11 Author Website Must Have Elements

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An author website has a lofty goal: it needs to not just be, but also needs to perform and respond.

No longer just a fancy, static, online business card, it is an author’s ‘homebase‘, a marketing and networking hub and a portal that allows communication to flow between an author and his or her readers.

Visiting an author’s website is one of the leading ways that book readers support and get to know their favourite authors better. The stronger the relationship, the more likely zealous advocates will spread the word about the author to friends, family and peers.

And website visits can translate directly into books sold.

Therefore, even if you are on social media or actively promoting your work offline, operating without a website is just silly. Why invest the time and energy in writing your book, getting it published and developing other marketing strategies only to be absent online? In today’s market, it is a huge drawback and a valuable promotional opportunity missed if your readers can’t easily locate you with a few quick key strokes.

The rub?

Learning how to design a website and incorporating the ‘must have elements’ requires some skills.

In the past, it was a higher hill than most authors were willing to climb. Even if an author perceived the need for a website but lacked the skills to create one, he or she would often end up paying big money to a professional website designer for a site that was rarely updated and poorly optimized for its intended purpose: to connect with readers and sell more books.

Thankfully, technology has simplified the process. Now, all authors who recognize the benefits of an online hub or homebase, can have one.

1. Designing Your Author Website: Ensure a Good First Impression

Your author website is an essential piece to the successful book marketing puzzle, but as always, first impressions matter. It is tempting to just get something up quickly, that requires little cost, and get back to the joyful torture of writing your novel.

However, while it’s certainly possible to set up your website quickly and with relatively little expense, it is extremely important to remember that your website represents who you are and what you have to offer.

A website will help to increase not only your book’s visibility across the internet, but yours as well. In many cases, it may be your future fans first impression of you–especially if you have not yet published. Make sure that your site reinforces the image you wish to portray. (For more on discovering your author brand, go here.)

With your author brand in mind, ask yourself the following questions about your current or new author website:

  • Will people know what I write within seconds?
  • Does the voice, tone, attitude and mood of the site resonate with my ideal reader?Thomas Umstattd Jr. quote
  • Will they understand the page they are on and what it’s about?
  • Will they know what to do next?
  • Does the site appear credible?
  • Is it clear why they should buy my book or subscribe to free updates?
  • What does the site provide the reader?

Just like it’s important to have fresh eyes editing your novel, ask others for their answers to the above questions and get their opinions on the first impressions your site gives rise to. You might be surprised at their answers!

As you design your site, keep both aesthetics and functionality in mind. You don’t need to run out and hire a $12,000 designer to have a professional looking site, but do keep the following in mind:

  • Your site should look clean and uncluttered. Less is more, especially in your sidebar. And white space is your friend :)
  • Your site is polished, legible (go for clear, not clever) and spell checked. Choose larger font sizes and colors that are easy to read. Light fonts on dark backgrounds or minimal contrast between font color and backgrounds are difficult to read.
  • Keep navigation easy and clear, so your readers can find the important stuff.
  • Use color to draw attention to select elements. For example, pick one color to be your “action” color. Whenever you want a reader to take action by clicking a link or subscribing, ensure you use that color only for the link or button, and no where else. (Can you guess what my action color is on this site?)
  • Avoid a chaotic mix of colors. Instead pick two to four colors for your design template and don’t try to make everything stand out–then nothing will.
  • Avoid anything unnecessary like Flash (Apple currently doesn’t support Flash), animated backgrounds or music. If your site takes a long time to load, or doesn’t work on a mobile device (iPad), you will lose a large number of visitors to your site.
  • Keep elements consistent from page to page.
  • Is your site branded for longevity? Is it book/genre specific or limiting, given your future writing plans? You do not want to rebrand or redesign the next time you publish.
  • Remember, your site has to be compatible with different browsers and devices, so check how things look on multiple browsers, tablets and phones.
  • Create content that is useful, engaging and well organized. Your posts and copy must be easy to scan. (Ugh, I know! As a fellow writer who bleeds over every word, I feel your pain!) People read differently online, so use bulleted lists, section headers and short paragraphs to convey your message, and learn the importance of writing a magnetic headline.

2. About/Bio Page

About pages are among the most frequently visited pages on the internet. Your readers want to know more about you, and this is the place to tell them.

