A professional website is a must.
You can create a single page website yourself but unless your are technically minded it is best to ask a professional to do it for you. Try Mark Porthouse – www.markporthouse.net, the Evolve website design people, or the Word pool book site. Visit the websites of published writers and see what they have to offer.
A website should reflect a writer, and each will have a different requirement. Some writers, for instance, sell direct from their site. Some include prayers or reviews of other people’s books. Some give a list of talks which they are giving.
How to build a tribe, or readership: start with your email address list. Invite everyone to visit your site and read your blogs.
What you need on a website:
A home page with your photograph on it, and a word of introduction about yourself. You will need a series of navigation links, each of which will lead the viewer to one part of your work.
Links leading to a section showing your books, or your articles, or your short stories.
For a book you can display the cover, give a blurb, and the ISBN number if applicable.
For an article, give a description of the material used, and how to find it.
For a short story, you might like to give a taster, and say where it can be found.
A link for your blog. Don’t try to blog every day, but put new material there on a regular basis. You may invite other like-minded writers to guest on your blog, and suggest you do the same for them, or ask permission to quote their blog on yours. Your blog may have a particular theme such as ‘Strong Women’. It should preferably contain some writing content and not just be a record of your social calendar.
Some people share their blog with one or two other writers, so that each one posts for a week in turn. (See James Scott Bell and his Killzone of crime writers) On this blog page you will have a second link to a space where Comments can be posted.
Contact: You will need a separate page which will lead the viewer to contact you by e-mail.