A big mistake people make when they go into business is to not have a marketing strategy. They underestimate what it takes to conduct business effectively.
This article is clearly for entrepreneurs, but if you're an author, it is for you as well.
Websites are one of those things you have to get right, and you need a Website Marketing Strategy.
Why 97% of Websites Are Ineffective
This isn't to discourage. It's to give correct estimation and expectation about websites. It's also to show that you need to do everything you can to improve the potential of your visitors taking action like you want them to.
First of all, most website owners have no clarity of what their website should do in order to deem it successful. In general, a website should cause a "conversion" of one kind or another.
In the context of a website, a "conversion" refers to a desired action or goal that a website owner wants its visitors to complete. It is the process of turning a website visitor into a customer, subscriber, lead, or achieving any other predetermined objective.
Conversions vary depending on the purpose and nature of the website. Here are a few examples of common conversions:
- E-commerce Conversion: For an online store, a conversion typically occurs when a visitor completes a purchase and becomes a paying customer. The website's primary goal is to drive sales, so a successful conversion is when a user adds items to their shopping cart, proceeds to checkout, and completes the transaction.
- Lead Generation Conversion: Websites focused on lead generation aim to capture user information, such as email addresses or contact details, to initiate further communication. A conversion in this case occurs when a visitor fills out a contact form, subscribes to a newsletter, downloads an e-book, or requests a consultation.
- Event Registration Conversion: Websites promoting events or webinars track conversions when visitors sign up and register for the event. This allows organizers to estimate attendance, send event-related updates, and engage with potential attendees.
- Content Engagement Conversion: Websites that primarily focus on providing valuable content may consider conversions when visitors engage with their content. This can include actions such as sharing an article, leaving a comment, or spending a significant amount of time on the site.
- Social Media Engagement Conversion: Websites seeking to expand their social media presence consider conversions when visitors follow or engage with their social media profiles. This helps increase their reach and influence on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
More specifically for authors...
For an author, the primary goal is often to engage readers, build a fan base, and increase book sales. Therefore, the following conversions are typically important for authors:
- Book Sales Conversion: The most crucial conversion for an author is when a visitor purchases their book. This can occur through various channels, including the author's website, online bookstores, or other platforms like Amazon. Tracking book sales conversions helps authors measure their commercial success and generate revenue.
- Email Newsletter Sign-ups: Authors often create email newsletters to connect directly with their readers and promote their work. Encouraging visitors to sign up for the newsletter is a valuable conversion as it allows authors to build a loyal fan base, communicate updates about new releases, share exclusive content, and engage with their audience on a more personal level.
- Social Media Engagement: Authors often maintain a strong presence on social media platforms to connect with readers, share writing updates, and build their author brand. Conversions in this context include visitors following the author's social media profiles, liking and sharing their posts, and actively engaging in discussions. Social media engagement helps authors expand their reach and establish a community of dedicated readers.
- Blog or Article Subscriptions: Many authors maintain blogs or write articles to provide valuable content related to their genre, writing process, or book-related topics. Conversions in this case occur when visitors subscribe to the author's blog or article updates. By converting visitors into regular readers of their blog, authors can establish themselves as authorities in their niche and keep their audience informed and engaged.
- Book Pre-orders or Launch Notifications: For authors launching a new book, encouraging visitors to pre-order or sign up for launch notifications is an essential conversion. This allows authors to generate buzz, build anticipation, and ensure a successful book launch. Converting visitors into pre-orders or interested readers ensures a strong initial response and can contribute to increased visibility and sales rankings.
Remember that the specific conversions that matter most to an author may vary based on their goals, marketing strategy, and the stage of their writing career. Authors may also consider other conversions, such as book reviews, speaking engagements, or media inquiries, depending on their objectives and desired outcomes.
Of course, if you've known me for more than 5 minutes, you know well that I am a BIG proponent of utilizing one's book to generate sales that offer MUCH higher profit margins.
This is for other articles, which you will find offered on a manageable drip as you come back on a regular basis. As you know, the uniqueness and significant value of Author Utopia is the way you can learn on a steady basis in short stints and then get back to production, implementing what you've learned.
Okay, back to website marketing strategy...
To simplify things, it is most important that you get people to click, leave their email address, or buy from you. BOOM! That's it.
The days of dumping everything you can about yourself and your company like a giant brochure are over—almost. Let me explain...
The "brochure" type website has always been the model for 97% of businesses. It's worthless unless you have millions of marketing dollars to drive millions of people to go to your site and basically do nothing more than get to know who you are.
That's fine for the big guns who burn investor dollars. For the rest of us, and quite frankly in a more effective way to create conversions whether big budget or small...
It's really more about how you deliver your information, which needs to be in small bite-size pieces, in a clear, concise manner. Sound familiar? I use this model for Author Utopia because it works!
You don't have to commit to a member site where tons of articles need to be written. You can simply have a blog or newsletter and write short pieces.
For anyone to think they could use an online website builder and drag and drop together a site in a few hours is one of those wrong estimations that technology puts forth.
A very good rule you can stand by for the rest of your career is: IF IT'S SIMPLE, IT WILL NOT PRODUCE THE EXPECTED RESULTS.
Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but success is NOT easy. To think it is is what causes so many people to prematurely give up. I digress yet again! Back to topic...
The Purpose of a Website
In all fairness, there can be many reasons to have a website but only one that matters most: convert mistrusting, impatient visitors into friendly, interested responders.
This may sound like a stretch, but it isn't in the slightest, and here's why.
People don't know ANYTHING about you or your website when they arrive. Let's compound this with the fact that people DO NOT TRUST anything in cyberspace.
So, realize that you're not starting from zero or ground level with your website. You begin in the negative and have to work your way out of the deep crater you're in by default by overcoming a lot of challenges.