Even as a visitor is delving into what you’re all about, what they are really thinking is WIIFM? (What’s in it for me?) Keep this in mind as you incorporate some of these ideas into your about page:

  • Consider having a professional headshot and short blurb from your homepage with a link to your About page for more information.

1. Start with a persuasive headline, that lets your visitor know what they can expect. (For an example, check out the YWP About page.)

2. Reassure your readers that they are in the right place and tell them what your site will give them.

3. Strengthen your credibility with some testimonials, reader quotes or other forms of social proof (more on this below).

4. Tell your personal story. Frame your content around what led you to writing, why you write the kind of books you do, what you love about it. Make sure your personality shines through! You can also include your writing credentials and professional associations.

5. If a visitor gets to this point in your about page, you’ve got them interested. Ask them to join your email list, and provide a link to your books, services or other products.

Here are more ideas:

  • What do you want to know about your favourite author? Include that.
  • Keep your About page and Bio up to date.
  • Link to your Media Kit/Press page if you have one.
  • Be personal, but be careful not to over share; stay professional.

3. Contact Information

It’s surprising how difficult authors will make it for their readers (media, agents, publishers…) to contact them. There might be a tiny email address buried at the bottom of their website or noted on some obscure page deep within their blog. DO NOT make your visitors hunt for your contact information!

“If your goal is to engage with your readers online, don’t play hard to get.” (click to Tweet)

Make it as easy as possible for someone to get a hold of you. Here’s what to do:

  • Have a contact tab in your top main menu that leads to a page with your preferred ways to be contacted. Don’t list every possible way you can be found, just the best ways. If you use a contact form, make sure it’s simple and you’re only asking for the info you require to get back to that person. If you note your email address, use yourname[dot]com to avoid spam harvesters. 
  • You can also encourage your readers to get in touch with you via the social platform(s) you are most active on.
  • Provide multiple ways for people to contact, follow and Like you. It’s not your readers job to find you. It’s your job to be where your readers are.

4. Email Sign Up/Updates

It is never too early to start collecting email subscribers. Early sign ups are the most likely to be your biggest fans and most ardent supporters. These are the people that will forward your new releases and insider updates to their friends, evangelize you on Twitter, attend your events or push up your sales rank on Amazon when they hurry to get your new book.

I highly recommend using Aweber to manage your email list. Using a high quality, industry leader for your email list management is important to ensure your emails get to your fans and not their spam boxes. It’s easy to use, with tons of step by step videos, and very helpful customer service if you get stuck. And putting your form on your site is as easy as copying and pasting.

For more on building your email list, go here.

A few additional tips:

  • Don’t panic! You do not have to produce a newsletter every week. Catherine Ryan Howard at Catherine, Caffeinated makes a point of letting you know up front that “nothing much happens… an email about once a month will cover it…” Just keep in mind that you should not be ‘selling’ something every time (and the only time) you contact your subscribers.
  • Just an email address, or first name and email address is enough info. You don’t want to scare people off by asking for more.
  • Your email optin box should be bigger and bolder than other elements on the page, but don’t overdo it.
  • Make all links and buttons your ‘action’ color (as above). And make sure your links and buttons look clickable.
  • Consider including a signup incentive, like a promo code for your latest book, a bonus chapter, a sneak preview of your next book, or a free chapter from a different character’s POV.

5. Testimonials

Social proof, testimonials and positive quotes from fans and reviewers can go a long way in increasing your credibility and authority with visitors to your author website.

Place real, short and powerful testimonials on your site. Include positive reviews, quotes from fan mail, notable media coverage, and if you have a significant following on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Wattpad and so on, note it.

Great locations for your fan testimonials are your About page, Homepage and on your sidebar, just under your email sign up form.

6. Social Media

There are two areas to focus on when it comes to social media and your site. The first, is to provide visitors the ability to find and follow you on your various social media platforms.

To encourage follows and Likes, add links to your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook) on your Homepage, About page, and Contact page. Then ask people to follow or Like you. It’s just crazy enough to work. Let’s try it :)

Like Your Writer Platform on Facebook

Follow Your Writer Platform on Twitter

The second area to focus on regarding social media, is making it super easy for people to share your site and your content with others. To do this:

  • Write amazing content
  • Add a sharing plugin to every page on your site, so visitors can share your pages via all the major social networks.

