Very often people ask me if it's important to create a website for their pen authors.
What I usually respond is this:
"Well, it's only necessary...if you want to sell a lot."
We live in 2016 and even if we don't all make money with an online venture, all self-respecting businesses have a website.
From the smallest one-person local store to the largest multi-million dollar companies, all have their website.
The reason behind this is that the website is for an online brand what is the house to a family. Without it, you don't have a place to live.
To some businesses, having a website is more crucial than others, but
in my opinion based on facts, Kindle Publishing is definitely one of the businesses that a site is mandatory.
Let's see a few reasons why is that:
1. More authority
Although authority is not something measurable or quantifiable, nonetheless, a modern, well-designed website will make you (or your pen author) to look a lot more like a pro.
Having a professionally designed website will sub-communicate to your potential readers that you're a successful writer or publisher. The Halo Effect is powerful and works on a subconscious level.
That is exactly why we as marketers should take advantage of it.
Tell me something. Why do you think Apple is selling so well? I hope you don't believe that it's only because of the amazing products? I mean, don't get me wrong, I love Apple products and Steve Jobs, but even myself I understand that Apple's branding and [perceived] value, plays a significant role in my decision-making process when I buy an Apple product.
In the same sense, if you want to build a big brand around your publishing business, you should definitely create a website.
2. A central hub
Believe it or not, a website will work as an excellent hub for collecting all your scattered visitors. Take a look at the screenshot below. As you can see, during the last 30 days one of my pen name's website received almost 2,800 visits.
I even had 10 organic visits. That means 10 people found the page from Google on their own (and I don't even try to optimize my SEO).
Although the numbers are still relatively small, they are not negligible. Having almost 3k people look at your content, books, special promotions, etc. is important.
At any point, these are 3k individuals who are potential customers of mine.
Now, depending on your marketing skills and your knowledge of web design, you could bring way up the conversion rate, from casual visitors to customers.
Think of your website as a central station where you drive traffic from various channels, and then you distribute them, as you please.
In my site, I have setup opt-in pages, sales pages, information pages, giveaways, even unpublished chapters from my upcoming books. All this content is valuable to your reader if you know how to target your audience.
One reason that made me drop all the online landing page software and start my own pen name website is that of the advanced analytics features.
Besides Google Analytics, there are at least 3 or 4 more services that provide analytics that can make a big difference in your business.
Heap Analytics, is such an analytics platform that will give you very detailed info on a plethora of events, conversion rates, visitor behavior and more. Since I have installed it, I managed to map my visitor's behavior in a whole new way. And if you understand what your visitors like, it's way easier to give them what they want (and make some money out of it).
Finally, the last must have tool for your website is Hotjar. This is an all-in-one solution to provide your site with heatmaps, live recording, funnel conversion, and even real-time surveys.
I cannot stress enough how much information these tools provide when you want to understand how your visitors think and "move" within your page.
Besides the analytics capabilities, another significant difference between having your own website is the ease and flexibility of doing things.
WordPress offers a ton of handy plugins, that will transform your website into a powerhouse.
For example, Thrive Content Builder is the best tool, I've ever used to build every landing page imaginable.
Take a look at the video below to see how I've made the homepage of this website in a few minutes.
Among the most significant benefits of having your own website is the capability of re-targeting your visitors.
The worst thing you can do with someone who visits your site is just to let him do that. Visit your site and go. By just installing the infamous Facebook pixel, you give yourself the capability of quickly re-targeting all these visitors through very targeted Facebook ads.
But when you send all this traffic dirrectly to Amazon, then you not only "lose" the client's email address but you also lose her "track," since Amazon doesn't provide you with a pixel or anything to monitor and re-target this customer.
By using this technique, I've managed to bring my CPC down to very optimal levels. Take a look at the screenshot below. I've highlighted two campaigns I've run one is a free book (that they convert much better in general) but to a specific targeted audience of another author.
The second highlight is a paid book promo but this time to a custom Facebook audience that has already visited my site and I re-targeted them.
By only looking at these numbers you can understand that the second one although paid converted the same, if not better than the free book promo. The only downside at this point is that this custom Facebook audience isn't big enough so I can drive more traffic there. But as the time passes and my website gathers more data, this re-targeting audience will grow bigger, and I will save tons of money on Facebook ads.
An excellent tool, I use to automate my online social media presence is Mass Planner. This tool will save you a ton of time when you'll need to schedule your posts and automate the whole posting, sharing and liking process. Take a look at it.
As in every business, Kindle Publishing has its own tips and tricks. None ever built a successful business in a day with her first try. Things like the content of the book, the title, the mailing list, and the advertising, all play a huge role to make this business successful.
In my opinion having your own pen name or a publisher's website plays a vital role. The upsides are many, and the downsides are virtually none.
*Unfortunately explaining each and every detail is beyond the scope of this article. If you want to learn more about making money with Kindle Publishing, I've put together a thorough program, in which I explain in detail (videos, scripts, resources), the exact same method I use to get these results.
In case you are interested, this is the program I have put together. Thanks!