NOTE: This is, unapologetically, long post. You will know why once you read it!
The thing is, I am so busy with various projects I rarely find the time to write anything of substance for these ramblings, and I don’t want to fill these pages with the type of uninteresting drivel I see on so many people’s blogs.
I assume they do so simply to fill their pages with ‘content’, regardless of quality. Something I am not prepared to do.
This post, which I have titled ‘Your website is now irrelevant’, came from a discussion I watched on the BBC last night, or rather during the early hours of this morning. (11th of January 2022)
The subject of the conversation was regarding the first anniversary of the Capitol Riots in the USA when ‘a violent mob’ stormed the Capitol building as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. (The ‘riots’ happened on January 6th 2021)
Now, the TV program was about the media action/reaction to this event more than the actual event itself.
During this discussion, an editor from Vibe Media, (I did not catch her name), said something which I found interesting enough for me to be motivated to write this post, as it is something I believe we, as indie authors, who self-market our books, try and maintain a strong social media presence, and promote our ‘brand’, should take seriously.
We all know the world, particularly in respect of the internet and communications, is exponentially changing, and this continuous transformation is difficult to keep abreast of.
One of the basic premises of marketing most indie authors have adopted is having an author or brand website.
We use this as our home for all things bookish and publishing. We use it as the solid base from where we promote and market our works. To entertain and inform our readers, to attract ‘new’ readers to our books.
We spend hours creating, editing, altering, and polishing our websites to make them attractive enough to seduce people to buy our books. (Not to mention the costs involved in maintaining a good site.)
These sites are often treated as our ‘babies’. The hub of our author presence on the net, the web, and on social media.
I love a ‘however’, so I’ll say it again.
According to Vibe Media, your website, my website, most, if not all websites, are now archaic forms of internet interaction.
Soon websites, as we know them, will become superfluous.
They are becoming outmoded with every day that passes and will soon be redundant.
This got me thinking… and researching.
Now I agree.
This ground shift is happening, and it’s happening right now.
It’s all to do with effective connection to the masses.
You see a website, any website, yours, mine, theirs, is a static medium.
To get traffic you must attract people to visit your site. This means promoting the site, advertising, posting, and such.
Secondly, you need them to interact, buy, click links, comment, subscribe and, most importantly, and return frequently.
I don’t know your websites numbers, such as visitors, bounces, returners, or how long visitors spend browsing, or even buying stuff.
I guess it’s not as many as you wish, and not often enough, even if you have spent a fortune on learning about funnelling or paying a tech guru to assist you.
Author websites are good for storing a ton of information about you and your products/books, but not good for ongoing engagement in the marketplace.
I mean, when was the last time you found people working their way through your site’s archives and reading the information and posts? (I won’t wait for an answer.)
Taking into consideration you need to write and curate a ton of fresh content, constantly and continually. It’s a lot of hard work, especially when you should be promoting your books and writing the next.
Bearing this in mind, I agree with Vibe.
Websites are no longer the go-to places people look for engaging content. Especially the younger ones, those born since the year 2000.
This age group prefers online media, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Live.me, and Facebook.
Of course, there’s more site our younger generations adopt; WhatsApp, Omegal, MeetMe, Yubo, Monkey, Whisper, and so on. These tend to be ‘Chat’ sites, many only known by the Gen X’s and Millennials.
Some of these are ‘self-destructing’, they erase all, (text and images) after a certain time making communication private… and possibly dangerous… I’ll just leave that one here.
So, what is the point of this post from our, the indie author position, and our rapidly becoming redundant websites.
It is for us to accept change is inevitable and to change our ways along with the inexorable shift. (Yep, it all happens so quickly ‘Nowadays’!)
I am taking a leaf out of Vibes marketing strategy. My author website will remain, but only as a repository for information, such as my library and author info.
I will not be promoting it as much as previously. I certainly won’t be spending hours creating and curating content, which after posting about new content, the initial flow of visitors dries up, meaning you need to do the same all over again.
Instead, I shall concentrate on creating posts I can post directly onto the social platforms where there are either substantial numbers of people hungrily devouring its content, or directly onto sites, pages, and platforms where I know my target market is engaging.
The time and effort in doing this will only equal, if not be less than the time needed to housekeep my website, or websites… some I’ll soon be closing, as time is more important to create quality media which will be seen, rather than simply tending to what was once my baby.
Although I doubt William Faulkner could have envisaged the internet, let alone social media, I do think his quote, “You must kill off your Darlings” expresses this concept perfectly, even if we need to interpret it in a new light.
Let me know your thoughts.
Keep Happy, Paul
While I still have a website! Please visit and browse through my books, artworks & Photography. I am certain you’ll find something you’ll enjoy reading or seeing.