I am unpublished. Why do I need a Web Property?

Well, the answer depends on your goals. Are you writing just for fun or do you write as a therapeutic form of relaxation? Do you write because you want to share your thoughts and ideas with other? If you are having visions of getting your information to others besides those who are in your immediate household, then it wouldn't be a bad idea to at least consider having an online presence.

No Author should be caught dead without a Web Property these days, and many won't be caught without one either. If you have dreams of becoming a published Author, you should practicing living like they do. Get yourself a Web Property. Internet presence can make or break your vision as a successful Author MOST of the times.

Do I need a blog too?

Blogs have their advantages in a writers world, but we don't recommend you blogging if you don't have any content. That is, you don't have anything to talk about. Nobody likes a boring blog, and nobody likes a blog that runs out of content FAST! If you have a blog where you can give people really valuable content, tips, and things to make their lives better - do it. If you are just thinking of blogging because everyone else does it or you heard that agents won't consider you unless you have a blog, don't.

Focus on your writing. And if you feel the need to be online, which you should, at least in some small way, put up a simple three page site: main landing page with info about your work, about you page, contact page.

What is there to say when you don't have a book?

The issue isn't not having anything to say because you don't have a book, the issue is not having anything to say PERIOD! There are some published Authors who STILL have an issue with blogging. They have said all they can say in their published book. If you have an area that you can speak about with expertise, then write about it. Blogs without good, useful information or blogs by a clearly reluctant author are the worst. 

I really can't afford a Web Property right now?

Web Properties are much cheaper these days then they were a few years back. Professional websites are normally priced from $99.00 all the way up to $5,000. The more you want your Web Property to do, the more money it will cost you. We make our site properties affordable. We even have a payment plan to give you time to pay for your site. And guess what. You don't have to wait until the site property is paid in full to be live. Your site is live as long as your account is in good standing. Simple!

Since I do have my own Web Property and blog, does this mean that the writings that I publish are protected under copyright law?

Your entire site property and their content are inherently copyrighted, provided they are your original works. Please visit the links below for copyright information. It is totally up to you if you want to copyright your Web Property or not.

- The Content Producer's Copyright Checklist, by Georgina Laidlaw, Problogger
- Copyright Law: 12 Dos and Don’ts, by Daniel Scocco
- 14 Copyright Tips For Bloggers, By Kimberlee Weatherall

What you should include on your Unpublished Author Web Property

1. First things first! You need an awesome masthead on your website. The masthead, or banner  is simply a graphic at the top of a web page containing basic information about your website. Your website is a part of your branding tool. We recommend that you create an original masthead for your website that would be similar to the branding that you use for platforms.

In print publishing, a masthead is a list of the editorial board and staff writers, while a nameplate is the logo at the front of a newspaper. For a site property, you want to create a banner or nameplate that identifies your website including elements such as a slogan, logo, or links. Make sure that your masthead contains a tagline. Your tagline is usually your motto or short mission statement. Your tagline needs to communicate what you write so that visitors who like to read what you write will poke around a bit more. Make sure that you can identify what it is you want to write about. 

An informative “About” page.

The "About" page is where site property users go to learn more about the site they're on. No, we don't want your life story, but five or so paragraphs of your journey as a writer or any experiences that are related to you being a writer; you want it to reflect your writer's voice. Your About page should answer the Five W's:

Who are you?
What do you do?
When did you start doing what you're doing?
Where are you?
What is your mission?

3. A “Contact” page.

How is someone going to get in contact with you if they are interested in what you have written? Time to drop your online privacy inhibitions! A ‘contact’ page just isn't complete without contact information. So, your email address is a must. Now, if you're a non fiction writer, then you really need to beef up this page. Include your postal address and even a phone number for booking speaking events.

A great author picture.

Some don't like to put their pictures up online for whatever reason. It could be that they are ashamed or shy of the way they look. It could be that they want to keep the focus off of themselves and keep it on their writings. You may even feel that it's self-serving to promote yourself instead of your work. Whatever the reason to not wanting your photo up, we have 4 words for you..JUST DO IT ALREADY!  And don't put up photos that were taken 20 years ago when you were thin. We want the present day you. And we want it in high quality. Not some cropped shot that you took with a group of friends at the neighborhood bar. Being able to see your face can be what an agent, editor or potential reader needs to feel comfortable with working with you.

A blog.

Ok, so you have the crucial information covered. But where do you get to show your skills? Linking your blog to your Web Property (or even having it live on your site) is a great way to allow industry professionals and potential readers the chance to scope out your writing talent. "word of mouth" is one of your best tools for a popular blog, so it goes without saying that your blog needs to be updated on a regular basis, it needs to hit your target readership, and it needs to be well-written.
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