author platform

3 Essential Services You Need to Start Building an Author Platform

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Want to start creating your author branding and selling more books? Here are the three essential services you need to start building an author platform.

Did you know that the average book in the US sells fewer than 200 copies annually? And that the average book sells fewer than 1,000 copies over its lifetime?

These are rather alarming statistics for any author who plans to make a living selling books. The most successful and famous authors beat this trend by building an author brand and a community of rabid fans who will buy any book they release.

The most important step of author branding is building an author platform where you can capture subscribers, build an email list, and sell more books to them.

In this article, you’ll learn about the three essential services you need to start creating your indie author website and building an author platform.

How To Build An Author Platform & Sell More Books

There are three services you need to start building your author platform and your author brand so you can sell more books. They are:

domain name

#1. A domain name registrar

The first service you will need – and you cannot own a writer’s website without – is a domain name. This is the link that people type into the browser bar when they want to visit your website.

As an author, the ideal domain name to have is your own name – or if that is not available, you can try including your middle name, or use the word “author” before or after your name, as in

Avoid domain names with hyphens or names that are too long or hard to spell. If your actual birth name is hard to spell, you may want to try writing under a pen name instead.

You absolutely need a domain name because your author brand needs recognition and traffic. Instead of building your author brand on free blogs or other websites and promoting them, it’s best to promote your own domain, don’t you think?

Now there are several service providers that will give you a domain name for free, but this is not recommended. If the free domain registrar goes out of business and closes down for some reason, then all your hard work and your book sales are going to crash.

This can definitely happen and I know people who have gone through this harrowing experience only to have to start building their personal brand platform from scratch. Instead, I recommend going with a reliable and reputable domain registrar like Namecheap.

The next step is to choose a domain name extension. While there are many extensions available, the dot com is still the best one to choose because it’s the one that readers are most likely to type into the browser bar.

In the Free How to Build an Indie Author Website course, you’ll learn how to choose a domain for your website, install WordPress, and construct everything using an author-focused theme and beginner-friendly templates.

author branding

#2. Web hosting service

The next step is to choose a web hosting service to build your author brand professionally and credibly. Never go for a free web hosting service!

Free hosting service providers may display advertisements on your site that are not in sync with your author brand and will not make you look good to your website visitors.

Second, if you want to grow your website traffic, you will need a paid hosting service, as your free service provider will not provide extra space and bandwidth causing you to lose out on traffic and sales.

But what does web hosting really mean? A good web hosting service is crucial because your website files and all related information and data are stored on your web host’s server or computers.

This is because your indie author website should be available 24/7 and should be able to accommodate any amount of traffic. When choosing your web hosting service, ensure they have everything you need.

Aside from all the bells and whistles, excellent customer service is the most important aspect of a great web hosting service. This is one reason I would choose a web hosting service, even if it’s more expensive than other hosting providers.

Using WordPress to build your author platform has many benefits because it makes setting up an eCommerce store and selling books from your website easy. Ensure your web hosting service has a one-click WordPress install so you can set up your website and blog quickly and efficiently.

In the free How to Build an Indie Author Website video workshop, you’ll discover how to create an eye-catching, conversion-focused website for an independent author or writer-preneur.

If you’re building a website from scratch, go through this website checklist before launching a website so you can learn the steps to start building a WordPress website.

marketing for writers

#3. Email newsletter service

The third essential service you need to start building your indie author platform is an email marketing service or newsletter service that allows you to send an update every time you post an article on your blog.

This is because most visitors to your website will not buy from you on their first visit. According to the Rule of 7, one of the oldest principles in marketing, most people do not buy a product online until they have seen it or heard about it at least 7 times!

If you’re promoting your books online and don’t have an effective way to capture and follow up with your website visitors to remind them about your latest releases or any promotions you’re running, you will lose a lot of sales.

In the free Reader Magnets eBook, you’ll learn the exact system that bestselling author Nick Stephenson used to add tens of thousands of engaged readers to his mailing list.

In his free video training for authors on How to Find Your First 10,000 Readers, Nick Stephenson will show you a proven step-by-step email marketing system that he used to sell more books.

You’ll learn how to grow your audience on autopilot, launch your new book titles to raving fans, and promote your existing work to new people so you can sell more books.

The easiest way to set up a newsletter service and send blog updates to your subscribers is to use WordPress’s Jetpack plugin to add a subscription box in the sidebar as I do on this blog. It will help you capture email subscribers.

But if you want to build trust, and ultimately boost your book sales, you may want to use an email autoresponder that allows you to send an exclusive email without posting a blog update. In this case, you can opt for a professional email marketing service provider.

This will allow you to offer a freebie to capture more subscribers and build an email list much faster. It will also let you set up an autoresponder follow-up sequence to send messages every few days reminding subscribers to purchase your books.

As mentioned before, most consumers buy only after repeated exposure to a product. An autoresponder system is a hassle-free, automated way to put your books in front of interested buyers enough times to move them from interest to consideration to purchase.

Most subscribers buy after receiving three to six messages about your books. To create an effective autoresponder campaign, write eight to ten compelling email messages to load into your program.

Each message should build on the previous one, and make your books or offers more enticing to buyers. Here’s a breakdown of what your email messages should contain:

  • A compelling subject line to keep them from deleting the message unread.
  • A compelling opening sentence that keeps them engaged.
  • An introductory paragraph explaining why they need to buy your book.
  • A call to action after a few short paragraphs of information.
  • Short disclaimer reminding people they’re receiving your message because they asked to be on your list.
  • An Unsubscribe link allows subscribers the option to discontinue receiving messages from you.

book publishing

How To Build An Author Platform


© 2022 – 2024, Priya Florence Shah. All rights reserved.

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