Introduction: Why Most Author Websites Fail
I want to talk a little bit about why most author websites are terrible.
They get very few visitors.
They sell very few books.
I’m going to tell you why this happens and how you can do better, but to do that I need to first tell you an important fable by Aesop.
Once upon a time, an ox came to the river to get a drink. As he stopped for some water he nearly stepped on a young frog who just barely managed to hop away.
The young frog goes to his older brother and says, “There’s a huge monster by the river!”
And the big brother says, “Don’t worry, I will scare the beast away.”
So he puffs himself up as big as he can be and he says, “Am I as big as the beast now?”
And the younger brother says, “No, he’s much bigger.”
So the older brother puffs himself up more, he puffs himself up more, until finally, he pops!
And many authors are like that frog. In the face of a scary industry, they puff themselves up.
And those sites don’t work!
Because they’re using the wrong approach. They’re approaching websites all wrong.
I’d like to show you a better way.
Now, I hope I don’t offend any religious people but I’m about to misquote Jesus of Nazareth:
“You know the authors in this world lord it over their readers and flaunt their popularity over those who read them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be an author among you must be a servant.”
So, okay, He didn’t actually say that. But the only words I changed are the ones in bold. I changed “leader” to “author” and “follower” to “reader.”
I think Jesus has a thing or two to teach about attracting followers.
Authorship is leadership. If you’re writing nonfiction, you’re leading people into a new way of thinking. If you’re writing fiction, you’re showing them a whole new world. You’re leading them into a whole new world.
And leadership is service.
And the reality is that your readers don’t care about your website! They don’t care about you, I’m sorry to say.
They care about themselves!
The more you can thrill your readers, the more readers you will have.
The more you thrill them with your website, the more they will spread the word and the more books you’ll sell.
Here’s the challenge:
Each reader is different.
If you want to thrill your readers you need to thrill them differently.
And in the next series of videos, we’re going to be talking about the different kinds of people who visit author websites and what you can do to thrill them.