How To Become A Writer: A Beginner's Guide
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How To Build An Author Website

Learn How To Build An Author Website With My Simple Guide

If you’re thinking about building your own author's website but aren’t sure how, I will give you some solid tips and advice, based on my own experiences, that I learned along the way whilst building my own website.

This is an easy basic guide on how to build an author website (without learning how to use code) and I’ve covered most of the steps you'll need to know.

I've also made a simple link index below, of the content on this page, as its quite long and so to make it easier for you.

What I’m hoping to do here is to help you choose whether or not you want to create your own writer’s website, or to enlist the services of a web design company.

Let’s get started...

The 5 Basic Steps To Building An Author Website

These are the basic steps to building your own successful website as an author and I'll go over each point in more detail.... but first...

A Quick Introduction To My Own Website Building Experience

I first built my own website shortly after being laid off from my job, some years ago, working in the security industry. After which, I decided to start up a small business on my own, and started a career as a private investigator.

Working from home with no physical office I knew I needed a website to promote myself, but couldn’t afford to pay the prices being offered at the time.

So what was my solution?

I learnt to create a website of my own - and here’s how...
STEP 1: The PRO’s and CON’s of Building Your Own Author Website

The Pros and Cons of Building Your Own Author Website

The first considerations I looked at were; what are the benefits and downfalls of creating my own website?

Let’s look at the PRO’s:

Costs: The most obvious benefit of building my own website was I didn’t need to pay for a web designer, or any monthly fees some online companies charge these days. All I needed to purchase was the website builder software, the domain name and hosting (I’ll talk about these later).

Control: By creating my own business website I had full control over the content, the updates and what I wanted to do with it.

Enjoyment: When I started looking at how I wanted my website to look and the content I wanted, I found it very enjoyable, satisfying, and creative. I actually had lots of fun building it.

Now let’s look at the CON’s:

Lack of know-how: There is no doubt about it, you have to be willing to learn a new subject. Even with the simplest of website builders you still have to learn how it works, to be able to create your own writer’s website.

However, once I learned how to use my website software it was easy. You have to decide if you want to learn a new skill or not.

Time: you will need to use your own time to learn and build your author website. That's sacrificing time away from business (loss of potential earnings), family or doing what you love – such as writing.

You can probably come up with some PRO’s and CON’s of your own but these were the main ones I encountered.

I hope I haven’t put you off wanting to build your own writer’s website, but I feel you should seriously look at whether it’s worthwhile or not.

And just to let you know, I built this writer's website from scratch using an easy website builder (I'll talk about shortly). It's fun and addictive!

If you have made the decision to create your own author website then read on!
Step 2 – Choosing Your Author Website's Domain Name and Hosting

Choosing Your Author Website's Domain Name and Hosting

Domain Name and Hosting

Ok, so one of the first things you need to create a website is a domain name. So let’s look at your author website’s domain name.

The domain name is basically the website address i.e. I will talk about where to register it shortly.

How Should You Choose Your Author’s Website Domain Name?

Here's some tips on how to choose the best domain name for your website.

Things to consider are:

Brandable Domain Name: If you are just starting out as an author or writer without a business name, then consider a name that could be turned into a brand.

You can turn your own name into a brand or create something else.

If you're already an author (without a website) and with books written under your own, or pen name, you should probably look at getting your domain name as that name.

Memorable Domain Name: I’ve seen some website domain names that are made up of just the initials such as (made up domain). If you heard this on a radio station advert or saw it written, would you remember it?

Pick a domain name that people can easily remember and not one that’s overly long.

Domain Name Ending: Choose a Top Level Domain (the part of the domain, such as .com .net, .org, etc.). There are also country specific TLD endings such as; the United Kingdom or South Africa .

For an author's website I would recommend either a .com or your country specific TLD.

Once you have chosen your website's domain name you will need to purchase and register it. This is done through a website hosting company.