If you're looking to have a new website, you need a Website Marketing Strategy. If you have one already, you probably need a website redesign, but not as major as you might think.
By adding landing pages, which is the kind of page that converts better than any other—and is the page that successful online marketers use—you can fairly quickly begin to build a list and sell your book or what you have to offer (consulting, products, etc.)
The term Website Redesign Strategy should be something we hear about more and more in the coming months if only because about only 3% of all websites on the Internet are effective in fulfilling their purpose.
There's so much that can go into a website. They're so much more than an online brochure. To be honest, you need more than a website marketing strategy. You need a "web strategy plus" approach.
If you follow the information in this Quick-Start Guide and subsequent articles out (or coming out soon) here at AuthorUtopia, you stand a better chance of having a website that eventually brings you a lot of business.
Let's acknowledge in no uncertain terms that this then equates to a lot of money, success, happiness, and the ability to help improve the lives of more people!!
The Foundation of an Effective Website
Think of a visitor as an inanimate object that will do nothing without your guidance and commands.
We’re going to go over some powerful and effective growth tips known to the industry. These are simple strategies that have been shown on countless occasions to accelerate the growth trajectory of any site:
- To help you gain more visitors.
- To earn more money, and
- To increase its reach much more quickly than it would do by using purely conventional means.
Nothing will work without a solid foundation, so we are going to start there with this Guide.
It is a mistake to approach any endeavor—especially in business—thinking that you can "hack" it and see success overnight.
Websites don’t explode with thousands of visitors in short order. Instead, most successful websites are the result of consistent effort over many, many months and even years.
All the best websites in the world started where you are now. The difference between those and the ones that have fallen by the wayside is that they put in consistent effort, provided consistent value, and didn’t give up when things didn’t happen for them right away.
Growth hacks provide little spurts of extra traffic, and they help to speed things along. But the foundation of your success is what is most important. For the moment, don’t focus on getting traffic quickly. Focus on getting traffic slowly.
This means that you have to take a deep breath and let it out, drop your shoulders, lift your head up, looking parallel to the ground or higher (to the sky if you're outside), and relax for a moment. Be in the moment, and let's go from there...
The Most Important Factor of a Website
Let’s start with the single most important factor: having a great website. There is no way around this.
If you want to grow your traffic and grow your success, then you absolutely need to have a great website that people want to visit.
That’s the only way that they’re going to visit more than once, and it’s the only way they’ll want to help you by sharing your site.
So, what makes a great website? The first thing is that you need to offer value. That means they need to get something in return for visiting your site: probably either entertainment or information.
That means you can’t cheat the system—in other words try to avoid the hard work and time required to create a big impact. That means you can’t rest on your laurels and think it’s fine to just churn out average material and expect people to come flooding to your site.
Now, that might sound very obvious, but it’s something often overlooked. You might be surprised by just how many people will create a website where they share fitness advice without actually knowing anything about fitness.
And you’d be surprised how many care absolutely not at all about the quality of the content on the site or how the people reading it feel.
These are the people who hire writers for the lowest possible fee. These writers often know nothing about the subject they’re writing about.
Or they churn out the content themselves by simply copying the successful posts they see on other sites and by just filling out all the "standard posts" they think that every site in that niche needs.
If it’s a site about fitness, that might mean they make a few posts about exercising each body part and be done with it. Then they’re surprised that their traffic never grows.
But the reason is obvious: they’re not offering anything worthwhile or different from the other sites in that niche. They’re not giving their visitors a reason to come back, and they’re not giving their visitors a reason to share the content with others.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that you have to have 100% unique data on your site. If you only offer YOUR personality and essence to your material, THAT is all that's needed.
If, of course, you had a new spin on something (what we used to call "a better mousetrap" in the good ole days) that makes the existing technology better in some way, all the better. But most important is the uniqueness of your personality coming through.
You've seen the lifeless, boring, and meaningless writings on the internet. It's like those foreign movies where the voiceover talent has zero investment into the emotion and intention behind the actors they are translating for. My wife and I can't bear to watch.
In short, these website owners (or the companies doing their marketing) don’t care about the posts they’re making, and this comes across in the quality and effectiveness of their content!
On top of that, it's important to show, in other ways, that your site is exciting or interesting. You need to show that it has a purpose, a target audience, a message, a theme, and so forth—the things that matter to human beings.
That also means coming up with a logo and a strong brand. It means giving that brand a tagline and creating a website that ties this all together. But honestly, you don't need this right away.
Too often, authors and entrepreneurs get caught in the "you need this first" trap from "experts" out there. Don't hesitate in fear of not being perfect. Start and then become better at it all.
Every single famous person, from Russell Brunson to Grant Cardone, stumbled and even looked foolish (they will be the first to admit it) in the beginning. It's where everyone starts. So, don't wait for perfection. That comes with repetition and can take years to master.
Website Content Strategy
There's a lot to consider about your website, and it can all be a little overwhelming. That's why I have broken parts down into Quick-Start Guides in the member area for you.
However, this needn’t be overly complex. Often, the answer is just to focus on a few things that you need to do for each post and a few marketing activities you can engage in regularly. When we add in all the growth secrets that we’re going to be looking at over the course of the additional Quick-Start Guides in the member section, you are going to be able to have a great website!
I want to help you expedite your success efforts by letting the cat out of the bag with regard to the 3% of websites that do exceptionally well. We can do this together with accurate know-how, a persistence and willingness to trial and error, and patience. I'm talking about months instead of years in most cases.
Search for "Website Strategy," or come back regularly for new articles I'm putting together that I've found to be very effective for my companies. I believe that this is where you're going to see faster results in a relatively short time period.
Keep going! You're only one step away from the life you want. —Robert Nahas