Why I HATE Marketing Journal Entry #2: My Website and Jetlag

This morning I don’t hate marketing as much as I hate jetlag, but that’s a story for another post…

I got back from Hawaii Tuesday night around 11 p.m. after several months, okay, I meant to write weeks, but I’m letting the slip-up stay because it provides an accurate take on how well my brain is functioning this morning. But yeah, Hawaii was fantastic, and I’ve got photos galore and stories to tell, and maybe even a book or two out of the experience, but what does my vacation have to do with marketing outside of the fact that mentioning it makes me happy?

Well, while I was away, my website designer (the good folks at Limb Design in particular Mr. Corey Chow) was busy working on my website. So I wanted to share a few things you might find useful.

The first question though might be do you even need a website and what does an author’s website look like these days? Well, most of them are built with the blog approach. So, when I say website, think blog with extra pages:). For those of you (and you know who you are) who don’t have a blog or website, but want to create a blog/site, or are looking to make changes to an existing site, you may find some tips here you can use. Especially if you’re looking to get it done quickly, while controlling cost and quality. Also, many of you may have ‘marketing’ on your New Year’s resolutions list. Except it might read something like ‘learn to tweet’ or ‘post more regularly on my blog’ or ‘I’ve got to get a Facebook account’. And if you’ve got good news to share like you have a new book release, or a first book sale, or a new branding look to introduce, you need marketing.

I’m going to plug WordPress now, but I think it’s okay since the Waterworld Mermaids’ blog was created right here in WordPress – land (Thank you Mermaid Alethea and that’s Alethea Kontis, by the way, who has a great website using WordPress!)! And yes, I’m building my site in Wordpress, too. And duh, I didn’t know until a few months ago that WordPress had templates for websites but Corey, my designer, suggested it as a cost effective approach to launching my new author’s site.

Although I’ve been working on websites in my day job for years, I learned recently that there are companies (lots of them) who have created affordable website templates and per my designer, WordPress is the BEST right now for offering variety, ease-of-use and flexibility, especially when on a limited budget. How limited? The layout I’m using for my new site cost me $35 (see link below).

http://www.mojo-themes.com/item/melee-minimalistic-wordpress-theme/demo/

And it was one of 9 pages of website templates at mojo themes that can be customized any number of ways…see link below:

http://www.mojo-themes.com/categories/wordpress/

If you’d like to give me some feedback on the graphics that have been created by Corey for my new site, please stop by my blog today and let me know what you think.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I want a website since I’m still unpublished. Easy. I’m an optimist, and today’s marketplace is demanding that authors have a brand identity in place (and a following doesn’t hurt either, especially for first novels).

Now don’t be shy, ask questions, scoff, or share what you’ve learned about creating your blog and/or website. Yes, you’ve got to write the best book you can write and then get an editor, agent or self-publish, but the bottom line is you’ve still got to market it. So what do you think about blogs and/or websites for published and/or unpublished authors?

(And also, Happy New Year!)