Friday, January 31, 2020

Should Author Websites Be For Readers Or Other Writers?

Photo Courtesy of VisualHunt

In my last post, I promised to explain what I would do with all those author names I’ve been collecting in preparation for building my author platform. Unfortunately, the gastrointestinal illness that swept through our house, along with a bit of procrastination on my part, put an end to that promise. So in the meantime, I’d like to respond to a few of the comments I received in that previous post. 

A few of you mentioned that since I have this blog, I already had an author platform. In one sense, you’re correct. I’ve posted on this blog off and on for the past seven years and, in the process, have made many new writer friends. I learned so much about the writing process over that time, I can scarcely believe I’m the same person who first began writing Hogwarts fan fiction ten years ago. So yes, this blog is a great platform for connecting with other writers. 

Unfortunately, it’s not such a good platform for connecting with readers. 

Reason #1. The purpose of an author website is to give your readers a chance to come and meet you as a person. They don’t want to hear about the trials and tribulations of learning how to write, or read about the intricacies of book marketing. They want to learn about an author’s books, his likes and dislikes, and what he’s currently doing. 

Reason #2. I have all sorts of plans for my author website, and there’s no way I can do those kinds of things on Blogger. 

Reason #3. Although I love the title of this blog, it doesn’t seem terribly professional for my author website to be named after another author’s IP. 

My current solution is to keep this website going, along with having a dedicated author website. It’s not that I’m excited about running two different websites—especially when I haven’t been terribly rigorous about posting here as of late—but I think it’s the best way to go for now. I may eventually merge the two once I become more established as a writer, but in the meantime, I think keeping two separate websites is best. 

Is it possible for a writer to have a single website that caters to both readers and other writers? Of course, it is. (I’m looking at you, Elizabeth Spann Craig) But until I understand what my author platform should look like, I think I’ll keep my options open.

Until next time...



  1. I was just going to mention Elizabeth, especially since she has one of the best sites around.
    This blog could become part of your website like hers.
    I only talk about writing once a month, so hopefully my readers like movie reviews and such.

    1. That's definitely part of your platform. I'd love to do something similar on the topic of fantasy and science.

  2. The focus should be readers first unless your books are geared towards writers. Or you are Elizabeth and you can do both well.

  3. This discussion brings Jim Butcher to mind. Though his website is geared toward readers, he's got a link to his old livejournal where he has some fantastic writing advice. I happen to be a fan of both his writing and his writing insights. Maybe the same will be for you?

  4. You can add your blog to your website, but a website should be for readers (unless writers are your audience...for example, I also publish writing books). You can check out my website to see how it's different from my blog. With a website, you don't have to manage it as much as a blog, only update it when necessary.

  5. I ran my blog/website from Blogspot for many years until I, too, discovered a need for a professional website. I hired designers, who built my website in WordPress, which is easy for me to work with when I want to update things on my own. They imported my entire blog from Blogspot and gave it a place in my menu bar. Of course, I don't blog like I used to, so it's mostly just a place where I announce news -- or utilize when there's something I really want to talk about. I used to have a section of my website dedicated to writers, but I was hit with so much spam from marketers and fake writing students, yes, adults posing as fake writing students, that I deleted it.

  6. You have to do what feels right for you, of course. But I will say that the people I know who are readers (and not writers) are curious to know how their favorite authors do what they do. They want a peek behind the scenes, so to speak. So whatever you end up doing with your author website, I'd say don't be too strict about keeping these things separate.

  7. I'm just seeing this now, ha! So here's what I did, because I had a blog on Blogger at first. I had a web designer (you might be able to do this by yourself) to migrate the blog to my new Wordpress site. The blog is writer-focused and the rest of the site is for readers. I think readers get it...hasn't been a problem. And on social media, I'm equally divided...Twitter for writers, FB for both readers and writers. Haven't heard any complaints yet and it does seem to make life easier for me to have it all integrated.