The free plugin I use on YWP is called DiggDigg, but there are many to choose from. I also use the premium plugin from OptinSkin, which allows me to customize a sign up form and add social media sharing, like so:

Want more? Enter your email below and click "get updates!"
Share the love
Get free updates

 

7. Books, Products and Services

Depending on what you have to offer, you may have separate pages for your books, products and services, or combine everything in one. For books, include a large cover shot, an enticing blurb and clear details on purchase options (with links).

You may want to feature your current project on your Homepage. Provide a link to your Book page for visitors to get additional information about the book, get some behind-the-scenes info or promotional materials. (A Press/Media Kit for each book would be ideal).

Tip: If your books are available on Amazon, join Amazon Associates and you will be provided a code to link your book. You will also get a percentage of whatever a buyer purchases after they click your link–even if it’s not your book (lets hope it’s a T.V.). Once you have signed up for an account, type in your book title. When your title pops up, click “get link”, and Amazon will give you a variety of options to customize your link. Just copy and paste that code where you want it on your site (sidebar, Book page), and your book will show up with a buy link.

8. A Blog

Websites with blogs get 55% more traffic than websites with no blog. As well, having a blog creates fresh, additional pages of content which is great for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

If your goals are to be seen by more people, drive potential book buyers back to your site, and establish yourself as an industry authority and thought leader, you need to include a blog on your site.

Here are a few more additional benefits:

  • You can entice your current and future fans with exclusive, unpublished content, inside information and downloadable extras, like sample chapters.
  • Readers find it especially appealing to find out who their favourite author reads or recommends. This is often a missed opportunity to not only engage with your readers, but network with and support your peers. No matter how famous, everyone loves recognition and appreciation, so share the love! This is also a great way to get inbound links–other sites linking back to your site. This too, increases your importance in the eyes of Google.
  • Utilize your blog’s comment section to converse and engage with your audience. You can even encourage interaction between your readers by encouraging them to comment or reply to each others comments.
  • You can have excerpts of your most recent blog posts on your Homepage, which will dynamically update each time you publish. This keeps the content on your Homepage fresh, and encourages people to return for more.
  • A blog gives you the freedom to add additional content and bonuses (see below) without cluttering up your Homepage.

9. Appearances/Speaking Engagements/Latest News/Events

Include a section or page on your site that allows you to inform your fans of your whereabouts and upcoming events. Include things like:

  • Latest News/Events: interviews, blog mentions, reviews and other media coverage items you can share with your audience.
  • Appearances: book readings and signings, speaking engagements, interviews, conferences and professional events, workshops and so on, so your fans can find out the details and attend.

10. Press Page/Media Kit

The purpose of a press page or media kit is to easily provide the media, or anyone wishing to profile you, with the info they need to feature you in their piece.

The contents of a press kit will vary, but here are some of the basics of what you should include:

  • Basic author bio, including contact info.
  • Author photo (use a professional-looking headshot), and any additional photos that can be used when writing about the book.
  • Information about the book, including a sample review, sample chapters.
  • Testimonials.

The simplest way to make your media kit available is to turn the contents into a PDF. Provide a brief description and a link on a page on your site. Make it easy to find, and consider carrying around a few hardcopies at conferences/events, in case you receive a request for a copy.

11. Bonuses/Extras

Get the creative juices flowing! There are many fantastic ways to build value into your website for your readers and to keep them coming back for more.

  • You can include a slideshow of photographs, sketches, illustrations of characters and locations in your book, and other meaningful images.
  • Add other multimedia like audio files, a podcast, YouTube video and video trailers.
  • Additional research material.
  • If you are an expert in your field, and your book is an extension of your career, include things that spring from the larger context of your work and experience.
  • Younger fans are often interested in contests, games and prizes (autographed books).
  • An author’s favourite book, music, and movie recommendations are also fan favourites, so include these and some of your other influences.
  • Include sneak peeks, additional content that isn’t in your books, main character bios, extra chapters, alternate character POV’s and any other bits that didn’t make the cut. Your readers will love it!

So there you have it! 11 of your author website ‘must have’ elements.

This is a lot of information, but don’t let it overwhelm you. You are building your writing platform and career, one plank at a time, so there must be some effort involved.

Bookmark this page and come back to it over and over again if you have to. The thing to remember is that if you put the time in at the beginning, you will reap the benefits ten fold over the course of your career.

