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How to Create a Stunning Author Website on a Budget

17 April, 2023

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Don't let a tight budget hold you back from creating a beautiful author website. Follow these tips and tricks to design a stunning site without breaking the bank.

Don’t let a tight budget hold you back from creating a beautiful author website. Follow these tips and tricks to design a stunning site without breaking the bank. Authors hold a very special place at Thorn Creative, and we love working with other creatives to bring their vision to life. Even if you’re just starting out and finances are tight, we can help you get started with a free, no-obligation consultation.

Author website design on a budget

First, make a plan

When creating a website on a budget, it’s important to choose a website builder that is user-friendly and affordable.

 While other free website design platforms like Wix may seem appealing, they may cost you in the long run. I wrote a post about choosing your website platform which you can check out here. We highly recommend WordPress, whether you build it yourself or employ the services of a professional *ahem*.

If you would like to build your site yourself (great!), we can offer monthly hosting plans and help you get the ball rolling with WordPress. If you’d like to hire our services (great!) we can provide the whole she-bang, from domain registration, hosting, plugins, the build, hosting and advice on everything from web copy to domain choices and email accounts. Either way, book in a free consult to get the ball rolling.

Prepare your content

What is the hardest part for most of our small business clients should be a breeze for you dear Author! To prepare your website content, open up MS word, make a list of headings for the pages you’d like, then put down some dot points of what to include on each page, and finally, flesh out those dot points to paragraphs.

Keep it simple and clean.

When designing your author website on a budget, it’s important to keep it simple and clean. Avoid cluttering your website with too many images, colors, or fonts. Stick to a simple color scheme and choose a font that is easy to read. Use high-quality images sparingly to enhance your content and make sure they are optimized for web use to avoid slowing down your website. A clean and simple design will not only look

Use high-quality images and graphics

While it’s important to keep your author website simple and clean, using high-quality images and graphics can enhance your content and make your website more visually appealing. However, it’s important to use them sparingly and make sure they are optimized for web use to avoid slowing down your website. You can find free or low-cost stock images on websites like Unsplash or Pexels, or create your own graphics using free design tools like Canva. Just remember to keep them relevant to your content and brand.

Incorporate social media links.

One of the most important elements of any author website is the inclusion of social media links. This allows readers to easily connect with you on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and can help you build a following and promote your work. Make sure to include icons or buttons that link directly to your social media profiles, and consider adding social media feeds or widgets to your website to showcase your latest posts and updates. Just be sure to keep your social media profiles active and up-to-date to maintain engagement with your audience.

Include a blog to showcase your writing

One of the most important elements of any author website is the inclusion of social media links. This allows readers to easily connect with you on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and can help you build a following and promote your work. Make sure to include icons or buttons that link directly to your social media profiles, and consider adding social media feeds or widgets to your website to showcase your latest posts and updates. Just be sure to keep your social media profiles active and up-to-date to maintain engagement with your audience.

Excite readers with bonus content, chapters and details

Turn a reader into a raving fan with bonus content to keep them immersed in your story and invested in future releases! For fiction authors, this could include bonus chapters, world maps and character illustrations, side stories… Anything to further immerse your reader in your world!

For non-fiction authors, this could include bonus worksheets, journal prompts, quizzes, infographics, affirmations or other supportive material.

Either way, there are loads of things you can do to make your website a special destination for your readers and keep them invested in your work over the long term.

And finally, ALWAYS include an email subscription!

Even if you’re not planning to write to your list often, a subscriber box is an essential part of any author website and marketing plan. It will help your readers stay connected and be notified with any future releases or content you share and keep them coming back.

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Kirsty

As a mum of twins and a small business owner myself, I understand the struggle of balancing all the competing priorities you have. I am passionate about helping my clients automate processes, reduce admin costs & save time, while also building online revenue streams to reduce the stress of getting consistent work/customers. I hope this post helps you too!
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