Thursday, September 19, 2019

6 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Website

By Chrys Fey, @ChrysFey

Part of The Writer’s Life Series

JH: Being an author these days also means being a promotor, marketer, and even social media guru—at least to some degree. Today, Chrys Fey takes the podium to share tips on building traffic to our website.

Chrys Fey is the author of the award-winning book Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. Fey is an editor for Dancing Lemur Press and runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Goodreads book club. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips.

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Take it away Chrys…

Chrys Fey
Websites don’t get the same kind of traffic that social media profiles or blogs do, since just about everyone is on social media and blogs are update periodically with new content.

A website is important for authors to have because you control everything about it, unlike social media, which changes constantly without our consent. You get to create the design and you own it. It’s a fact that with social media changing daily and newer and better things emerging, that your favorite social media site may eventually go under or decline in popularity, like Myspace had when Facebook came along. But being the owner of your site, you can keep it for as long as there is such a thing as the World Wide Web. Even if your web host goes away, you can always find another and your site will continue to be there. How wonderful is that?

Your website will be your one-stop place for readers to find information about your books, get extra content, learn more about you or your characters, and whatever else you want to share with them. It’s also where all of your information can be found without much effort (your bio, links, press kit) and your blog can be there, too, but more about that later.

You can have all of this on your site, but how do you get people to your website?

Well, that’s the trick.

6 Ways to Build Traffic to Your Website

1. Provide Daily/Weekly Bonuses

What’s a daily or weekly bonus, you ask? It can be anything. I once did weekly writing tips in the sidebar of my website and promoted them across social media to get people to venture over to my site to see the new writing tips. I even took screenshots of them and posted them after the fact to Instagram.

What is something simple you can provide daily or weekly? Perhaps you can share one-liners from your books or a weekly fact about you, your characters, and/or your books. Take some time to compile a bunch of bonuses you can highlight on your website before you begin. Then mark your calendar to remind you to update it.

2. Update Your Website Monthly

At least for a year, especially the first year your site is up and running. Upcoming events is an easy one to update as you sign up for appearances/signings and when you need to remove past events. You can add new releases, sales, and giveaway announcements to the Home page, as well as add new content related to your book, too, such as:
  • Excerpts
  • Playlists
  • Recipes
  • Character Profiles
  • Photos of Your Writing Space
  • Facts and Insights
  • Testimonials
Once you have something new up, let everyone know about it (Facebook, Twitter, your mailing list, your blog, etc.) to get people to check it out.

3. Freebies

Offer freebies nowhere else but on your website so people have to go there to get it, and once they’re on your site to snag the freebie, the odds are good that they’ll snoop around a little to learn more about you and to see your books.

TIP: Make sure your freebies can easily be downloaded.

Freebie Ideas:
  • Free eBooks
  • Guides for Writers
  • Printable Book Club Discussion Sheets
  • Computer Backgrounds
  • Printable Coloring Pages of Your Books’ Covers
  • Printable Calendar Months with Your Books’ Covers
TIP: Have a freebie page for everything you’re offering readers and visitors. When you promote your freebies, you can direct people to that page.

4. Utilize Your Blog

If you already have a blog separate from your site, you can use its link as a page on your site, so when people click on the “Blog” page, they get brought to your blog. This is what mine does. Or you can install Wordpress to your website through your webhost.

If you don’t already have a blog, you can integrate a blog into your website, which will keep people on your site. Wordpress makes it easy for you to have a blog and a site in one. To use Wordpress as your website (as I do), you’ll want a Home page that isn’t a blog post.

Steps to Create a Static Home Page on Wordpress:
  • Create a new page titled “Home.”
  • Go to “settings” on your Wordpress Admin Dashboard, and click “reading.”
  • On that page, change “Your homepage displays” to “a static page.”
  • Finally, in the dropdown for “Homepage,” select the page you created to be your Home page.
  • Save changes.
Now the “Home” page you created will be the first thing visible every time someone visits your website. After that, if you still want a blog on your site, the steps are pretty similar to designating a Home page.

Steps to Move Your Blog Posts to a Page on Your Site:
  • Create a blank page, most likely titled “Blog.”
  • Leave the page’s text/content box empty, though, so Wordpress will display your blog posts there after you assign that page as your blog page.
  • To do that, on your Wordpress Admin Dashboard, go to “Settings” and click “Reading.”
  • From the dropdown for “post pages,” select the blog page you just created.
  • Then in the “Blog posts show at most” section, type how many posts you want visible at a time.
  • Save changes.
Now your blog on Wordpress can be found using your site’s domain with /blog at the end of it, which is the address for the page you created in the first step. And it can also be found when clicking on the “Blog” page in your website’s navigation bar.

What’s great about this option is that visitors to your blog are also visiting your site, increasing your traffic.

For tips on how to get blog traffic check out: Build Blog Traffic the Smart Way – Part 1 and Build Blog Traffic the Smart Way – Part 2

5. Giveaways

Host a giveaway on your website. Create a page for it or put it on your Home page. Provide all the info about the item(s) people can win (include images), how to enter (link to your Rafflecopter giveaway if you can’t put the form directly on your site), the deadline, any restrictions (Ex: US only), and a privacy policy. Then use that link whenever you announce the giveaway. This is a surefire way to get a lot of new traffic.

6. Scavenger

If you don’t want to host the giveaway on your site, you can be strategic in getting entrants to go to your website as a way to enter the giveaway with a scavenger hunt. For instance, you can send entrants to your Home page, looking for a special word that you hid on your home page and set as a specific color. Make sure to let them know what color to look for, though. And include the instructions in the giveaway form that they have to enter the special word in order to receive those points. Put this special word somewhere near the bottom of your home page so that they will have to scroll and look at the other things you have there.

Traffic to your website won’t be through the roof. Some days, you’ll have no traffic. Other days, you’ll have one visitor. Then there are times when you’ll have several, especially if you do one or more of the techniques mentioned above.

Make your website your own…make it your home…and then invite people there for refreshments.

For tips on how to create a website see: How to Create a Website

About Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication

Do you want to know how to write a book step by step?

Are you wondering what to do once you have written a book?

Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you'll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You'll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.
  • Spark One: Being a Writer
  • Spark Two: Story Essentials
  • Spark Three: A Book's Stepping Stones
  • Spark Four: How To
  • Spark Five: Character ER
  • Spark Six: Editing
  • Spark Seven: Publishing
  • Spark Eight: Marketing
  • Spark Nine: Writing About
  • Spark Ten: Final Inspiration
With so much information, you'll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey.

You will learn how to:
  • Write action, romance, suspense, mystery, and comedy
  • Create believable characters
  • Edit your writing
  • Build your author platform
  • Craft your author brand
  • Use social media marketing
  • Start a blog
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