This is a demo site I set up to show writers the best way to set up an author website with WordPress – where to put everything, how to organize the content, and how to showcase your books so people actually want to read them. This site not only has posts about how to sell your books online, get people to sign up to your email list, which themes and plugins to use, and present yourself professionally, but also demonstrates everything by being a live virtual site.  

You menu should, almost always, be on top of your site, but under the header (like this one). You should only have one menu. (Though you can have different links on your footer menu – that’s OK). You shouldn’t have more items than fit on one line. If your menu breaks into 3 lines because you have 27 items in it, it will look like crap and be confusing. Choose your main categories and put the other pages as submenus, usually that dropdown when the mouse cursor is over the menu. Your main pages should be: Home About Books Reviews…

The short answer: NO. Everyone else will tell you optins WORK so you should use one; and they do work, if you have a clean and organized site with a strong optin offer. But most authors don’t – they have disorganized, ugly websites and before you can figure out where to go and what to do, you get a popup that says “Join for updates” and you’re thinking, Join who? For what? Why should I? If people aren’t joining your list, it’s not because you don’t have a popup. It’s because you don’t make it super easy to do with…

Some websites or themes come with built in optin forms, but most don’t. However there are some plugins we can use, and you can usually get the code from your email service. I use Mailchimp. A lot of people like Aweber. Both are free to start but get increasingly expensive. Mailchimp lets me get the code to add to my page or sidebar.   The style won’t always look right though, it depends on your blog’s CSS. Subscribe to our mailing list. And you shouldn’t use “Subscribe to my list.” You need to give them a reason. What are they…

I wrote recently about author funnels on Creativindie but the point was this: you can’t try to give everything to everybody. You have to focus on the 95%. Who is going to visit your blog? Either people who know you, your name, your book’s name – or people who don’t. People who already know you and your books probably don’t need to visit your website much: when they finish a book you’ve include a call to action and links to go buy the next one, or sign up for a free book from your website. (If that’s the case, you have…

You might see a lot of other sites using sliders or a “magazine style” on their homepage. They work for bigger sites with tons of content because they don’t care what readers look at. They get paid per view through advertising – so they just try to hook attention and get readers to stay on the page a few more minutes. That can be useful, but it isn’t really what you want, and it’s easy to do it wrong. You want readers to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, and start reading what you want them to read. You…