But, know when to stop tweaking. You should be spending five to ten times as much time on creating content as fiddling, changing and rearranging your website.

To keep on track, have a clear goal for your author website (sell books, build a platform, connect with readers), keep your author brand in mind while you design, and create great value for your readers so they can’t help but come back for more.

So what about you? Any elements I’ve missed that work well on your author site? Please share in the comments below.

Please note: Aweber and Optinskin noted above are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission if you buy from one of these links, at no extra cost to you. This helps Your Writer Platform continue to provide loads of free, quality content. I appreciate your support! 

photo by RoganJosh

Comments

  1. Wow, Kimberley, another incredible post chock full of great information and resources! I’m glad you end by telling us not to be overwhelmed because it’s a LOT of information. The only thing to add, maybe, is some examples of model websites for point #1.

    Terrific stuff!

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      Thanks, Bobbi! My pet peeve is reading posts that only give you ‘some’ of the information, and not everything you need to actually implement the advice. Umm, I guess that comes through on my own site :)

      I’m looking for some great examples of author sites right now (for another post), so stay tuned…

  2. Great information in here, Kim. Thank you so much. I’m going to be updating my website for sure.

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      Hi Molly! It’s good to hear from you!

      Your site has a great feel to it. It’s clean, simple and I love your logo and tag line (the feather makes it!) :)

      Plus you did a great job with your email optin form and incentive. Let me know when you’re done updating; I’d love to see it and maybe I could use your site as “an example” in another post…

  3. Wow Kimberley – I seem to have met my match! I’ve got a short little ToDo list I’ve written up from reading this post.

    “Your site should look clean and uncluttered. Less is more, especially in your sidebar. And white space is your friend.” That was such a hard lesson for me to learn. The designer I hired for my website had to yell it into my brain.

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      Well I’m glad your To Do list is short! I’m glad you got some useful info that you can apply.

      And yes, the concept of ‘white space’ can be quite elusive for many a blogger. Sounds like you got a good designer, and kudos to you for being clever enough to listen–your site looks fresh and inviting! Two thumbs up on the white space!

  4. Great information Kimberley! Thanks for sharing this at the SME forums! :)

  5. A plethora of great information, Kimberly. Great job in covering all the bases and the outfield!

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      Thanks, Lee! Hope you got some useful tips to apply!

      Thanks for commenting!

  6. Found your blog via the Link Party! Great post :)

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      I’m glad you found me, Meg! And thanks for the praise!

      Your site is beautiful; love the colors, photos and simplicity. And I totally agree: you can never go wrong with a “desk dance party…” :)

  7. Absolutely great tips. Love it!

    I’m gonna make sure to bookmark this post and share it. Kudos!

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      Hi Leslie! Thanks for stopping by; and thanks for the share and the kudos! Much appreciated!

  8. Kimberley,
    I came to you from a link on The Book Designer.
    Fantastic detailed step-by-step directions. Thank you, Thank you.
    Now, lets see what my follow through is. One thing I’m a gonna do is print your epistle. To many of the ideas I pick up get lost on the web. This one is a keeper, and it is going to be kept.
    Question, I have taken our site management back and have done nothing in over a month with it because I feel so dumb working with WordPress. Would you recommend I botch my presentation but get something done, or wait till I am proficient ?
    Thanks again for your work on our behalf.
    Sam

    • Kimberley Grabas says:

      Glad to have you, Sam! Thanks for stopping by!

      Funny you should mention printing off the article–I thought I was the only one old school enough to want to ‘save’ my favourites by printing them off. Somehow turning pages is still the best way to absorb and retain material!

      Regarding your question, here’s the best answer I can give:

      There is a lot of discussion on the web on creating ‘epic’ content and elevating your work to the level of art. This is great advice, and I do recommend that you put your best effort into whatever project or piece you’re cultivating. But I also think that it is important to consider how your ‘best’ can be holding you back. Waiting for perfect before you take action is counterproductive. Perfect is unattainable, and in order to get better at anything, you need to practice (try, fail and try again). The more you put your work out there, the more feedback you can receive on whether you are on the right track.

      The short answer? Do your best, but don’t wait for proficiency. That only comes by doing.

