by Dean Hua
As an author, you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about the power of blogging. Penelope Trunk, author of The Brazen Careerist, used blogging to land a 6-figure book deal. Tim Ferris, author of The Four Hour Work Week, used a blog to build buzz for his new book and watched it skyrocket to the top of Amazon’s sales charts.
You dream that you can do the same; and now, anything is possible. And with WordPress, you are on the right track to getting there.
One of the unique features of WordPress is the ability to connect to other blogs via trackback. When other blogs reference and link back to your site, you receive notification through the administration interface. This form of linking from one blog to another is called a trackback.
By receiving notification of the trackback, you will be able to start a conversation and network with other bloggers. Afterall, if they are linking back to your site it means you’ve said something of interest to them. You’ll be able to visit their website and blog and see if they have something positive or negative to say. Regardless, this allows you to monitor what the web is saying about you. Trackback is an invaluable source of public relations information for you.
WordPress Is Robust.
WordPress has hundreds of plugins that will allow an author to create a formidable online presence. Plugins are modules or add-ons to your existing site that help increase its functionality. A sitemap plugin allows you to add a sitemap to your WordPress powered website. A video plugin allows you to upload various types of video such as YouTube, flash, and QuickTime. An SEO plugin can help increase the search engine friendliness of your website.
There are hundreds of plugins within WordPress’ library. One of the primary reasons it has become one of the most popular blogging platforms on the Internet is because users can add robust functionality to its core software.
There are new plugins being developed every day, and many of these plugins are free. The plugin library has helped differentiate itself from other platforms such as Typepad or Blogger.
WordPress Is Flexible.
There is little doubt that every author needs a website in order to generate exposure for their book. Some authors will want to leverage blogging to help improve their online presence. The great aspect of WordPress is that it acts as a kind of Swiss Army knife, unfolding to reveal its many features. It is so flexible, you’ll think it has taken yoga lessons!
Perhaps you’ve started blogging, but decide you can’t keep up with it anymore. That’s fine with WordPress – you still have your website as the storefront to your book.
Currently, there are a lot of authors who have a website for their work and a blog hosted on a separate domain. Some might be relying on Google’s Blogger as their blog platform. What would happen if you stopped blogging while relying on a hosted solution like Blogger? Your readership abandons you because of the lack of fresh content. This issue would not be as bad if your blog was on your website, because at least you have visitors to your website looking for news about you. But with a blog hosted elsewhere, you lose those potential viewers because the blogging platform doesn’t give a lot of wiggle room to create a normal website architecture, such as an about page or product page.
Conversely, some authors feel that a blog presence is more important than a website. But somewhere along the way, they get the idea that they need a website. They want to have a normal site architecture, including:
• Home page
• About page
• Reviews of their book
• Schedule of upcoming events and book tours
By relying on WordPress, they can easily turn their blog presence into a website by just adding a few pages to the blog. Or, they can redesign the entire blog to look like a website that has a blog section. With a competent designer, WordPress is flexible enough to meet both demands.
Regardless if you want to start with a blog, a website or both, you should consider WordPress as a viable option as it is flexible enough to meet most goals – even if those goals change over time. Coupled with its ease of use, strong community support and a vast library of plugins, aspiring authors cannot go wrong with using WordPress to create a powerful online presence.
WordPress For Your Website And Blog.
It is important for your website to rank well on search engine results, so Internet users find the web page they seek. Permalinks, the address of your blog page and the structure that WordPress provides are easily understood by humans and machines, making your website visible and easy to locate.
Many CMS have permalink features, but not all of them are search engine friendly. Do not underestimate the importance of search engine friendly permalinks when designing your site. Anything that boosts the search engine rankings of your website is considered a positive and should be considered when creating your online presence.
As an author, you want to attract as many people as possible, as easily as possible – and RDA, RSS 2.0 and ATOM feeds can go a long way in achieving this. Essentially, they help your readers keep up with the latest from your website and blog by allowing them to “subscribe” to your site. WordPress supports all three feed services, and any page on your website can be associated with a feed so your readers are able to find the categories and sections they are most interested in.
You will never be short of support and guidance, as there is a vibrant online community of WordPress users. WordPress is free and open source, which should dispel any worries you might have about propriety software.
WordPress has become very popular because it simplifies the manner in which a website can be created and managed, and its list of users continues to grow. WordPress gives control back to the website owner and allows authors to focus on generating interest in their work rather than worry about writing code.
You can access the entire article (parts 1 and 2) as a PDF here.
H. Dean Hua is Chief Web Evangelist of Sachi Studio- a web design and online marketing consultancy. He helps book authors develop a remarkable online presence by focusing on websites, blog designs, best practices in blogging for authors, and exploring how book authors can use Facebook as a viable social media tool. http://www.sachistudio.com
Dean can be reached on the web at www.sachistudio.com.