So you have a website. Good…But do you have a home page that works for you? Is itattracting your target audience? Does anyone know what to do once they get there? Are you real clear on the purpose of your website?
It is easy to get caught in creating a website with all the bells and whistles and end up with a crappy cluttered site. You know the type! You land on them and they are so tacky and burdened with the sound and the fury of all that is amazing technology and you have to click off the site to prevent sensory over-load. Obviously I am not their target market? Or was I?
Who is your target market? What do they like? What are they expecting? How do you most effectively communicate with that audience? What does that communication “look” like? Is it soft colors,rounded edges, and landscapes or is it edgy, filled with music, and pulsing gyrating images? You better be clear on who and what your audience are and work from that frame of reference to create the look and feel of your site.
Basically you need to analyze your market for four things:
- Who is your prime audience
- What are they expecting
- What goods/services do you have that they want or need
- What benefits do your goods/services deliver to them
Easy huh? Yep, it is. It does not have to include whirly-gigs and flummer-diddles…unless that is what you are selling or promoting! If you are promoting romance writing book critiques you probably want to have a softer more feminine appeal to the content and visual design elements. If you are a wild west author whose specialty is speaking to writers on the importance of research and authenticity of the weaponry associated with the genre. You want to appear at the top of your game…so your site might feature artwork of the era depicting the men and women and the weapons of the western frontier.
- Get a domain name that goes with who you are and what you do
- Get rid of the junk no one knows what to do with, is unrelated to your work, etc
- Don’t use excessive graphics, avoid flash as folks in the heartland are still on dial up
- Have a call to action if you want them to sign up for a class, exchange an email for an ebook, etc.
Think like the consumer and then give them something unique that provides just what they were looking for in a website. With some imagination and simple design you will have the beginnings of a simple but effective website to act as a critical element in your author platform.