Website, Blog or Wattpad? Ranting ...

WARNING: Rant ahead! So frustrated. What does one do when they don’t know what they want? Tried to get the hosting for my website transferred, based on advice from Company A. Company B was hosting it, but now they did something that makes it hard for me to do the transfer. After making calls to both companies and getting nowhere, I’ve 99% decided to just let the website die out there in the oblivious graveyard of the Internet and not have a site for a while. I believe the source of my trouble stems from not knowing what I want, and taking the advice of others as a fallback position until I do know.
Originally the desire was for others to see my writing. And why? As validation that what I was producing was worthwhile. So why not put the work out there for all to see? Supposedly, if a site is designed and positioned correctly, it will attract attention. But apparently, my site was placed out there along a highway so inundated with others that no one could distinguish mine from among the millions- which points me toward that original question: What do I want? At the moment I seem to have found the answer: Wattpad. Maybe this is the place where writers go when all else has failed- due in large part to an inability to know what they want and act appropriately.
At this moment, I don’t care if I ever have a site again. For the moment, swimming around in the universe that is Wattpad feels like the best place to lick my wounds until something better comes along- or my situation at WP improves. To remain in the current attitudinal location I have migrated to means walking away from a site I paid a lot of money to have created and maintained. It means waving goodbye to the domain names I chose, then changed, then changed again. It means scratching out that name on the business cards I had printed, then never used except for scribbling notes on. It means walking away from yet another idea that never panned out. It means getting back to the only activity I know of that brings me joy- writing.

Okay, rant noted. I’m sorry to hear things went badly for you. But I’m not quite sure how to help you? What sort of feedback (if any) are you looking for? That defines a little bit where this post sits best. Are you looking for feedback on how to improve traffic to your author’s site? Then the Industry Insider would indeed suit you. Are you ranting about the woes of authors in general, then ditto.
Or do you see issues with Wattpad?

No issues with Wattpad. I’m trying to see how a website would be useful, given my failure with them.

What is your goal? Are you a published author? If so, then a website is critical.

If you are just writing for the love of it and want to share your work for free, then keep it simple and just post your stories on Wattpad. It all depends where you are at in your journey and what you want to achieve.

Okay! When you say failure, you mean lack of traffic, right? What did you feature on your website and how did you try to drive traffic there? I set mine up last summer, and yes, traffic is a bit of a challenge. I do blogs with writer’s (editing tips) and promote them via twitter. Have only just started, it’s hard going. For me, the website is there to promote my writing activities. My first novel is hopefully coming out this year, having an author’s website, where people can check is quite important.
Ah, i see @AWExley has already posted the same comment

I published a book on Amazon, but it didn’t sell. I jumped the gun by placing the book link on my site without first setting up a decent promotion. Regardless, the site had no traffic for one year straight. Maybe a site is not the way to go

The novel, the site and the marketing all go together. If the book doesn’t sell, the website won’t change that

Lack of traffic was the problem. And since I don’t have the requisite $2000 for a social media manager, it all seems a waste of time.

Seems like a chicken and egg thing, though. To sell the book, you have to promote …

You don’t need a social media manager (sounds like a monumental waste of money to me) what you do need is a plan. And as @lhansenauthor says, novel, site and marketing all go hand in hand.

You published one book, that’s a great achievement :slight_smile: What have you done to market it? What is your short and long term plan? When did book 2 and 3 release? What are you doing to build your email list and grow your readerbase?

Correct, but the website is only part of the marketing mix, actually it is the least active one. You need to do outreach (ads, connecting on twitter etc.) I’ve done marketing but for different products, not books. I’ll have to figure that out myself.
Questions to ask -
what is your product, how ready is it?
Your audience?
Where can you promote i.e. how can you best reach your audience?
That defines the channels
The budget comes last and few indie authors have budgets the size you mention

I agree about needing a plan. But my plan failed. I sent out free copies, did contests on Goodreads and Amazon, promoted the book via Facebook ads, etc. Guess I wasn’t patient enough.

Patience is one thing, but you tried quite a few approaches, which is good. It could be that the “product” i.e. the story you no doubt sweated over and cared for was not taken up by the audience. What do you write? Was it “only” one book you tried to launch (even writing one book is a major achievement!)

What you’re talking about here is information I wasn’t privy to when I started out. Now the challenge is finding some source with concise advice about the things you’ve mentioned.

I always recommend people new to self publishing read Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran. It’s full of advice about how to get started, finding your audience and marketing.

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I’ve never had any illusions about my book being the next Great American Novel. But I did get encouraging words from a published author who served as my mentor when I was working with Gotham Writers Workshop. His encouragement was part of my motivation for trying to publish the memoir. Of course, it could be that my book is mediocre and not deserving of an audience. That being said, I do have another finished memoir about jury duty, and a prequel almost finished for the book I self-pubbed. And there’s another memoir/essay collection half-finished. There’s no lack of material. I guess the questions I need to answer are 1) Is the book good enough to deserve an audience? and 2) How do I promote something when I don’t have the knowledge to do so (amidst the thousands of promotion plans being touted, out there)?

I’ll check it out. Thanks.

Just downloaded it to Kindle.

Memoir is a slightly different beast. From what I understand you need to treat it as non-fiction, meaning it relies on your platform and the particular message you have to tell via the memoir. You need to answer the basic question WHY should people buy/read your story? I would suggest finding some memoir author groups for ideas on how to build your platform.

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Thanks.