Hosting For Your Writer's Website

"Hosting" is the term used to refer to the website storage space on a computer server that people can access over the internet. This website storage space, which is rented out by a website hosting company, is where you store your website.

You can search Google for hosting companies and there are plenty to choose from at varying prices but I do recommend Bluehost.

How To Choose A Hosting Package For Your Author Website

This is something you will need to decide for yourself based on your needs as a writer – but here are some tips:

Website Storage Space: Depending on how large your website is or will be will determine how much website storage space you will need.

A large informational writing website with blog for example will require more website space than a simple 5 page author website.

You can always start with a basic hosting package with minimum website storage and upgrade later as your website grows.

Email Accounts: How many email accounts will you need? Do you have people working for you with each requiring a separate email account? Do you want different emails to serve different purposes; ie sales, personal, admin, etc?

Bandwidth: this refers to how much usage your website hosting will allow. When people use your website it uses up data (bandwidth) and some companies put a limit or cap on this.

An informational website with lots of website pages will probably generate more traffic (people visiting the site) and requires more bandwidth than a smaller site.

FREE Domain Name: Generally, hosting companies offer you your Domain Name for FREE for the 1st year, after which you are charged a small annual fee.

There are many other technical features advertised by the hosting companies but the ones above are really the only features you need to consider as a beginner.

I think Bluehost is a very reputable hosting company based on reviews from others I've read. (Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Bluehost so will get a small commission if you use my link to get your hosting - at no additional cost to you).
Step 3 – Choose The Best Author Website Builder That Suits You

Choose The Best Author Website Builder That Suits You

To create your author website you will want to use a simple website builder software.

There are so many website building programs to choose from, some free and some not. It’s important to choose one that's affordable, simple to use, and still produces a great looking author website.

A popular online program for blogs and websites is Wordpress. I've used it somewhat on a temporary basis but I can't give any real recommendations on it. The reason I didn't use it was it didn't fit with what I was looking for.

My Recommendation Of The Best Website Builder For Authors

I've looked at a few website builders over the years and have also purchased a couple myself. But the one website software that stood out for me, because of its simplicity, affordability, and having lots of great features, was WebsiteX5.

WebsiteX5 is a simple website builder for any writer wanting to design and build their own website. It was perfect for me as a novice not wanting to learn all that technical stuff but still make a good website.

The first thing I liked about this software was that it could be downloaded to my own computer. I could open the program without having to go on the internet. Some programs you can only access via the internet, which is limiting, and I didn't like that. Wordpress is like that.

Using WebsiteX5, I started to build this writer's website on my laptop, which I carried around with me in case I wanted to work on it. I didn't need internet access to build it.

WebsiteX5 is what is termed as a "Drag and Drop" website builder and is actually very simple to learn and use for building your own author website.

You will need to learn how to use the software but luckily you don't have to learn how to code.

With WebsiteX5 all you need to do is simply drag objects (within the program) to your web page and edit them. It has different objects to use such as "text", "video", "image", "social media", "photo galleries", "blog", "shopping cart" and lots more.

I do consider WebsiteX5 to be one of the best website builders for authors and writers. You can create a really beautiful author website with this software; you just need to learn and be creative with it. And it has some great website templates.

You can download it here - just click on the link below. (Disclosure: because I love this software I became an affiliate for it and if you buy it through my link below I do get a small commission - at no additional cost to you).
Create a Writer's Website with Website X5
Build an Author Website with Website X5
Watch Out For FREE Website Builders!

FREE is a great word for new writers just starting out. But as you well know, FREE does usually come with certain conditions, and website building software is no exception.

Limited Features: Some free website programs will come with restrictions on its features and will only be fully available if you pay a fee - sometimes a monthly fee at that.

Advertisements: The FREE website builder sometimes comes with an advertisement of its own product that is displayed on your author website - it doesn’t look good and certainly not professional.

Free Domain Name: the FREE domain name is sometimes actually part of the company’s domain name that you're using the FREE service from.

