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Step 1: Map Your Goals To Your Website Design
So what does Map your Website to Your Author Goals Mean? All we mean by Map Your Author Website to Your Goals is make sure you take the time to think about what you want your author website to do for you before you start creating it. This is the simple roadmap for creating your author website.
It sounds simple but a lot of times we get excited and want to start doing. Well, trust me we are really close to pounding away at the keys and creating your website. But this step is really important. It’s a lot like plotting your novel, which I’m sure has you rolling your eyes right now if you are a Pantser. lol But you need to know where you are going before you start running in a direction.
We aren’t talking about any prolonged planning period here, and we won’t be wireframing each screen of your website like you would do if you were creating an app or piece of software.
I promised this tutorial would be geared to beginners and simple enough for everyone to follow.
In this step, just complete the following exercise. You can do this on a piece of paper or on your computer. Whatever is easiest.
- ONE: List what your goals are for your website- ie. YOUR GOALS. This can be any or all of the reasons we discussed on the previous page in this article, or be something completely different. It’s completely up to you.
I would suggest that everyone includes a goal to SELL MORE BOOKS, but hey that’s just me.
- TWO: Write down a list of features that you want your website to have. Hold on let me clarify here. It should be a list of features that support the goals you listed above in ONE. Don’t make a common mistake. People start designing an author website and think they are designing the next big tech company. You aren’t. What you want to do here is take a page from Silicon Valley, called the Minimum Viable Product. It’s something most software or site developers will tell you is key. You come up with the basic version of your product to test the market, and then add once you know it’s a winner. So for your website focus on the must-haves, things that are key to your success as an author.
Here is what my Minimum Viable Product Feature list looks like for a new Author Website:
- Content Managment System
- Way to Build My Email List
- Mobile Responsive Design
- Social Media Integration
- Ability to capture reader feedback
That’s pretty much it if you are looking for a bare-bones website that is easy to set up and will help you sell more books. Think 80/20 rule here. Watch the video below if you want to understand Minimum Viable Product a bit more.
There are obviously a ton of other features you can add to your website, but we want everyone to leave this tutorial with what I would consider a core author platform site or the writers equivalent to MVP.
Once you have completed this step- move on to Step 2 Below.