Happy Sunday Y’All. If you’re in my neck ‘O the woods, you’re buried under nearly a foot of snow with a layer of ice on top of it and you’ve got stuff to do that involves going outside…
So I’m blogging instead*.
Today I’d like to talk about something other than writing…Kind of.
Every now and again, I’ll see this question come up:
When should I put up a website?
The person asking usually has a couple of Milestone moments in mind:
When I’ve published a novel?
When I’ve got a handful of short stories published?
After publishing my first story?
The list can go on for a while.
The answer, my answer anyway,** is
Seriously. Ok, I’ll give you a little slack and allow you to finish reading this post, but after that, go ye forth and get ‘er done.
It’s not like you’re planning on going outside. Look at it out there: Really deep snow. With a coating of ice on top. And is that a find drizzle that’s happening out there??
Heck, I’ve already got a website and I might just create another, if it’ll keep me from going out in that mess.***
It’s never too early to start developing a readership.
Don’t wait until you’ve got a Novel finished.
Don’t wait until you’ve got one or more stories published.
Do it now.
Your website is the place for you to announce those things, and you want to have that platform built before the news hits.
I know what some of you are thinking (I know this because I have had the same thoughts):
I don’t have anything published (or: I *only* have this, one thing ~or things~ published) what could I possibly have to say about writing (creating in general)?
There are a few ways to answer this question. I’ll start with my favorite:
“Who cares?” Seriously, if you want to put up a website about writing, or creating something, then you DO that, and to Hell with what anyone else has to say about it.
“You are the world’s, foremost, expert on…you.” Every writer is unique. You’ve got your own process, and there were probably – or you may be in the middle of a set of – false starts along the way as you sussed out what works for you, and what doesn’t. Share that on your website, or blog, and you’re presenting a unique perspective…which may help someone who isn’t as far along as you are.
Folk are going to come to your website to find out about you. You don’t need to be “All creating, all the time!” In fact, I’d recommend against that. Share a little bit of yourself, things you enjoy, stuff like that. Don’t Overshare, to be sure. Do what you’re comfortable with.
You do need to be consistent. As consistent as you can. Update the site, or post on your blog as regularly as you can manage (And I’ll bet that you can manage more than you think you can). Once people know that they can come back every week, or whatever, to find something new, they are more likely to do just that.
Tangentially, you’re also going to need to figure out how to let folks know that there is new stuff up on your site…but social media is a whole other post.
Since this is a writing blog, I’m going to steer this next little bit specifically towards writing and publishing, though I’ll bet it applies to other creative fields as well.
As a writer in today’s marketplace, it is becoming more and more important for *You* the writer to know about promoting your own work. If you’re going the traditional route, unless lightning strikes**** you will not get a lot – if any – marketing support for your book, and if you’re self publishing, you won’t get any other than what you do yourself.
It’s becoming more and more valuable to have an established website. And, by established, I mean something that is out there, and updated regularly.
Until next time…
*Delaying the inevitable, folks.
**Your mileage may vary, of course, but I don’t think it will in this instance.
***We may, actually, be moving into the realm of procrastination…