      If you want more specific help, just shoot me an email. If I can help, I’d be happy to :)

  9. I am just now in the works of having my webpage developed. This will help me tremendously.

  10. What a helpful lot of information. I need to update my website but get so busy working and writing. It does need to be a priority. Thanks for the kick up the bum.
    Vi xxx
    violet-ivy.com

    • No problem, Violet! Motivational butt-kicking comes free of charge! :)

      Between life, work and writing, ‘perfecting’ your website does slide down the priority list. Just try and keep in mind that writing is your business. If you owned a restaurant, you wouldn’t put off hiring a chef for too long, right?

      Good luck with your site, and if you have any questions, just shoot me an email.

  11. Kimberly,
    This is excellent! I’m going to read through this again, take notes, and make changes to my site. Thank you!

    Jessica Schaub

    • That’s great, Jessica! I checked out your site (looks lovely!) and saw your recent post including me in your list of top resources for writers. Thanks so much! I tried to leave a comment, but I’m not sure if it made it through…

      And homeschooling 4 kids, what?! Congrats on your super hero powers! :)

  12. Cat McMahon says:

    Stellar article, Kimberly. I’ve bookmarked this post to study deeply and incorporate your suggestions into my brand and website. I’m looking forward to studying the other links you’ve pointed out. Implementing your information will help improve my public appearance, and for that I am grateful. :)

    • Thanks, Cat! I appreciate the compliment and I hope you see some great results after you implement some of the tips.

      Thanks too, for sharing on Twitter! I’m glad you stopped by. :)

  13. Kimberley, I feel like I hit the jackpot twice today with your helpful posts; your site has been bookmarked!
    I’m just finishing up my website so your post is a great guide. My book debuts in August so there’s only so much I can feature on the book page until the publisher sends me the final cover, then I can also post quotes, reviews, research photos, etc.
    Cheers, Nicole

    • Awesome, Nicole! So glad I could help! :)

      I checked out your site, and it’s fantastic! Love the design and easy navigation. Have I found a fellow Canadian? (Yay!)

  14. This is certainly one of the most concise and helpful websites I have come across. Thank you Kimberley for sharing a wealth of information! I have bookmarked this page so that I may be able to refer to it when I switch my current WordPress site to a professional author site in the coming weeks. I totally agree with you that the site should be up and running to start promoting a book before it comes out. I am currently on a WordPress site and to be quite honest, I am not making adequate time for it at this particular time. I am currently in revisions with my first book, a memoir. My goal is to complete revisions and get my MS out to my editor in the coming few weeks. While my MS is with the editor, I still have to finish choosing my book cover and write back cover material. The writing is all consuming and the time seems to be ticking away. I think once my MS is off to the editor, this will give me the time to get a new website off and running. I think I had been putting this off because I have yet to title my book and I felt as though it was weird to promote a book that has yet to be titled. I hope to be getting it all together in the coming weeks. I am so glad I subscribed to your site. I am also Canadian, so I suppose you already know the extra work involved for self-publishing for Canadian authors regarding tax forms and the like. Thanks again!

    • Thank you, Debby! It’s my pleasure to share the information; I’m so glad you’re finding it helpful!

      And congrats on your memoir! Try not to feel pressured or overwhelmed, Debby. Just take things one step at a time, and know that you’re building something for the long term; there is no need to rush! You’ll get there!

      Remember too that this is your business, even if your ‘product’ is wonderfully creative and personal. Decide what’s most important, schedule it in and don’t feel guilty that it may be taking time away from something else. Your dreams and aspirations for your writing career are important, so develop a mindset that ensures you (and others) give your work the attention and priority it deserves. :)

      For the tax forms, are you talking about getting an ITIN or an EIN, Debby?

  15. This page is great. I have been looking for a site that has put together so much information all in one place!

  16. Great article. Love the tips. I’m doing some versions for some of these, but this helps me sharpen my focus. I had heard of HARO, but you gave the link, so I signed up for that.

  17. Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

    My suggestion would be to have your blog as a component of your website. It will likely be easier to manage with everything all in one place, and I think it looks more professional to have both the static, evergreen part of your site match the look and style of your blog (dynamic) component. (I’ve seen some sites that link to a ‘blog’ that is completely different in tone and styling to the main site, and it’s a bit jarring).

