Sunday, November 13, 2011

Author Websites: Not Just for Pubbed Authors

Happy Monday! Today I'm super excited to announce the official launch of my because my Wordpress website design and build business, Atmosphere Websites with business colleague (and trusted critique partner) Mike Chen. I design and Mike builds, and together we offer packages for small businesses, babies, artists, musicians, weddings, and authors.

So naturally I thought I'd talk a bit about author web sites. There has been much said on the subject of having a web site--by me in these posts, and also Roni Loren covers this topic really well. Last year I did a post about why I think unpublished writers should have web sites. Now seems like a good time to repeat those reasons:

  • A website shows you're serious and professional about what you're doing. Going to the trouble and expense of a web site means you're putting stock in the long term. Designing, publishing, and maintaining web sites is not easy and requires work and/or funds to put into it.
  • A website offers a window into who you are and what you write.Your blog can do this, too, but with the day to day ramblings, it's sometimes hard to keep that introductory information topmost. Your web site serves as your virtual business card.
  • A website can be static until you score that book deal. Then, you'll need it. And you might not have time to launch a whole branding effort, so having one in place sets you up for when your site needs to kick into gear and work for you.
At the very least, reserve your domain name now.

Looking long term, I've become convinced that it's better to have a web site that hosts your blog in addition to your web content. Roni Loren and I have had this discussion many times--it's best to host your blog on your own server space, but what if you started out with a Blogger or free Wordpress blog? How do you migrate all that stuff (not to mention readers) to your website? How do you integrate a blog on it?

On Wednesday, I'll be answering these questions and telling you why after many years with Blogger, I have become convinced that it's time to migrate my blog over to my website. It isn't an easy decision, and Blogger has been good to me. But even so, it's time. Come back Wednesay and I'll tell you why.

In the meantime, questions or thoughts on unpublished writer websites? Wordpress? The awesomeness that is Atmosphere Websites?


Kristen Lippert-Martin said...

I like your company logo! It looks like a symbol on the periodic table for the element Stylenesium.

And look! I can finally comment now! Au revoir, Intense Debate. You kinda sucked.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Thanks Kristen! I'm sad to see Intense Debates go, especially because it would notify people if I replied. Stupid ID. Diqus, anyone?

And, I might be stealing the Stylensium thing. In fact, you can count on it, you marketing genius you.

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Meghan Ward said...

Hey Sierra - Congrats on your new business venture! I use and I definitely think it's best to host your own blog and to have it on your own website. As for migrating over from Blogger - I think that's possible (didn't Nathan Bransford do it?) without losing everything, but I'm sure Mike would know for sure. Are you going to move your blog to your website soon?

Sierra said...

Thanks Meghan! Yes, you can migrate all of Blogger's posts over to the Wordpress, so I'll definitely do that. What I don't know is if it takes the comments as well.

I'm planning to do the migration in December, when I have some time (right). Currently, my website is done in Dreamweaver by me but I'm going to convert the whole thing to Wordpress so it'll take some fixing. (But that's what Mike is for!)

Kat Latham said...

I know I'm late to this post, but I've been reading quite a few of your fantastic posts because I'm getting ready to create a website (on and am going back and forth on migrating my blog (currently on

The only real thing I can see against it is losing my followers, but I finally figured out that the ones I'll lose are the ones who subscribed and never read any more of my posts (or, at least, stopped commenting). So I'm looking at this as more of an opportunity to build a bigger, badder following on a nicer site.

Out of curiosity, what do you think about pre-pubbed writers having manuscript synopses on their websites?

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