Discoverability. It’s the most important word for an aspiring author to know and to master. The Internet is where everyone and everything gets found today. If someone searching for you, your book or subjects related to your book can’t find you on the Internet, you will remain obscure. Unknown. That’s not what any aspiring author wants. That’s not what a publisher wants in a writer.
The fact that you can’t be found on line when someone searches for you, that you and your book aren’t discoverable, can feel pretty overwhelming, especially if you want to sell books to readers or to publishers. Yet, so many writers fail to develop an online presence. They don’t want to create a blog or a website, both of which provide them with a way to be easily found on the Internet. Why don’t they do so? Because it feels hard. It’s out of the realm of writing. It’s techy and unfamiliar. The task feels overwhelming.
Creating an online presence with a blog doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Today, my webmaster and blogmaster, Linda Lee, offers a few basic tips on how to begin a blog, or a blog website, in a way that will reduce your sense of overwhelm and give you an online presence in no time flat. Intro written by Nina Amir, Author of “How to Blog a Book” available now .
Letting WordPress Provide the Solution to Your Blog and Website Needs
By Linda Lee
WordPress is the most used blogging and website platform online. First released on May 27, 2003, WordPress was has been downloaded over 65 million times as of December 2011.
I started using WordPress in 2007. Fairly soon after I started using WordPress I began to realize it had the ability to be molded into a fully functioning website vs. just a blog. Many people still think of WordPress as a blogging software but it is so much more than that. It is called a “Content Management System,” which really means you have one stop where you can manage your content and your website by yourself with relative ease.
Why use WordPress instead of an HTML based website? The days of paying a webmaster to do minor updates or changes to your content are over. So one good reason is money. Also no more waiting for you webmaster to get around to making those changes you want. With WordPress you can login and make your own changes with quickly and easily. Here are just a few things you can do as simply as working on your own computer at home.
- Add images
- Add MP3 files
- Add videos
- Add products
- Add forms
For most authors, small business, individuals, and non-profits, a WordPress website will be all they ever need. I have even done group training with offices and non-profits so the employees or volunteers can share the job of running the website.
How do you get started? It is best to get your own hosting and domain name and most hosting companies now offer a one-click type of install for WordPress. Once you have that handled, you will login to your new website and start setting things up. Or if you would like to try it out first and figure things out, you can sign up for a free WordPress website at http://wordpress.com.
At first, it feels a bit daunting, because it is all new for most people. Once you start working on the site and posting and adding pages, it quickly feels more comfortable. There is lots of free support online, and I have several websites that offer paid and free training and many short videos on topics such as :
- How to post and write pages
- How to add images
- How to add youtube videos
- How to add keywords, (or tags is what WordPress calls them)
There is quite a bit of help available online and from WordPress itself. Many people however find that they benefit greatly from some personal one on one type of help. That is what we do at our WordPress Bootcamps. The class is limited to 8 people, so we can help each person individually as well as provide the fun of the group support we have while working together. In the bootcamp you will bring your laptop and, if you already have a WordPress Website, we will work on that. If you are starting from scratch, we will set you up with a WordPress website and you will leave the training with a website, a gravatar and the basic to learning to start blogging and running your website. It is very fulfilling for me to see people launch!
If you are interested in signing up for the upcoming WordPress Bootcamp, please click here: Summer Sessions are June 30, 2012, Mills College, and July 14, 2012 Stanford University.In the afternoon session, we have Self Publishing Bootcamp with Carla King and Laurie McLean and you can get more information on their session here.
Our next Bootcamp will be held soon. Join the mailing list to stay updated and get our “WordPress Tip of the Week”.