In 2007 when I signed my first publishing contract, the only marketing requirement was that I have and maintain an author website. My book hadn't been published, and I didn't have the book cover to begin advertizing. At that point, my book didn't even have an approved title. Add in no money and I went with my best option, Blogger.com.
A few years later, I had more books under my belt but still no expendable cash. I researched "best free websites" and saw Webs.com. Their click and drag template appealed to me, as did the idea that with a little imagination, anyone could create a decent website--no coding necessary. I was happy with my little website for over ten years.
Unfortunately, Webs was bought by Vistaprint. For some time, they left us Webs users alone. Then in 2020, they announced that all Webs users would need to convert to the Vistaprint website. The free website was also going away. By this point, I had over thirty books. If I had to pay for a website, it was time to research the best fit for me.
A year before, I'd taken over my church's Wordpress website when the member who managed it left. That experience was enough to teach me that I wanted nothing to do with Wordpress. I didn't have the technical knowledge necessary to do more than basic updates, and each time I worked on it, I walked away with a headache and a deepening dislike of the platform. In addition, every time Wordpress did an upgrade, it caused issues with the various plugins the website creator used. It got to the point where our website failed, and we were forced to move it. (Happy Dance time!)
After questioning several authors and looking at their websites, I settled on Wix.com for not only my author website but also the church's. Moving thirty-plus books took time and the process was stressful. By that point, I was under a deadline. My old site was being deactivated by Vistaprint. I had to have the new website up and running before that happened.
I created my Wix site in 2021 and for a year, I was happy with it. I made a few tweaks here and there. I added all of my books, the blurbs, and buy links. Lastly, I paid extra to have a store and uploaded my audiobooks and ebooks to sell direct. I learned about Landing Pages and added one to my website. The only thing I didn't know how to do was drive traffic to my website.
All was good until a month ago when I stumbled across a Facebook post by Shea Swain stating she was updating her website and invited friends to take a look. Since I was already considering updating mine, I did and was immediately jealous. Her website is fabulous. I told Shea how great her website looked and warned her that I was stealing some of her ideas. (See it here: https://sheaswainwrites.com/ )
I try to update my website once a year. After seeing hers, I knew I had to up my game. I went to YouTube and searched Best Practices for Author Websites. Over my next few posts, I'll share what I learned and point out the improvements I've implemented.
See my website: www.zenawynn.com
Visit my bookstore: www.zenawynn.com/shop