If you plan to make your published book the hub of your online business, you will want to have a website or web presence.

On that site, in addition to answering the "W" and "H" questions (who, what, where, when, why and how), you’ll have places where visitors:

  • Offer comments and feedback
  • Sign up for newsletters
  • Have access to the latest information about you, your business or practice, and the products and
  • services you offer for sale or as buying incentives.

    Make your website content specific

    Basic to your web business is strategic construction from the ground floor up. Your website must be a traffic magnet. That means that every page must be keyword specific.

    Keywords are the magnets that bring people to your site. A keyword is a phrase that people may be searching for. If you’re searching for property in Portland Oregon, you would probably type in “Portland Oregon homes for sale” or something similar. This keyword phrase would take you to a series of “hyperlink” listings on Google or the other search engines. These hyperlinks or “click on” links immediately lead you to a list of websites that provide information about Portland, Oregon real estate.

    The hyperlink for the home page of your website will be your domain name or “URL.” For example, if you are a veterinarian and have an animal hospital, the name of your domain could be “animalhospital.com” or “animal-hospital.com” with http://www. before your domain name, e.g., http://www.animalhospital.com.

    Your web domain is your online home

    Welcome your visitors to your website as if you were welcoming them to your physical home or brick and mortar office.

    Feed your visitors valuable information. Keep them nourished; demonstrate your expertise in your specialty area.

    Your goal is to establish a relationship with these individuals who, from millions of other existing websites, chose to click on your URL hyperlink and pay you an online visit.

    Keep it Simple

    Can visitors find what they’re looking for quickly and easily? Can they zoom through your website, download excerpts and samples and buy your products with a single click-through to the shopping cart? If you have audios and videos on your site, do they download within seconds?

    In the past, web builders encouraged their customers to build glitzy websites. The more bells and whistles the better.

    It didn’t take long to replace that “success model” with a simple streamlined understated site that raced from one page to the next and made it easy for browsers to capture the content in less than a minute.

    Visitors become frustrated when they have to wait longer than a second or two for a website to upload. Banners, complex animation and other graphics slow the downloading process.

    The goal is to avoid, at all costs, a visitor’s “click-off.”

    Once your visitor has landed on your home page, however, keep them reading! Serve them a 7-course dinner of valuable need-to-know information. You want them to bookmark your website for return visits.

    Just as important: you also want vistors to recommend your site to others. Make sure you have plenty of room for comments and feedback. Treasure these testimonials.

    SiteSell/SiteBuildIt Websites

    The best money you could ever spend is SiteSell’s (SBI's) $299 per year domain registration and hosting package that includes their own amazing keyword "brainstorming tool," and more support materials than you’ll ever have time to read and digest.

    As I said previously, I’d invested thousands of dollars in websites that I couldn't operate myself. Every time I needed to change or add new data, I had to contact my webmaster. I was always at the mercy of their schedule and of course, the pay-per-hour clock started running whenever I contracted them for these revisions.

    How much money do I need to spend?

    If you build an SBI website, obviously you’ll be saving hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars. I do recommend, if you’ve never done any web work, that you consider an additional investment with SBI to have them do your initial keyword analysis chart and possibly build the first 1-10 pages of your site.

    I chose that option myself because I know absolutely nothing about web designing and building. I’m glad I did, because after that, it was a snap for me to take over. The two websites now have a total of over 200 pages and I'm still building.

    With my two SBI websites, Write to Publish for Profit and Dandelion Books I’m my own webmaster. It feels good to know that I can make changes and adjustments whenever I please.

    Even more important is the look and feel of the websites. They represent me and who I am. My personality is stamped on every page.

    In my next article, I’ll discuss monetizing your website and launching your online business.

    Author's Bio: 

    Carol Adler, MFA’s first ghost-written book listing her name as co-editor, Why Am I Still Addicted? A Holistic Approach to Recovery, was endorsed by Deepak Chopra, M.D., and published by McGraw-Hill. Other publications include three novels, four books of poetry, and well over 200 poems in literary journals. She has ghostwritten over 40 non-fiction and fiction works for a number of professionals in the education, health care and human potential industries.

    Carol is President of Dandelion Books, LLC of Tempe, Arizona; a full service publishing company. She is also President and CEO of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc., Write to Publish for Profit and President of the International Arts & Media Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Dandelion Enterprises, Inc.

    Her business experience includes co-ownership of a Palm Beach, FL public relations company and executive management positions in two U.S. rejuvenation and mind/body wellness corporations, for which she founded publishing divisions.

    Carol has served as editor of several poetry and literary magazines. Her career experience includes extensive teaching of college-level creative and business writing, and conducting of writing workshops in prisons, libraries, elementary, junior and high schools, and senior citizen centers.

    Additional Resources on Publishing can be found at:

    Website Directory for Publishing
    Articles on Publishing
    Products for Publishing
    Discussion Board
    Carol Adler, The Official Guide to Publishing