Building a Website: One Click at a Time
For many writers, creating a website to showcase and sell their writing wares is a relatively alien
concept, at least it was for me. What does come naturally to me is sharing whatever
I have learned about today’s publishing world with other writers. In my
weekly critique group, we do just that, in addition to critiquing one another.
On occasion, writers not able to join our group ask me questions about marketing their work or finding an agent. I do the best I can to help, but it is not possible to give in-depth advice in a short period of time. I realized that
if I could say—"Go to my website and read my article, Guidelines for the
First-Time Author," it would solve the problem. That seed of an idea grew into
a new writing goal: to create and build a website that would help others and also become a marketing tool.
There was only one problem. I had no idea how to go about
it. I leafed through one book that was specifically for idiots who wanted to
build websites and didn’t understand a word. I then turned to the Internet
to research the subject with more success.
If you type in the words, “Web Hosts Build Your Own Website,” you will
find a myriad of hosts out there. I also asked other writers, who have built
their own website, for recommendations.
There are many layouts and colors available.
I wanted mine to be informal and user-friendly. You may prefer yours to
appear more business-like. If you have published a book, you will want to link
your site to Amazon.
There is a misconception that creating and maintaining a website is very expensive. My Internet search quickly dispelled that notion.
I was surprised to find a number of free websites (if you don’t object to ads appearing on your page) and inexpensive
monthly fees for others. I finally chose a company and plan that cost me the
grand set-up total of $23.95 and $8.95 a month. My domain name (libbygrandy.com)
Once I understood that a website was affordable, I had to convince myself that I was capable of building
one. I am only marginally computer literate.
A friend, who is more knowledgeable, offered to walk me through it.
I told her that I wanted something clean and simple. I wanted pastel colors
for a background and a picture that made me look “accessible” so that visitors would feel comfortable emailing
me. Another writer friend, with a digital camera, took my picture. I wanted the website to include sixteen published articles, synopses and first chapters of novel manuscripts,
and I wanted visitors to be able to find them easily.
is how simple it was:
input content and, within a relatively short time, my website was up and running. I felt very proud when I was able to go into the site and make changes. I entered my domain name and password. Clicked
on edit. Clicked on the appropriate box in the site. Made the change. Clicked on Done, then Publish to Website
and logged out. When I went back into my published website, there were the changes. I had become a Webmaster, one click at a time.
- I researched companies on the Internet.
- I chose the Web Host and plan that met my needs and signed up.
- My writing friend and I went into “build a site” on my account and followed the
directions to create a Home page. When we had a question, we went into Help.
- On the Home page, we added my picture and a short message.
On one side, we chose headings such as Writing Articles, Animal Stories, Inspirational Stories, Novels, etc.
Learning how to build a personal website is no different than learning any skill.
It takes perseverance and commitment, but if you work through it step by step, you will be successful.
By brainstorming with my writing friends, I joined the world of the web, with little sweat, no tears and small financial
If you build a website that suits your own needs (and please forgive me for this), they will come!