Again this doesn't look professional and if you decide to create a professional author website later on you won't be able to use that domain name, as it belongs to the company you aquired the FREE site from.

Check out the image below...

Warning on Free Website for Writers

Above is an image of author Lucian Barnes' website. His author website is a FREE website from

Notice the website address:

Also the site has ads all over it.

Take my advice and spend a little money on a website builder to create your website or pay for an online website builder.
Step 4 – Create Compelling Content For Your Author Website

Create Compelling Content For Your Author Website

What is meant by website content?

Content refers to the text, photos, videos, graphics, etc. that make up your website and website pages.

How Do You Write Your Website’s Content?

Write it yourself: You are at an advantage as the great benefit of building your own author website is that you know more about YOU than anyone. And you have the ability to write well.

Note: If you do decide to write your own website content then be advised that writing content for the internet and writing chapters in a book are very different.

Check out this article from Henneke of Enchanting Marketing about writing for the web versus print.

Employ someone: There are expert (and not so expert) web content writers that offer their writing services for this very purpose - to create articles and content for websites. They vary in price and quality so you will need to check them out first. You will find lots of websites offering writing services like Just search the internet.

Using Images For Your Website

Using a snap shot camera for your website’s images is an absolute NO! NO!

There’s a saying "a picture says a thousand words". But what does a grainy, distorted, stretched looking image say about your website? What does it say about you?

Nothing creates a more powerful and positive impression than high quality photographs of you, your books and services.

If you haven’t got a good camera that takes high quality photos then beg, borrow, or steal one (just kidding). But joking aside, your author website must have a professional feel if you want to be taken seriously online.

You can also purchase or get free stock photos online from various sites such as Just search online. I purchased a collection of stock photo on CDs which I use to create nice branded banner images. To create my banner images I purchased a graphic design software where I am able to manipulate the image to how I want it to look.


Professional Photos = Professional Website = Professional Author
Step 5 – Promote Your Author Website – Online and Off

How To Promote Your Author Website

Once you've finished creating your author website you should promote it to the max.

Just because you have created a website, perhaps the best looking self-built website in the world, it’s absolutely useless if no one can find it.

The purpose of having a website as an author is to be able to advertise your books and writing services in the best possible way, and to create sales.

Here's 4 Simple Ways To Advertise Your New Author Website

Business Stationary: include your new website address on ALL of your stationary; letterhead, business cards, emails, envelopes, invoices, etc.

Online Writing Communities: There are literally hundreds of writer and author community websites and forums on the internet. Join them and create a profile with your website address.

Online Business Directories: I only ever use FREE online directories as there are plenty out there. Using these directories can help drive people and potential book buyers (customers) to your website.

Just search the internet for "business directory for authors", "directories for writers", etc. and add your details.

A couple warnings with online business directories:

1. Only use the well known directories and avoid the low quality one's.

2. Create a separate email account to register with these directories and NOT your new author website email address.

WHY? Some directories (particularly low quality one's) will pass on or sell your email address to third parties and you will get lots of SPAM (junk mail).

Social Media: You may not use or like social media sites, but these have great potential to get you seen as an author and can drive some traffic (people) to your website.

Sign-up to the main ones and create an account for your author website. You can then add the links from your social media accounts to your website.

Just a warning on social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google. I used to think they were the bee's knees to get noticed but now (unless you pay) have become increasingly worthless.

The statistics when posting on Facebook inspite of having a large following are very poor. So unless you're willing to pay (which is what they want) I only advise creating an account for a profile but don't waste too much time on them. Pay more attention to the writers communities and forums mentioned earlier.

Just to finish off

My purpose here was to give you some of the basics of how to build an author website for yourself as well as a little on how to promote it. But by no means was that the end to it all.

I personally think creating my own author's website was the best thing I've done but you have to decide for youself. Just remember it's an online world now.

Good luck and by all means leave a message with any comments below.
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