    A self-hosted WordPress site would work great; just search for a theme (either free or premium) that has the style and attributes you are looking for, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

  18. Kimberly, I Must say that you do have good information. I do have a website but it is pretty static and it is just sitting there with no interaction going on. I am a first time author. This is my very first try at writing. I am a retired public school teacher and I am 83 years old. Most of the sties that I go to for ideas are very good but they are mostly very impersonal. I am about 75 percent done with my book. I hope I cam implement some of your ideas for am ore interactive we site. Thanks, Respectfully, Carll

    • Kudos to you, Carl for taking such initiative at 83! :)

      Make the changes you see fit for your website by following the above guidelines, as well as make sure you’ve got a firm handle on these two things:

      1) What you have to offer – What makes you unique? How can you stand out? And if you want to get real ‘markety’, what is your unique selling proposition?

      2) Who are you trying to reach – Get focused on who your work will resonate with. Who is your ideal reader, and what are their interests, values or pain points.

      Once you know who your (future) readers are – and how your book fits their needs – it will be much easier to design a marketing plan to reach them.

      Good luck with your book, Carl! If you have further questions, let me know!

      • Kimberly, thanks for your reply. my book is about my Grandson’s Rock Band called, “Flyleaf Spreads Their Wings”, the web site is http://www.flyleafbook.com, if you have the time take a look at it and then see what ideas you might have. I am 75 per cent done with the book, we hope to release it Thanksgiving 2013, if not then maybe just before Christmas. Your platform is amazing and I already have some great ideas, Later, Carl

        • Here’s a few things to work on Carl:

          1) Your social media icons/buttons should link to your accounts/profiles (not just Facebook.com, etc.).

          2) Your About page should not be about you (or at least not all about you), but about what you can do for your reader. Your reader will be asking “What’s in it for me?” You need to answer that question on your about page.

          3) Who is your target audience? What is the age group? What are their interests, and so on? It’s clear that you’re proud of your grandson (as you should be), but if you’re targeting ‘fans’ his age or younger, your praise will fall on deaf ears, and may in fact turn younger readers off. For example, my 10 year old son has to repeatedly warn me not to embarrass him by showing overt affection. ;)

          Be careful not to assume that your readers think like you. Do your research to find out what they find engaging: behind-the-scenes peeks, insider info, concert images, song inspirations, band member bios, excerpts from your book, or some research and tidbits that didn’t make the cut.

          Again, good luck with the release, Carl! Hope this helps! :)

  19. Great article! Quite helpful, thanks!
    An additional question, though. While blog posts are usually in the first person as the medium is more personal, should the author bio be first or third person? There are benefits to both, obviously, just wanted to know your opinion. Thanks!

    • I’m assuming you are asking about author bios on their blog?

      I’ve seen them written both ways, Doug, although more often in third person. About pages which include info about the blog and author can be written both ways as well.

      I think it just depends on your style, personality and the casualness or friendliness of your blog. If your blog is fun, humorous and for a younger crowd, it may not fit to refer to yourself in the third person. Plus, I find it odd when the blog is obviously a single author blog (a one-man or one-woman show), and I find them referring to themselves in the third person. ;)

  20. Penna Bryn says:

    Your clarity and passion for your subject is clear, Kimberly, and I thank you. I can tell you have spent a great deal of thought and effort into each piece you have written, actually living your own advice. Your ideas and providing the reasoning behind the idea has helped me to clarify my own thoughts on certain aspects when it comes to designing my own site and platform. I will be back here often.

    • Thanks for your comment, Penna. It’s great to hear that the information that I’m sharing is helping other authors build their careers.

      Best of luck to you, and if you have any questions or feedback in the future, just let me know!

  21. I agree about the importance of a blog on your website, but before making my author site I had a blog for years (that I’m still updating) about the craft of writing with a URL that doesn’t have my name in it. Now I’m starting to design my author site at a URL with my name, but I don’t know if I should just use one or the other domain names or keep my sites separate? I’d love to have my blog posts all under the my name URL but they have a lot of history, traffic and comments already on that other site. What’s an author to do?

    • Good question, Eliza. I can answer the branding part of your question. If you feel your previous blog will fit with the branding of your new site, and that the target audience you are trying to reach will find the information relevant, interesting and useful, than I think it would work well to try and merge the two sites. But consider carefully if your new readers are actually interested in the craft of writing–in most cases they’re not.

      You could add an image in the sidebar of both sites, each directing (and linking) readers to the other site if they’re interested. And there may be other ways to merge the sites, but you would have to talk with someone with more technical skills than me. ;)

      Hope that helps!

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