Essential Elements For Your Author Website

Essential Elements For Your Author Website – A Checklist

Over the past few weeks in the Planning for Authors series, we’ve looked at the basics of setting up your Author Platform. Today we will look at the absolute essential elements for your Author Website.

So far, we’ve covered the following areas:

We’ll now list the essential elements for your author website and take a look at why they’re so important.

Essential Elements for Your Author Website

Essential Pages

It is incredibly important to have the following pages on your website:

  • About Page – make sure you include what you can offer visitors as well as why you have an author platform, what you will write about, why people should read it and what they will get out of it. Do also talk about yourself, fun facts etc. but also include a call to action (what visitors should do next – sign up to newsletter, email you, buy something etc.)
  • Contact Page – obviously give details of the ways people can get in touch with you. I recommend that you include your email address as well as a contact form (or vice versa). Remember to include links to your social accounts also.
  • Privacy Policy – an essential, legally required document for your website which provides information about how you and your site handles personal data. Check out websites such as www.websitepolicies.com for templates.
  • Disclaimer – if you work with brands in any way you will need to have a disclaimer on your site which highlights to visitors that you are paid for certain links or posts etc. If you display any affiliate links, sponsored posts or paid advertorials then you must have a disclosure and disclaimer statement. A short statement should also be repeated on all posts, pages etc. where content of such nature appears. Again, check out websites such as www.websitepolicies.com for templates.

Engagement

Does your website provide ways in which your visitors can engage with you? For example:

  • Have you included a Call to Action on every page and post? Does the reader know where to go or what to do next when they get to the end of the piece they’re reading? Giving them clear guidance will help keep them on your website for longer. However, do try to ensure that you are only giving them one or two options, as having too many choices will overwhelm them and they’re more likely just to navigate away.
  • Is it easy for people to follow your blog if they want to know when your next post is published? Have an opt in to your blog feed on every blog post – in the sidebar and/or in an after post widget.
  • Is it easy for people to leave a comment on your blog posts? Having a simple to use comment system makes it more likely people will leave a comment.
  • Are there links to your social accounts so people can find you on other platforms? This can lead to higher engagement in other places.

Ease of Use

Is your website easy to use for visitors? Do you have: –

  • easy navigation i.e. menus that make sense and take people direct to the pages they’re most likely to want to view?
  • fonts that are easy to read – some fancy fonts look lovely but they are almost impossible to read. Text should be clear and legible as that will encourage people to read on.
  • a mobile responsive theme? A large proportion of your site traffic is likely to be from mobile devices. Ensure that your site looks as good on mobile as it does on desktop.
  • a showcase of your most popular posts so visitors can go direct to your most read content as it’s likely these are the pages people will want to head to.

Other Considerations

  • Have you got a photo of yourself on your site so your visitors know who you are?
  • Do you have a cookie banner (if relevant)?
  • Do you have a consistent theme across the whole site?

A Summary of the Essential Elements for Your Author Website

Use this checklist to ensure you have all the essential elements on your website. Some are legal requirements, some are basic usability elements, and some are for the benefit of engaging your visitors. However, they are all essential for your author platform.

Do you have all these elements on your website? Have I missed anything essential? Do let me know in the comments below if I have! If you would like a checkbox list of these elements as a downloadable PDF do let me know in the comments below and I will email that to you.

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