Your website is the heart of your author platform, and your home page is the entry foyer. When guests arrive at your “home” you want them to know they’re in the right place, feel welcome, and have an immediate sense that they’ll easily find the good stuff they came for.
If you can accomplish that, then they’ll stick around for a while, get to know you, subscribe to your email list, and you’ll have the opportunity to start wooing them into becoming one of your loyal fans.
So how do you accomplish that? Make sure your home page does the following:
Now that you’re committed to the idea of email marketing and have selected a commercial email service to manage your emails and your list, it’s time to start building it.
To grow your list, you need three things:
- A way for people to sign up
- A reason for people to sign up
- A way to invite people to sign up
First, a way for people to sign up
There is a little geekery involved here, but the commercial email services (CES) have gone out of their way to make it easy for you create signup forms for most occasions. By and large they are not all that pretty to look at, but use them anyway – that way all the mechanics of collecting the info, adding it to your email list, and sending the confirming email are all embedded in their form. Otherwise we’re talking serious geekery required to code all that capability yourself.
Effective list management in the 21st century involves quite a few tasks:
- Ensuring that people on your list really want to be there
- Handling new subscriber signups and existing subscriber cancellations
- Sending confirming emails for each change in a subscriber’s status
- Sending a series of stock emails to new subscribers
- Sending newsletters on a schedule
- Tracking statistics for your email campaigns (ongoing and one-time)
Why do I need a platform?
Why oh Why?
In the 21st century, if you expect your books to sell well at all, you need one. Word of mouth is still the best way to get the word out about your books, and there is no more effective and inexpensive way to find and nurture that core group of loyal readers who will be the foundation of that word of mouth campaign than a robust, online author platform.
Why do I need a website?