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Create a Website to Promote Your Work

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 12 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Market Research Market Create A Website

In the modern writing industry, knowing how to create a website is essential to success. Of course, that can mean knowing how to pay somebody else to do it, but that can be expensive. When you create a website for yourself, based on your own market research, you'll also have much more control over what you do with it.

It's an invaluable tool when you want to promote and market your work. So what do you need to know to make it a success?

Basic Website Creation

If you're not sure how to create a website but you want to have a go at doing it yourself, there are some excellent free html guides online to help you do it yourself. Html is the basic code which tells web browsers how to organise your information into a visual display. It's easy to use and, even starting from scratch, you'll soon find that you can create simple pages.

Using CSS, you can do more with the layout of these pages, creating borders and columns and using different colours of text. Good CSS guides can also be found online and any reasonably intelligent person can learn from them without difficulty.

To make your website more advanced, you may wish to use other forms of coding like Java or Flash, which will usually mean having to pay a specialist, but you can create a perfectly adequate basic page using the tools described above. Ultimately, what matters most is what you put on it.

Layout and Content

Fashionable page layout changes all the time, so you'll need to do some market research and look at other writers' sites to decide how you want to approach it. There are just two general rules which apply whenever you create a website which you actually want people to read: make it easy to navigate, and avoid clutter.

Readers should be able to find the basic information they need quickly and easily. A professional site should look neat and should be easy on the eye. Unless you want to market genre fiction, it's best to stick to neutral tones and a plain font such as Times New Roman.

Of course, you won't want to create a site which is so bland and generic as to be indistinguishable from all the others out there. It's advisable to develop a strong logo which can appear on your front page and, in a smaller form, on all your other pages.

You can promote your brand identity by making repeated use of your full name (or nom de plume) so that readers are more likely to remember who you are, but using just your first name when you talk about copywriting services can make you seem friendlier and more approachable. A good portrait-style photograph adds the personal touch and makes readers feel that they're dealing with a human being.

Copywriting and Journalism Sites

Exactly what content you choose to feature on your website will depend on the type of services you're selling. If you work as a copywriter or journalist, it's best to begin by outlining what you do. If you offer a number of different services, write about them on different pages, with a sidebar menu to make it easy to navigate between them.

Some writers feel that they are more successful if they don't mention their rates but simply offer a contact point through which a prospective buyer can get a quote. The theory is that, this way, the buyer will already feel committed before receiving the quote. Others, however insist that they are more successful because they offer clear, easy to understand rates. You may need to get to know your own particular customer base in order to decide what's best for you.

Remember that, to sell services like these, you need to be easy to contact. Make sure that your email address appears clearly on every page of your site. This should be linked so that clicking on it brings up a new email window.

Fiction Sites

Promoting fiction through a website is rather different. Most fiction writers find that it's better to be a bit mysterious. If you seem less accessible, it implies that you're more popular, and hence very busy. Many fiction writers don't provide an email link on their sites. Those who do usually note that they may not be able to respond to all correspondence. This is a good way to pre-empt problems if success means you start getting a lot of attention.

A fiction website should promote your novels, short stories etc. using links which make buying them easy. It's a good idea to provide some free fiction content and change it regularly to keep readers coming back for more.

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