Once you've published a few books, nailed down the look and feel of your site, and developed your platform, you can take a little breather and sit back to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Or can you?
There's always something you can do to continue improving your author site. Here are a few things you should concentrate on once you have the basics nailed down.
Increase Your Website's Functionality
Having a decent following and recognizable brand does not mean that you should stop innovating your site. But it does mean you should change the way you approach your innovation.
Instead of making major design changes to your site, you should think about how you can manipulate the functionality of your site to better interact with your readers.
Popular authors often offer more interactivity on their site. Adding a forum for your readers to connect and discuss your work or putting up a section where users can submit fan-fiction based on your novels are some aspects you may want to add to your mature site. Games and giveaways are also a good way to get readers involved on your site.
Alternatively, you can expand your content. Podcasts, vlogs, or Easter Eggs are all good options for a mature site.
Integrate Your Website Into Your Business Plan
When your author site is in its infancy or adolescence, you will most likely use it to support your business, your writing. However, as it reaches maturity, you will find that your site can be used as a business on its own.
The platform you have gained on your site can be swayed in many ways, and this influence should be accounted for when you create a long-term business plan.
Although it's a good idea to have your website in your business plan from the get-go, authors tend to approach their "business" a bit differently, and many don't even start to look at their writing as a business unless they have published multiple books or are making a significant amount of their income from writing. Because of this, the website grows organically alongside the author's reputation. But once your website is mature, it is critical that you think of it as a business asset and opportunity.
Monetize Your Site
Depending on your approach to publishing and your website, you may have already monetized certain aspects of your site. But if you haven't, now is the time to do so.
By now you already have a following who trusts you, so they will be less critical if you decide to advertise on your site. Alternatively, you can set up a patron program or sell content directly from your site. Creating a "members only" section or selling short e-books are good ways to do this.
Of course, all sites grow at different rates and in different orders. You may decide to monetize your site from its inception, and you may have a grand business plan for your website before you sell your first book. On the other hand, you may be missing some of the basic components of an author site even after you've been running yours for years.
The most important thing is for you to be able to assess where your current site is and to create a plan for going forward.
If you missed them, check out the other posts in this series: