Do writers really need a website?

Whether you’re starting out as a writer or already published, a quick search on google says: Yes! You should have a website. Why? For several reasons, but mainly because, of all the online avenues available to you, a website is a versatile online platform you can control the content of and it actually requires less effort and upkeep than having a bunch of different social media accounts.

Imagine for a second that you have a facebook page and accounts on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. If you are diligent at updating your various accounts on social media you’re probably looking at one post, or tweet or video a day or at minimum 3 times a week. Finding short, snappy and, let’s face it, interesting content for anywhere between 12 and 28 social media interactions a week, sounds daunting – at least to me.

In contrast, building a website with a blog like this one takes time initially, but once that’s done you’re mainly looking at time to write and update your blog – which can be as often or as little as you like… but I‘ll get back to that!

So, my page took me all of a day to set up. Yes, there are much snazzier websites out there, but I had to start somewhere and the WordPress platform is easy to use and requires no specific coding skills. You can tailor the style to suit you and add or edit content at the push of a button. Anybody with a computer, tablet or smart phone can do it, and many have.

Now, it’s true, my little page pales in comparison to something with a massive budget, tech geniuses who can bend the internet to their will and a host of content creators. What makes it special is – it’s mine. I own the domain name. I get to decide what the page looks like and no one else gets to write or publish anything on here but me. This puts me in the driving seat for one small aspect of the public profile I may or may not have as a writer at some point in the future.

Ok, so remember when I mentioned taking the time to write and update your blog? Well, here’s the thing… having a website – especially if it has a blog like this one – requires that you set aside the time to keep it up to date. This is where many of us fall short. Keeping on top of a busy schedule and trying to carve out time to write can be more than enough on the best of days. Add in needing to write a weekly or even twice weekly blog post with something relevant to say and you may just feel like a website isn’t for you.

Here’s the deal though… finding the time to write a weekly blog post isn’t easy, but it can be done and I can pretty much guarantee it will take less time than 28 social media updates. How?

  1. Make a list of topics you’d like to cover in your blog posts – this takes away the need to come up with something new every time you sit down to write a post.
  2. Figure out what day of the week – and what time of the day – you’re most likely to have the time to write a quick blog post and make a schedule.
  3. If you can’t find the time to write a whole post, take 10 minutes to write 1 paragraph for 5 days and then publish your post when it’s done.
  4. Consider prioritising the time to write 4 blog posts in a week and then schedule them to post once a week for the next month – and then take the rest of the month off!

Whatever you choose to do, a website is an investment in your public profile and taking the time to build it now while you write your novel, could provide you with a platform to connect with your readers further down the road. That’s at least what I’m hoping for!

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