. When I think of the hours, weeks and even months I have wasted my time trying to do a beautiful ‘website’ I can say without hesitation, that website designing on your own – although seemingly cost saving – is not if you are not in the website design business.
I suggest that even as an author – we must do a ‘business-plan’ and consider our costs accordingly. I thought I was saving money – designing and doing my own website. But if it isn’t effective – if the layout is wrong – if it doesn’t attract visitors – if the visitors become immediately confused – you have wasted so much time. Unless you consider your time as ‘free’ and worth nothing – I would recommend the first thing any small business do is hire a web-site designer, leaving yourself time to pursue your own activities – those things you want to do. A website is a must for anyone intending to promote their business in this time.
Thank you Harriet for being there for me and thank you for helping me through an extremely complicated process I would still be working on ineffectively and frustrated.