Your website is “you central.” So make sure that everything you do is centered there. See my blog post on creating a website that converts visitors to email list subscribers.
IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
My WordPress blogs and websites are hosted with GoDaddy, which is where I also buy my domain names. Click here for a $1/mo deal on a GoDaddy Managed Hosted WordPress Website that includes one domain name through my affiliation with them. This is probably the best deal you can get. There are many other web hosting companies but I’ve been with GoDaddy for years and asked to be an affiliate. Through my affiliate link, it costs you only $1/mo for a Managed Hosted WordPress website that includes the security features, backups, and 24/7 support you need.
I highly recommend Pub Site for any author who is timid about creating their own site using WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, or any other website tool. Pub Site is brand new as of August 2017 and just for authors. The creators are friends of mine, John and Fauzia Burke, who are designers and marketing people from FSB Associates, an online marketing firm who have been promoting books and authors online for over twenty years. They have developed over 200 author websites for such authors as Sue Grafton, Jonathan Kellerman, Gail Godwin, Tom Clancy, and Clive Cussler.
Unlike all the other website builders, Pub Site concentrates on the things that authors need and readers need to know such as ISBNs, bookseller links, tour dates, direct sales of your book, your bio, photo, and video, if you have one. You can also create new pages for media, interviews, press coverage, and anything else you like.
The interface is easy and WYSIWYG and impossible to break. Just fill in the blanks, customize your colors and layout, and your website is done!
Sumo helps you grow your email list with email signup ribbons, popup boxes, and more. I use it and love it. Alternatives include HelloBar, SleekNote, and IceGram, These and other free or inexpensive tools can put a bar or ribbon at the top of your website that invites site visitors to sign up for your email list. They connect with your email marketing service (like MailChimp) so subscribers are automatically added to your list. so they’re automatically subscribed. Because I am a member of Thrive Themes, however, I use their plugin to do the same thing.
I recently started using plugins from Thrive Themes and after using it for 10 minutes I bought the membership to get all their themes and plugins. This company is awesome. It makes building pages super easy with click-and-drop headings, text areas, images, offers premium themes and plugins to make it very easy to click and drop design elements into your web pages. These themes include easy-to-create lead pages, countdown timers, credit card widgets, call to action (CTA) forms, and all kinds of features that aren’t available with other themes and handled with individual plugins. Currently, $19/mo paid annually ($228) and worth every cent.
WordPress is the most popular web software used to create websites and blogs. You need a managed, hosted WordPress website by a trusted web hosting company so that you control the content and it’s backed up daily, with 24/7 support. It’s easy to use and if you get stuck, there are many consultants available to help at all levels and reasonable prices. As mentioned above, my WordPress blogs and websites are hosted with GoDaddy, where I also buy my domain names. Through my affiliate link, you can get a $1/mo deal for a Managed Hosted WordPress website that includes the security features, backups, and 24/7 support you need.
Yoast is an SEO plugin for WordPress that helps you optimize your website for better search results. It includes real-time content analysis so that you can see right away if your blog post and page titles are on target, your image tags and titles, meta descriptions, and more. It’s kind of magic how it helps you choose keywords and prompts you to link to other content in your site, just to mention two valuable features. There’s a free and premium version. This is a great marketing tool (passive marketing/metadata) and I recommend Yoast Premium at $89.00.